I remember when I was just a little girl with two braids and a pink bike.
That was my world. Racing down hills, twirling around in my skirt, having everyone wrapped around my little finger. I would feel accomplished if I managed to convince my mom not to hold my hand at the grocery store that day. That was a good day.
I’d be taken care of and loved all the time, unconditionally. I was forgiven in the same way. I’d say “I hate you” to my own mother and her response would be “what’s wrong sweetie?” I was forgiven before I knew I had been, and everything was in plain sight. No agenda, just love.
I would manage to find every other little girl in the room and be “best friends” with them. It was easy. It was fun. It was my only job. To be happy, and yet, I didn’t have to think about what that meant.
It wasn’t confusing or frustrating. I didn’t get sick from worry about how my future might be or wonder whether or not I would make friends. Whether people would like me. I was just me. There was no one to impress, no box to fit into, it was much more simple.
You can never remember exactly how you made childhood friends because you didn’t have to prove anything to have a good time with someone. No one really took into consideration what my personality was like or what I felt about politics or spirituality or what I’m passionate about. To them I was just a little girl with two braids and a pink bike… and that was enough.
Today, at the ripe old age of 18, I can say that times have changed. But I can also say that they don’t have to. When you have a lifelong friend that you can’t remember exactly at what instant you became friends, you have something special. When you feel comfortable twirling around in your dress because you feel beautiful, you’ve won. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there isn’t anything wrong with holding on to that last bit of innocence inside of you. That blind optimism. Because at the end of the day, we’re all the same people we were before we became who we are now.