writing prompt:what is true about you that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

welcome to the start of a new series–this one is DIRECTLY inspired by 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose { over on mark manson dot net }. the entire article is incredibly thought provoking and out of the ordinary, usually self-help type questions all end up sounding the same: what do you dream of? if money wasn’t an option, what would you do? etc etc etc. so, i’m starting by answering his question number 2: what is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

  • 8-year-old stein would cry over the fact that she doesn’t grow any of her own food.

growing up,we had a pretty fantastic garden. it wasn’t big by any means, but mom, dad, and i grew beets, carrots, spinach, snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries { at least, what would could save from the crows }, and one year we even tried our hands at corn—it didn’t go so well. there was nothing as rewarding as going in the backyard to pick what was for dinner or- when i got hungry playing- to just pluck a handful of spinach and eat it dirt and all. and it wasn’t just the act of eating it, the whole process was such an important part of my childhood- picking what varietals to grow from the seed catalog, tilling the dirt, naming all the worms i found { almost always with a “w” name }, of course eating it, and then putting extras up for autumn and winter.

  • 8-year-old stein would cry at the fact she’s given up most of her scientific inquisitiveness.

not to say i’m no longer inquisitive, but at age 8 i either wanted to be a paleontologist or and astronaut. every trip to the library, my arms would come home laden with new books on dinosaurs and space. every public museum free day, mom and i would be there. on big, family trips to chicago i’d have to make the painful decision between WHICH museum we’d be visiting that trip: natural sciences, or science & technology. i went to “college for kids” classes in biology, astronomy, archaeology.  when i was in fifth grade, i even got the amazing opportunity to go to SPACE CAMP { where, btw, the team i lead came in first! } what happened to that girl so excited by science? was it the reality of learning she would never grow tall enough to be an astronaut { have to be 5’6″ } and that paleontologist’s spend the majority of their time trying to find donors to back their digs and not in the field? was it that women are systemically encouraged away from STEM? i truly don’t know.

  • 8-year-old stein would cry at her cynicism, at how little credence she gives her imagination, at how hard she is on herself and what she believes, and that over time she’s let “being realistic” crush much of her unique, independent spirit.

 

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Posted on 28 April, 2016, in series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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