And when she was told it was time...
she grew up.
And she forgot who she was deep down inside. It didn't happen slowly, that would be too painful, she just packed up all the little things that made her whole and happy, and uniquely her, and stuck them in the attic.
For someday when...
she could breathe again. Or when her grandchildren would go through the boxes containing the pieces and parts of the real her she'd saved for later, and set her spirit free.
She stopped believing in magic.
Because magic wasn't in the rulebook for becoming a grown up she was reminded many times. Good girls are responsible, safe, determined, and productive. There was no longer time for collecting rocks or watching butterflies, there were more important things to be done.
She stopped saying what she meant.
For a long while she remained quiet. There were so many unwritten rules that didn't make sense to her. Rules about what, when and how to say things so as not to stand out in all the wrong ways. Rules about pretending not to notice certain things and having to acknowledge things that really didn't matter. Rules about impressing people with questionable intentions and being nice to people who were mean spirited on the inside. The worst was pretending not to know when people said one thing and thought another.
She got confused.
She was almost afraid to participate in her own life, in case she did it wrong. So she watched and waited for the time to be right to speak her mind again. Only years went by and her natural talents faded. Her dreams disappeared. And her light dimmed.
She gave up.
There was so much to worry about trying to do right that she became scared to say anything important at all, in case she might be wrong. Or ridiculed. Or deemed unworthy. But that felt wrong, too. Because deep inside remained a small burning need to understand everything, to be wildly curious, to right wrongs, to speak up, to make a difference. To stand out in all the right ways.
Years went by and she completely lost her way.
She had stopped writing, reading or even creating. She gave up the thought of ever losing herself in the magic of life again. There was no spontaneity to her movements, and little joy. She never allowed herself the luxury of just being. She heard constant noise. And she listened only to the mean voice within. In an attempt to outrun it, she stayed in constant motion. Others saw her as tightly wound. Ridiculously planned. Inflexibly judgmental. She became exactly the kind of person she never wanted to be.
And one day she woke up a hot mess on her basement floor and realized she had hit rock bottom. She had become a grown up.
And as a grown up she was slowly doing to her children what had once been done to her. She was sucking the magic out of them. Her body and soul suddenly felt the effects of years spent attempting to be perfect, the times she tried to please, and the utter devastation of realizing even if she got there, it would never be enough. Especially for herself.
So she stopped.
Nearly cold turkey. She stopped doing all the things that had once been done to her. She stopped correcting. She stopped protecting. She stopped smoothing the road ahead for them. She stopped pushing. She stopped comparing. She just stopped. And she began the hardest thing she's ever done.
She let go.
Of everything. The rules. The disappointment. The worry. Her mean voice. The constant swimming upstream. All of it. Piece by piece. And a funny thing happened. She started healing. She began to believe in herself again.
She started believing that she could change the world, just by being herself.
She stopped trying to prove, strive, achieve and she started to become something better. She not only remembered the magic within, she began to rely on it. And she showed the world that it is never too late.
The magic is forever within.
It lived in her and it lives within you.
There is no time like right now to Believe in the power of you.
It is never too late.