Most of us are familiar with Throw Back Thursday (TBT) pictures that populate our Facebook and Instagram feeds. For a spell in cyberspace, we share a piece of our physical selves before moving on to emoji-respond or perhaps comment on someone else’s photo from the past.
But do we consider the person in that picture? Do we contemplate the perceptions and notions of the person residing in that young body?
The little girl in the photo here is me at four years old. It’s summer in the Catskill Mountains of New York. It’s before I knew about things like stereotypes, “traditional” roles and the expectations of others. It was before I knew fear and each day was a glorious discovery.
Although that little girl didn’t have the words to use then, I can distinctly recall feeling empowered holding that heavy bat in my hands. An anticipatory eagerness dwelled inside of me each time a ball was sent my way. I didn’t want to stop playing.
Shortly after this picture was taken, I heard phrases from adults and kids just a hair older than me (though back then, the age difference felt monumental) that altered my perception of that little girl and her bat:
“You throw like a girl.”
“You can’t play that.”
“You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“You’re too delicate.”
“Baseball isn’t for you—it’s a boys’ sport.”
It was the 70’s and gender roles were still fairly traditional and inflexible.
I invite you to pour a cup of tea and “interview” you from the past, before the world filled you with memes and ideas that no longer serve you. There is a power that comes from returning to the past with fresh eyes: a shift in our perceptions. This shift has the potential to nourish our soul.
COVID-19 is a horrific virus that plagues all of us; it does, however, offer us the gift of time to reflect and question what is feeding us and what we might prefer to be ingesting.