Dream Live Ball

By: Brittany Graham

Would your 8 year old self be proud of you right now?

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Do you ever look at an old picture of yourself from your childhood and instantly get taken back to the moments when life was so simple? When playing outside in the neighborhood with your friends climbing trees and playing tag was the highlight of your day? Whenever I need a little inspiration or a small pick me up, all I have to do is look at picture of 8-year-old Brittany and I can't help but to smile. I love that girl. Younger Brittany was full of energy, so optimistic about the future, happy, creative with a big imagination.

I came across this image the other day and it really hit home and made me think. Would your 8-year-old self be proud of you right now? I set there and thought to myself, would she? or have I let her down?  I just remember a kid who was always a little awkward(and she still is...), with big glasses, braces, bad hair, long skinny legs and lanky arms, but had an imagination that was out of this world. I asked my mom what I was like at 8 years old and without any hesitation she replied. "You were so outgoing, creative, happy, and helpful. You always wanted to help me, and your teachers."  She said I wanted to do it all, every sport, every activity it didn't matter what it was, I wanted to try it. She I was passionateabout everything I did and always put my heart into everything I did. I was actually stunned when she told me all of this. Wow, I thought to myself. Who is this 8-year-old girl? I need to meet her, she sounds so cool.

A few hours later, I came back to what my mom had told me about my 8-year-old self, and then it hit me. I'm still that same little girl. That creative, outgoing, and passionate helpful little 8-year-old girl my mom was describing to me is still very much so deep inside of me. Take away the glasses, braces, and hopefully I don't have bad hair anymore and there sits the same girl. The girl who is now 29-years-old who still has dreams out of this world and a creative imagination like no other. When I really think about it, not much as changed, I really am still her. 

I keep this picture of me and my dog Magic (RIP :() on my nightstand in a picture frame. It's the last thing I see before I go the bed, and the first thing I see when my eyes open the morning. Sometimes late at night I catch myself smiling and staring at this picture reflecting on my 8-year-old self when I would come home from school and go straight to the backyard with Magic and just play for hours until my mom called us in for dinner. This little 8-year-old- girl, my 8-year-old self gives me so much strength, hope, and motivation. Not only do I live to make her proud, but I aim to carry her with me every single day. And thanks to this goofy little girl, I am confident, happy, and care free. Because of her I am able to still have that creative imagination, and dreams out of this world. I don't know where I would be with her.

With that being said, I don't think the question is would your 8 year self be proud of you right now? Because I know without a doubt she is, because I am still her. But instead, I should just thank my 8-year-old-self for giving me a reason to live and inspiring me to better to make those dreams come to life.

A few more pics of 8-year-old Brittany, LOL.