i met a girl today doing a match meeting at work who reminded me very much of myself at age 11 or 12. she even looked a lot like me. very blonde almost white hair and light colored eyes. very "chipper" and yet soft spoken and excited about life and ready to talk to anyone and smile a lot and pretty much find everything funny and just seemed glad and curious and interested with everything there was to think about. and she stated she liked speaking in groups and wanted to be a public speaker someday and loved writing and loved reading and her mom said she was imaginative about everybody. she loved to write stories, except she was always killing off one certain character and her mom never knew why. sounds about right :) (ok, i never really did that).
yes, i learned all this in my 45 minute interaction with her...but i think you can tell a lot by talking with people for a short while and also watching them with others. the amazing thing about this girl though was where all she'd been in her short life already. i don't know the full spectrum of it and especially what happened with her birth family, but the mom she is with now took her in as a foster child several years back..then adopted her. then she herself got divorced and so she went from one broken family to another..yet the second one was filled with love from her mom. even though she doesn't see her dad (first or second) and she has 3 older siblings to deal with, and maybe she didn't have the best roots to stem from, you can totally see how she has bloosomed. maybe it's a testiment to the love she now has surrounding her, maybe some is her happy disposition in general, whatever it is, you would never know she was even in "need" of having a mentor. sure, we all need them, but wow, how neat to know that this little girl doesn't act as though she wants for anything. she seemed simple and pure and said that one of her favorite things in life is just singing christmas carrols. she said christmas is so awesome because you can just feel the joy and you can spend more time with the people you love. the thing is, there was nothing strange or weird about her even if this sounds so "far out" from the world pre teenagers (she's almost 13) live in. even though i don't know her enough to conclude anything for sure, what she resembled in that brief bit of time was this remarkable example of what i feel we're all called to somehow get back to.
we are all seriously dealing with a lot of junk in life. but somehow, we have to find a way to still smile so completely naturally because there's something just a little mysterious, just a little too special to wrap your head around with the fact that we're all here, living this life together.
It was a strange way for me to realize that i can still find the girl in me who is like that girl tonight if i long to. that she never really went away at all. maybe she gets bogged down from life sometimes, but there's reason to smile yet...