If you stepped into my room on any given evening in the year 2007, you’d invariably find me curled up somewhere, reading. How I miss thirteen and all the years that preceded it.
Childhood was a time where I saved up all my pocket money to buy a fuzzy slip covered notebook, which I then inked in with all the names of celebrities I found cute, the friends, pets and dreams I had. I could be anything: a princess, a surgeon, Tinkerbell, you name it.
Those were simpler times. I always wanted to meet all my family. Mom’s side and dad’s side all together: there was no distinction. No politics or hatred existed for me.
I played with my mom’s hand bags, pretending to be an adult, stumbling in her high heels, laughing when I fell. How was I to know adulthood brings its own pain? I used to sit in the garden for hours with my plastic saucepans, “cooking” food made up of wild berries, leaves and twigs which I would then serve to my hungry imagination. I used to wait for rain so I could look for snails. Spring meant collecting ladybirds. The orange ones could fly while the red stayed, frozen to the back of my hand. Grasshoppers and crickets alike would find their way to my room, where I welcomed them, fearless.
The heroes and villains of my imagination lurked in every corner, and I used to wait impatiently for bedtime so I could dream. God knows how many childish dreams my pillow harboured uncomplainingly. Part of me still wishes I could remain a princess forever, in my stronghold, forever turning in circles.
And I have discovered that there is a recklessness about childhood that if I think about it, equates to driving your car full speed down a busy highway when the brakes are shot.