When I Was 9
When I was 9 I wore purple and green polyester but I wouldn't wear anything with buttons on it. I liked my thick hair up in two side pigtails and occasionally wore messy braids that I plaited myself. I preferred being barefoot to wearing shoes but that wasn't always an option in the desert heat. So, I made myself sandals out of cereal boxes and ribbon so I could feel almost barefoot and my feet could breathe.
I was infinitely creative when I was 9. I sewed backpacks and purses from repurposed jeans. I made up songs and dance routines, moving freely to the music and beat. I made magazines with pages of activities to help me pass the long summer days. And sometimes I sat on the sidewalk and drew— sketching the details of a blooming cactus or tracing a lizard's path while it skittered across the rocks. I was quiet but fearless and believed in magic. I knew one day I would have wings and fly.
I didn't know that those wings would be silver or that my flying would look more like courageous life leaps. But, I knew something about my superpowers and I trusted myself to figure things out. So much has changed over four decades of life. The mishaps and lost years, the career shifts and healing. But at my core, I am still that girl in purple and green with an aversion to buttons and preference for bare feet. I still sing and dance without reservation. I'm still quiet but fierce and believe in magic. And my creative life is re-blooming and thriving. I am reclaiming what I knew when I was 9.