Once upon a time there was a little girl. A ten year old girl. And she had many dreams. But she did not dream big. She loved history and writing fairy-tales with a happy ending. By ten, she had seen a little bit of the world - London and a few other English cities; Catania and her beloved Rome. Enough places to make her realize that there was much more to the world than the little island in the Mediterranean that she lived on. She enjoyed reading, amongst many others, mystery stories by Enid Blyton; the legends of King Arthur and ‘Little Women’ from an old book that her mother had used at school. When she wasn’t devouring books she spent her free time riding her bike and playing with dolls. Her favourite colour was red, with turquoise as second best. She was shy, except with her best friends, and her favourite soft toy was a monkey named Gibbons.
In 1981, when she was 10, the world was in the icy grip of a Cold War, there were two countries named Germany and an impenetrable curtain divided Europe in two. A president and a pope were shot that year, the first space shuttle was launched and the wedding of the century took place in London. Kim Carnes topped the Billboard charts with Bette Davis Eyes and somewhere in the wings, pimply teenaged boys were busy tuning their electric guitars and practicing the riffs that would soon define the music of a whole generation.
At ten she was still young enough to dream of a handsome prince and to believe that adults knew what they were doing and that they would make the world a better place. She made no plans for herself and was not even too sure that she wanted to grow up.
But she did. That ten year old girl was me. I sometimes wonder where that ten year old girl has gone. Whether she would recognize herself if we met face to face. So many things have changed. But her favourite colour is still red; a battered monkey named Gibbons still survives (although in a memory box, tucked under the bed) and she still likes to write fairy tales – except that now, life has taught her that they don’t always have happy endings. Oh … and she’s still not sure whether she wants to grow up.
My thanks go to Jeanne at Collage of Life who was the inspiration behind this post.
Finally, this coming Friday (or on one of the Fridays thereafter) I hope to participate in False Start Fridays. False Start Fridays, which is Suze’s initiative, will serve as a platform where writers can post snippets that got off to a false start. I’ll see whether I will be brave enough to publish one of mine. Anyone wishing to participate can head over to Subliminal Coffee for the rules.