Through the Eyes of 6 Year Old Me

Words by: Ilanda Tran
Image: Supplied

When I was a child, my brother created the world for me. Our playtime was hinged solely on imagination, with our customisable playground serving as a pirate ship, a hotel, a bedroom — anything we desired. I was a diligent chef at my kitchen playset and a battle hardened warrior with my connector pen weapons. We designed elaborate storylines to our hearts desire and it was exhilarating.

I want to say that I miss the carelessness of childhood. I suppose I do, in a way — but really, I also remember my young self probably felt overwhelmed by music lessons and practice, learning to swim, school and social interactions.

What I really miss is the chance to appreciate what I had more. Yet, ironically, the lesson I should be learning is to appreciate what I have right now, too, before it’s gone. I have the same love for drawing and art as I did then, but with new anxious thoughts. In the back of my mind, I’m constantly assessing if there’s something more productive I could be doing, caught in the helpless cycle of should I be working studying exercising relaxing working working working?

I think of the slow mornings at the beach as a child, the free expanse of days ahead, and scold myself for taking those moments for granted. Now I pack my bag for the beach and question if I should bring my uni laptop along. Pure foolishness, if you ask me. It all remains the same yet different; still drawing anywhere I can and daydreaming far too often, only with the added little blanket of guilt that weighs heavy and unapologetically over me.

I hope I miss the past less and less as I go through life. I hope to be 60 years old and content. I hope that — despite the responsibilities and concerns — I know that things are good, things have been good, and things can continue to be good. I’ll pack my laptop less, and my sketchbook more.

Just little things.

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