Dear Former-Little Me:
I am sorry. I am sorry I grew up to be someone who thought about the opinions of others a little too often.
I am sorry for the times I turned my head and choked on my tongue because it was easier than speaking my heart and risking the backlash.
You were so bright. Like the sun, you were beautiful, nourishing, damaging with the sheer you-light. It never crossed your mind that you would grow up and also grow dim. I am sorry.
I could try to explain to you the complications of friendships, family, co-workers, being professional and courteous, and how the pleasant smiley-face mask sometimes becomes too easy to slip on and leave there.
Even now I can see the hands on your hips in reaction to my fumbling excuses. I can see you kneeling to look at ant hills, carrying a baking book to first grade because you liked the pictures, convincing your classmates to adopt a humpback whale, getting angry when someone was picked on. You never cared or felt shame with any of your interests, hobbies, or opinions.
I am trying, sweet girl. I remember you, and I know that a sun daughter such as yourself was never meant to be cloudy.
Crying, roaring, you were always meant to be the full package of complete womanhood.
I am bringing you back into the light. It’s taking me time to remember my lion heart, but I know you’re still in there. Wait for me.