Updated: Apr 8, 2022
This picture literally jumped off of the screen and hit me in the face. I sat, staring at "the girl on the right" for ages as it sparked endless emotions from my memory. You see, I don't regret anything in life but as the 'child Me' I wish I was more like the girl on the right. You will speak to people who claim they were the girl on the right but not many actually were. Like me, they wish they were more like her!!
I grew up, like most of my generation, learning that you must respect your parents, teachers, anyone in authority and that you must listen and do as you are told. If you want to get anywhere in life, you do what is expected of you. I was so scared to be anything other than what people wanted me to be, which was more like the tense girl at the front of the ballet barre, terrified to put a foot wrong. Don't get me wrong, I was a very happy child but I didn't celebrate who I wanted to be; free spirited with zero chuffs to give. Not until later anyway!
Unfortunately, we still live in societies where children sit at a desk for 6 hours a day and they are defined by exam results and gradings. If you don't fit the tick boxes you must have 'special requirements or needs'. Personalities are rarely celebrated. I have watched performances where every child is dressed the same and I cannot tell one from another. Wouldn't it be amazing if every child had a bit of the girl on the right?
My business partner and co-founder of LJ and generally amazing person to be surrounded by............ she IS the girl on the right and always has been. In our early 20's on a trip around the world together, she sparked something in me which released my inner girl on the right. My Husband & my boys guessed that I was "that kid" - They find it hard to believe that I used to 'play by the rules!!'
My boys: One of them is a gorgeous, kind, rule abiding, people pleaser and the other is a gorgeous, care free, fun seeker! I see myself in both of them and I really hope they continue to celebrate and encourage each other. Every week at LJ, I see children inspired by their teachers and the children around them. One thing that brings joy to my week is watching every kid walk through the door as an individual and their team mates celebrating everyone in their own way. You MUST, absolutely MUST be who you want to be in life. In return, your confidence and respect for others will flourish. Don't suppress your "girl on the right" It is never too late to release her!