I love this old pic of me. 2nd grade Joules. 7 or 8 year-old Joules. Circa de 1973. Some high school kid who was taking a photography class took it after school one day, and then gave me a b&w 8X10 of it. Which I keep hanging in my prayer/meditation closet. This is one of the past me’s that I most relate to. Besides the obvi aerodynamic chest and little belly peeking out;) This was little latchkey Joules. Ragamuffin me. Shortly after one of my first real haircuts. (When I was born, I had nothing but peach fuzz on the old bean until I was 2. My mom taped bows to my head so peeps would know I was a girl, which I am told, even though I already know this about myself, that I wasn’t into and promptly ripped out. Once it finally started growing I don’t know if my mom ever took me to cut it. All I know is at one point I remember it being long enough to sit on it.) It’s the year we moved to a new city and we were in between homes at these apartments across the street from my Dad’s cash register biz that he started when we moved there. It’s the year my Mom went back to work, with my Dad, to help him start the company. It’s the last year I was good at math. I killed it on the times tables. Mostly cuz my teacher, Mrs. Dowd, gave us candy every time we could recite another times table correctly. It’s also the year I got a D in handwriting. Mrs. Dowd said I “write like a doctor”. Which little Joules took as a compliment and replied: I know. I know. My brain just goes so fast that my hand can’t keep up #geniusproblems. It’s the year my baby sister, Jennie was born. Which is the year I wrote my first poem, a love poem, about Jen: “Jennie is a slobber slot./Jennie cries an awful lot./But even so I love her.” Didn’t quite have the Haiku form down nor could I hang with the rhyme scheme all the way through to the end yet. But that little ragamuffin was a poet and she knew it. She knew she was gonna grown up and be a writer. She’d known she was gonna grow up and write books ever since kindergarten, the second after she closed the book from the first one that she read all by herself. That girl knew she was gonna grow up and be a creative. I mean, look at that outfit. Those pants though. My mom made them for me and I built that whole look around them. My mom used to sew most of my clothes way back in the day, but it super looks like ditching the bows wasn’t my only way of expressing myself with my own wardrobe choices. That born to be wild child had artist written all over her. Way before the world ever tried telling her much ado about who to be or not to be. Footloose and fancy me. Free. I love that little rebel.
Do you remember who you were before the world started trying to put it’s cookie cutter stamp on you? What did little you daydream about? Do you have a pic that reps who you are today? How does this past you inform today you? And on the other hand, if you were hanging out with this past you, instead of looking at a picture, what would you say to little you? What would past you say to now you. Share below. I’d love to see where your photograph take you. #writingprompt