Owning my Inner Unruly Child, One Word at a Time

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 10 September 2016 | 3 Comments

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Quick-tempered, then withdrawn, reactive, close to the chest, stumbling over the sound of her own voice, like a toddler and a teenager all in one, so powerfully entwined like a garden untended, choking out the adult that gets only rare opportunities to poke through. How have I survived? Apparent success in life has been due to two things :

1. Those brief visits by adulthood

2. The relative immaturity of much of the human race

That's not disparaging, but it is a comment on how we've been raised through the generations: emotions dismissed, cursed, quashed; intellects bolstered to swollen, spirit left to atrophy. Grow up! We're told later, as if we had a magical formula to bridge childhood  and adulthood. Instruction and support on learning to read or drive a car we had, but on embracing and using one's emotional power? Nada.

Is it too late? I've decided it isn't, if I:

1. Own my immaturity

2. Work with it

3. Grow

Not everybody has to, nor should they. We'd be just plain boring if we were all the same. But I've decided my inner child is denying me entry into the life I want. So, then, it is time to evolve. Here's where to start.

1. Strengthen your body. Something has to channel all that energy.
Muscles. Nourishment. Make sure you have enough.

2. Own your life. All of it. Memories, actions, choices, those horrid checkered pants you wore in fourth grade, the time you slipped on the ice and missed a goal in the peewee playoffs (and got shunned in the locker room), the time the teacher sneered you'd never make it through high school, the time you punched him in return. We've done stupid things. We've hurt people. We've hurt ourselves. That can't be changed. Our futures can.

3. Do something every day that's uncomfortable. Make a cold call. Run 500 meters. Post a blog with your photos in it. (Done!) Offer to meet with someone who bugs you at work. Don't deny your instincts or common sense and play chicken with a train,  but tackle something your anxiety is telling you is dangerous, when in fact, it will help you grow. You do know the difference.

4. Do something every day that is pleasurable. A glass of wine after work. A glass of wine with work (if you're writing safely at home.) Chocolate. A walk. Good music. A reward that won't undermine you, hence the giant bag of Doritos is out if physical training is on the list, but something that gets the happy hormones flowing and tells you - Hey! Great job today!

5. Build a team. Not yes folks, but those who emulate the qualities you're trying to achieve and who are solid enough to challenge you, remain detached from your crap and love you for who you are now, and who you will become.

6. Hang in there. This will take years. The rest of your life, perhaps. But guaranteed, you will end in a better place than you started.


Today, I'm seizing the moment. Tonight, I'll no doubt slack off but I'll be honest about it, and keep at it again in the morning. 
How about you?

Jennifer Hatt is author of the Finding Maria series and a partner in Marechal Media Inc.
See more at www.FindingMaria.com.  

Photos by Tanya Petraglia
Used here with much love and gratitude.

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  • May I be on your team, please? I'm always on your side!

    I loved this post and totally saw you in a lot of it, ok most of it, and me in a great deal of it. For me it was the one piece get-up for my class photo. What was I thinking?!

    And so, the moment is seized and the past is a comedy act which led us on the path of our dreams. With some hilarity for good measure.

    Best of luck and fabulous photos!

    Thanks for writing and reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Being Grateful, Being Thankful

    Posted by Sarah Butland, 24/09/2016 3:56pm (1 year ago)

  • THANKS for sharing and for having the courage to be the best you can be. YES!!

    Posted by Dodie Goodwin, 13/09/2016 2:34pm (1 year ago)

  • Great advice... I'm going to create a checklist and post it in my office...thanks!

    Posted by debi, 13/09/2016 9:09am (1 year ago)

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