Two fragile hands grasp a splintered rope. They bear all the weight of energetic, body–balancing, size four shoes on a yellow slide.
The imagination that runs through a little girl’s brain can never compare to the stress that now stirs inside mine. I haven’t faced the real world yet, but I’ve always wanted to face my younger self and say, “everything always turns out okay.”
At a young age, I never realized that every word, phrase, sentence found in books like The Magic Tree House would teach me that there’s a strand of never-ending resolutions to the things I’ll find problematic.
Flashing back to a hot Fourth of July where I floated in my imagination, standing upright on my tiny, size four shoes on a bright slide becoming a wakeboard, I stood up there with a huge smile, feeling the gust of wind carefully nudge me.
In my eyes, I could see the big jump ahead of me, but as I lost my grip on the souls of my feet, the churn of adrenaline raced through me. I no longer held a steady ground, for I was not in control anymore. I hit my head on the metal bar below me.
Now that I’m in high school, I know when I’m in trouble. Like when it’s been a long night and I decide to skip a few questions on my math homework, knowing full well I’ll get punched in the gut by the new grade sitting in front of me. I understand when to brush things off–it comes naturally–but as a teenager, you can’t excuse everything.
Tears flushed down my face as I quickly scampered over to my parents. When my mom handed me some Advil to make my head feel better, I could feel blood wandering through my hair. After a few minutes in the emergency room, my little shoelaces bounced as I skipped right out with just only a few staples in my head—keeping a smile on my face.
Though my imagination never left me, even after that small incident, I will always hold those memories close. Now when I look back on them, I’ve found that they have taught me valuable lessons I use in my everyday life.
If I could give that little girl from the past some advice, I’d tell her, “you’ll never have it easy, nor will you have it hard. Hold tight to the challenges you face as though they get stronger every day, you’ll learn to walk up the slippery slopes you face.”
There may be times when you feel gravity giving you hugs—making it trickier to face what you love. In the end, if your foot slips off the edge, it never hurts if you get a little dirt on your head.