When I was a little girl, very few things in the world scared me.
Spiders usually prompted a yelp followed by a few tears, and I could never simply walk up the basement stairs after turning off the lights. Darkness was no friend of mine, neither were the basement monsters.
The bigger things in life, however, didn’t have much of a hold on me and my giggly little self.
I was confident. I was daring. I was talkative.
I didn’t fear things like public speaking or mix matched outfits or conflict.
I must say, my older self is quite impressed by my younger self.
Truthfully, I wish I could be more like her.
In the last three weeks, I’ve had a lot of below-average moments.
The type of moments that awaken certain feelings and reactions that you hate to admit even exist in you. Anger. Fear. Jealousy. Impatience. Doubt. Greed.
I depart for India in approximately 3 weeks, and I have yet to obtain my visa. An extremely important step, if not THE most important step, of moving abroad.
The type of visa I applied for requires a lot of information, paperwork, and the occasional smashing your forehead on the keyboard when the website crashes for the fourth time (true story). Through a series of unfortunate events, I found out that I had been applying for my Indian visa through the wrong source the entire time. Back to square one.
I frantically googled, emailed, and called everyone and everything I knew that related to India.
I retyped and reprinted and reformatted every piece of information I could get my hands on, and I shipped it off to be reviewed (thankfully to the right source).
Amidst the process of waiting to hear back about my visa, my pre-departure to-do list seemed to have doubled in size.
Tetanus shots, eye exams, travel visa cards, international insurance, fundraising, etc...
I keep thinking about how well little me would handle all of this.
She wasn’t afraid of failing. She wasn’t irritated when things didn’t go the way she hoped. She wasn’t jealous of what others had. Little Kate found joy and hope in everything.
This last year has been an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual rollercoaster, and to be honest, I’ve been barely hanging on. Growing up isn’t at all what I thought it would be. I suppose I miss being a little girl.
The other day, I was talking to a sweet friend of mine about all of this, about how I wish I could be more like my younger, more free, more joy-filled self. As the rant came to a close and the tears began to fall a little slower down my cheeks, my friend responded in a gentle tone, “I still see so much of little Kate in you.”
Perhaps when we grow up and begin the process of taking on adult responsibilities, we feel as though we need to leave our younger selves behind.
No more time for temper tantrums and sugar highs, we simply have too much to do.
But what if younger me was onto something?
What if growing up has caused me to grow out of the mindset of Christ? I’ve become more serious and logical and safe in my way of thinking, speaking, and acting.
but life is a GIFT...one to be enjoyed to the fullest, just like little Kate enjoyed that brand new Barbie car on Christmas morning. Holding back no excitement or tears.
Gifts are not things to be feared, but in fact quite the opposite, loved.
To love the life you live might be the best choice you can make as a responsible adult.
Little Kate loved her life, even the scraped knees and melted ice cream. Perhaps that’s why my mom and dad referred to me as their “joy child.”
Today, I’m taking a break from trying to grow-up.
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'”