Monday, January 12, 2015

Who do you root for?

image via Pinterest

Whenever I need inspiration, I tend to go to my favorite childhood places.

A playground near the house where I grew up, where I would swing till my legs grew tired, feeling bigger than the trees, stronger than the wind. I go to the Mini-Mart where I would empty the coins from my jacket pocket, and purchase Laffy Taffy and bubble gum.

It’s never really all that comfortable at first, but instead like visiting a really old friend you haven’t seen in a while. The first few moments that I find myself navigating through my old neighborhood, it’s all just fact-checking. Same trees, same cars in the driveway, the strange colored house, the hill that I skinned my shins on.

The next moments are always a deep, sigh of relief. Years have passed, but there’s the same feelings. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has.

This time, I find myself aware that I am old enough to be driving around this neighborhood. I remember the little girl who would ride her bike everywhere and dream of owning a car.

I drive past my school, the playground, the swings where I laughed for hours with friends, and the gate where I would wait for my mom, reunite like I had been gone for so long.

I remember that in second grade, I started bringing my journal to school. I started writing everything I saw, everything I felt. I remember someone took it out of my desk and read it, and I felt mortified. I decided to leave my journal at home.

At 7, my sister and I would pretend I was on Oprah, I would be a singer, dancer, always a writer.

I can remember that I was always a little embarrassed of my writing, not because I didn’t think it was good, but because I cared about it so much. It was magic. As kids we are told the things we want most will be the most difficult. Writing has always been my escape from the difficult. It's easy for me. Since I was little, it has just been an instinct.

As a little girl,I loved how writing felt, I loved how I would word things, and I loved putting pencil to paper.

There’s a point to this post, and me rambling about memory lane,

I root for the girl I was. The girl I am. I am not only living out my dreams, but the dreams of the girl who stayed up late writing on her top bunk, hiding her journal underneath her pillow.

I strive to become the woman I painted so beautifully in my mind, I always thought I would be courageous and strong. I try to honor that.

But more than anything, I realize I, Katie, am a collection of Katie’s. I am a series of right and wrong turns, of tough decisions, of beautiful discoveries. I am the girl I was at 5, 7, 12, and 20. I am writing the book, but each season of my life has a chapter.

The girl on the playground helped me become the girl who was okay with sharing her work with an English teacher, and that girl blossomed into the girl who went to college, who studied the wrong thing, only to discover it’s been writing all along. I am the girl who fought her way for a job at a newspaper, writes a blog, and strives to be a role model for not only others, but the girl I will be tomorrow.

We are a collection of memories, that carriers of our dreams. We know exactly who we are because we have watched as we transformed.

Don’t shape your future only for you, shape it for the person you were. Shape it for the child in you that rooted in you all along. The child that knew you would be legendary.

The swings at the playground still squeak when you swing to far too the left. The asphalt is still painted with four square. The Mini Mart still carries my favorite ice cream.

And I am still that bashfully curious girl, who picked up a pencil, and dreamed that I would never put it down.
Link up with Ember Grey & share what you are grateful for today.


  1. A lovely, lovely post. Thank you for writing it Katie, it's made me smile and think! Lexie X

    1. Thank you so much, Lexie!! I am glad it made you reflect! Wishing you a wonderful week. xoxo

  2. As always, absolutely beautiful, Katie. I even adore your 7 year old self. (The Oprah thing is awesomely hilarious.) While I don't live in my childhood neighborhood anymore, anytime I come back home for longer than a weekend, I'll make the drive to my old house and just drive around the neighborhood.... drive past my "sitting rock" a few houses down... drive to the O'Malia's grocery store not even a mile away. It's bittersweet :) Anyway, I root for you too, friend :)

    1. Thank you, Emily!! You are such a sweet friend. I love that we all have a special place we admired as a child, those are things we never quite forget! I always root for you, hope your new home is a beautiful one. xoxo

    2. omg had no idea you replied!! I was just going back through your old posts and saw this :) Makes my night.


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