This was a requested topic by a friend of mine, so I took the time to reflect on how I could incorporate this story into one that resonates. Reflecting on photos of my younger self, remind me of who I once was, and ultimately, who I still am. No matter our age, we all still have that same child within us. We are all God’s children, children of the Divine, whatever you may believe in. It is important for us to never lose touch with that side of ourselves. Being playful and fun is just as vital to our well-being as being a responsible adult is. Especially during a time as tired and trying as this has been. Life has become serious and full of woes and worries, and ultimately fear. But children can be fearless and free of problems. Here’s how I connect that version of myself with the woman I am today.
This photo cracks me up. First, because it clearly is an adult costume on a 5 year old girl. And second, because I obviously don’t care and am thrilled to not just be a mermaid, but the most famous one at that. Though, The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, it quickly became my favorite as soon as I was born. My mother tells me that I learned how to crawl and work the VCR, rather than walk, just to watch, “Under the Sea” over and over again. Disney is obviously loved by all children, including these classic princesses, but there is something about being born and living through the time of their original release that feels truly magical. Living on my own, in my own little corner, I’ve allowed myself to explore my voice and am reminded that I have a singing ability, and maybe even the face of a Princess.
Furthermore, last year for Halloween I was a Siren, a different type of mermaid. Astrologically, Halloween 2020 was the Full Moon in Taurus which was a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon occurs when there is a second full moon in the same calendar month. This is a rare occurrence, hence the phrase, “It only happens once in a Blue Moon.” Nearly a year later, this past August, I created and performed “A Siren Song” for a course I signed up for called, Expand Your Expression. This occurred on the Full Moon in Aquarius which was also, you guessed it, a Blue Moon. Life is full of signs and synchronicities if you allow yourself to wait and see them. Maybe on the next Blue Moon, my inner mermaid will come to a full fruition and I’ll perform the song for the world.
The film, Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991. While I love all princesses very much and see pieces of myself in all of them, (even the villains sometimes now) I have to admit, deep down, Belle still is my favorite. I’ve always admired her love for books, thirst for knowledge, and desire for adventure. Not to mention despite her beauty, she can be just as ferocious as the Beast. This has reminded me of the Beast within all of us. While my inner child has an active and curious mind, my shadow can be dark and scary. (Seriously, you should see my hair every morning.) Here, as a child, in 1994, I am posed with a Belle doll in her gown on Christmas morning at my Aunt Betty’s who passed nearly a year ago. Years later, at 17 years old, I will magically manifest this dress into my life to wear to Senior Prom. Again, life is full of signs and synchronicities, if you allow yourself to wait and see them. The trick is believing in magic, even after you’ve grown up.
There is a line in the recent, Mary Poppins remake, where the adults all pick a balloon and it sends them flying into the sky with the children. They are surprised, yet filled with joy and glee to experience such a thrill as an adult. Afterwards, Mary Poppins confides in the man selling the balloons on the ground, that “the adults will forget it happened tomorrow.” Though sad, this statement rang true for myself and others around me. We are so caught up in more and what will happen tomorrow, that we forget what happened yesterday, or more importantly, what is happening right now. I invite you to cherish any moment that feels like magic. Even if it’s just for a moment.
Often, I forget I played soccer from the ages 7-16. Mostly because my sister, Tara (pictured above) went on to play it in college and even afterwards. Soccer was her thing, not mine. Over time, I didn’t just lose the skill for it, but I lost interest. Here, I am reminded that I have a fearless tenacity to tackle something different, because frankly, I get bored easily. I’m always seeking change and expansion. My first year playing soccer I had been on defense the entire season. Until one day, my last game, I had the courage to ask to play forward. I was bored in the back and angry we weren’t scoring any goals or winning. My coach was surprised and double checked that was what I wanted. I was adamant. Within seconds, I scored my first goal and we won the game. I was only 7 years old and on a team with green jerseys, called The Big Green. If you’ve never seen that movie, watch it. On my 29th birthday, I watched it again while my parents cooked dinner, and was reminded how nostalgic that movie can be, and that euphoric feeling of freedom you feel as a child. Here, at 9 years old, I am playing goalie on the same team as my sister, The Cheetah Girls. Not only is goalie probably the most valuable member on the team, but it is also the highest risk. It was especially true for me, because I was born with limited vision in my left eye. I am technically considered legally blind in that eye, and would essentially be screwed if anything were to happen to my right eye. So, with the possibility of a huge soccer ball flying at my face, I was taking a risk. I think there may have been a few times I wore goggles as a safety precaution, but usually I was too cool for that and couldn’t be bothered. If I remember correctly, it ironically hindered my vision even more, so there was really no point. Fortunately, most 9 year olds don’t kick the ball high into the air for the goalie to have to block. But on one particular game, I was standing in the biggest pile of mud, after it had severely rained. I remember digging my cleats into the dirt, just to stay centered. Until someone shot on goal and I slid to save it, sending mud all up the entire back of my thigh. Again, this was probably the most euphoric freedom I ever felt. Feeling victorious, dirty, and connected with the Earth, with a blocked ball in my hand. Of course later, I felt bad for getting into my friend’s mom’s car, even though she set a towel down on the seat for me. Now, I go on walks barefoot and sit in trees, careless how dirty I am. That’s what showers and laundry are for.
The 90s were also a good time to live in Detroit, at least in terms of hockey. I remember this parade and being full of excitement to celebrate the Red Wings, and then disappointed at how short I was and how tall the rest of the world was. Some kids sat on the shoulders of their dads, while other dads just stood in front of my cousin, sister, and I. In the future, I hope we live in a world where we let children in front so they can see the magic too.
Last, but certainly not least, in 1998, my baby sister, Erin was born. Two years later, I wrote one of my first novels about the experience for my 6th grade class assignment. Being a child, yet witnessing the evolution of pregnancy and holding an infant, makes you feel grown up.
This post is dedicated to CJ Tringali. (pictured below). Thank you for your encouragement, love, and being a reflection of my internal self. I think of the mornings and summers on Wilmot Court, where we woke with the urge and desire to explore and see what fun (or trouble) we could get into. Sometimes having no plan, is the best plan to have. As children we allowed our minds to expand into creating games and making films. Witches and Ghosts, The Car Game, and The Pie Game, to name a few. We would shout for the ice cream man at the top of our lungs and save up money any way we could for a treehouse. On Wilmot Court, we were fearless and never bored. Happy to have you all as my teammates. (Even when we aren’t wearing the same jersey).
If you like my work or it inspired you in some way, I would greatly appreciate any love donation you can offer. You can do so below, or Venmo me @megbfly. No donation is too big or too small, even if it’s just $1. Thank you and love you soul much!