REDISCOVERING a CHILDHOOD PASSION
Reading was a childhood passion of mine. It was an inexpensive form of entertainment and a way to escape the world of abuse. I read almost any book I could find in my house. As the youngest child in the family, many books were over my head. It did not stop me from reading them! My sister, Linda, belonged to a book club. I enjoyed reading international cookbooks and the classics. Biographies and fiction enthralled me. Years later, I sought out the classics to read them with an adult perspective and understanding.
Career counselors and life coaches often ask a client what was his or her childhood passion. What activity did you enjoy as a child? The career counselor or life coach may wonder if a childhood passion might hold a key to a possible career. In my case, reading lends itself to knowledge, insight and enjoyment. I have not found a career of reading!
My mother valued reading and education. She was an avid reader who kept a list of all the books she read over the decades. I have many memories of her trying to catch up on a weeks’ worth of newspapers on a Sunday afternoon.
When I homeschooled my daughter, I began reading mainly non-fiction. Researching subjects of all types and exploring curriculums were educational and fun.
Dealing with the abuse in my past starting in 2002 led me to books, articles, and websites on childhood sexual abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), torture, domestic violence and more. As an early person in recovery during that same period, I read memoirs of recovering alcoholics and addicts as well as information regarding sobriety.
I slowly started delving into spiritual materials. During the years to come, my reading in the spiritual realm became more intense. This led me to read books and materials on different faiths, religions, meditation, prayer, and other practices. My own spiritual practices evolved and are immensely important to me.
Slowly fiction was delegated to last in line and often not at all.
This past year, I have rediscovered my childhood passion of reading fiction. Life gets busy. Reading non-fiction was often a necessity and became a priority. Although I like learning, there is nothing quite like losing myself in a well-written novel.
I recently finished reading “Amy Snow” by Tracy Rees. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28591435-amy-snow).
A few times, I read a sentence or a section that resonated so deeply within me that I was surprised. I found myself pondering on the author’s ability to connect with emotions and thoughts that many of us have. As a child who was not wanted, I easily relate to the main character, Amy Snow. Amy was left to die in the snow as a baby.
Amy reflects on childhood dreams.
“Those dreams seem very simple to me now, a crude, crayon-drawn picture by a wistful child. But the beauty of impossible dreams is that they are impossible – the hows and whens don’t really matter. I suppose the true longing was not after all the outline of the image but the feelings beneath its surface. I wanted peace, a sense of belonging, and love.”
Do not most survivors of childhood sexual abuse and almost all of us (trauma survivors or not) want peace, a sense of belonging, and love? I know I do.
Amy must discover who she is as a young adult woman. She has choices to make. Society still contains restrictions. What restrictions do you resist? What are your personal values and beliefs? Abuse, trauma, and domestic violence survivors in our present world often ask similar questions of themselves. Here I am … free now. Who am I? Who do I want to be? What do I want to do with my life? Are there societal restrictions and economic realities that will prevent me from reaching certain goals? What is important to me?
Books! I am grateful that my childhood passion has returned full force to me in my life now. What was your childhood passion? Do you still participate in it? Was it dancing, writing, playing sports, riding a bike… Have you let it fall to the wayside due to the busyness of your adult life now? Do you think you have more important things to do than ride a bike, row a boat, or whatever the activity is? Why stop yourself from rediscovering a childhood passion?