My sweet niece turns 9 today. Next year, she'll hit the double digits and be (gasp! already???) a preteen. I remember the day she was born, 6 weeks too early and a fighter even then. We called her a miracle baby because she beat the odds.
Her birthday has gotten me to thinking about my own childhood. By the time I was nine, I already knew I wanted to be a writer. I figured I'd be like Laura Ingalls Wilder (my favorite author at the time) and write bestselling novels about my own life. Didn't matter that I hadn't had much of a fascinating life. I believed that I could do do it, so in my mind I would.
Wouldn't it be great to go back to that feeling of invincibility you had as a child? You only had to believe in something hard enough to make it so. I grew up hearing that anyone could be president if they wanted it bad enough. But there was also a caveat to this: you had to more than just believe. You needed to do the hard work to get there too.
What happened to make me lose that unwavering belief in myself?
My personal life has had quite a few hits in the past year. I've been dealing with losing my marriage, my home, my job, friends, but especially the belief in myself. I've wanted to recapture that nine-year-old who thought that she could write bestselling novels just like her favorite author. The one who couldn't wait to be old enough to set the world on fire.
The crazy thing is that she's not gone. My nine-year-old self has only been waiting for my forty-two-year-old self to stop whining and get out of the way. It's time for me to start believing and doing the hard work.
Because a new life is waiting for me.
And my world will never be the same.
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