As the school holidays approach yet again and I think about juggling my various roles and a household of very active kids who are ready for the next meal by the time we’ve finished tidying up from the last one, I’ve been thinking fondly (and not so fondly) back to when I was growing up and how it was always a given to watch some Disney movies on free to air TV, at the appropriate time slot on the holidays. If we missed it, we could always record it on video to watch at a later time… way before Netflix was even thought of course.
When life gets busy and we try and be the best version of ourselves we can be, sometimes all of us can have those days when we feel like handing over the ‘adulting’ and throwing ourselves back into the wonder of happy endings, good morals, love and stories of achieving the impossible goal or dream.
I don’t know if it was the Disney movies or the wonderful support my family always gave me, but I was always taught to aim for the stars and never be afraid to try anything I had an interest in, as there should be no reason why you shouldn’t experience all that life has to offer. However, like some of the Disney characters I always struggled, and sometimes still do struggle, to find where I fit in sometimes because of this need to fill the gaps with knowledge, skills, exercise, a career or an experience. I can remember my peers in Primary and Secondary School teasing me because I was tall, thin or a bit academic, wanted to do more than I had to and I recall very clearly dreading recess and lunchtime because I had to be without the safety net of my classroom walls and a desk. The bullying became so debilitating to me that it drove me to immense loneliness, sadness and migraines that left me lying in the sick bay with part of my vision missing and a numbness that took over half of my body for a couple of days at a time. I ended up begging my parents for a change of schools in the hope of a fresh start, away from those who were so cruel in my early teens. I know my parents had my best educational needs in mind and were reluctant to have me change schools from that aspect but they obliged me the change as they could see my emotional welfare was more important (plus we could wear pants over winter at the new school). The move worked for me and I found a lovely set of people who mostly accepted me for who I was. I still get frustrated at the fact that I made the change and almost ‘dumbed’ myself down just to fit in and told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again and that I’ll be stronger because of this.
I never want my children to feel that they shouldn’t try and achieve a goal and I never want them to change who they are just because what they’re interested in doesn’t follow suit. I hope to instil in them that they can be whatever they want to be and no-one should dull their sparkle for trying. I still come across it as an adult and some of those moral values just roll on through the generations. Why shouldn’t you be able to be an artist as well as a mother, father, doctor or teacher? Why shouldn’t you do more than one thing you love at a time that makes you happy, be it hobby, career or sports? Why can’t you be master of your own future and create a good life for your family?
Don’t think; what if it doesn’t work out, perhaps think; but what if it does?
Support those around you to achieve their dreams no matter how big or small and especially the children in your lives. These children will either grow into adults with fulfillments to achieve or the adults who may knock the dreamer down out of fear of the unknown.
“Change starts with me.”