“Who Are You?” Asks Your Inner Child

By David Gilbert. David, 27, is from Dayton, Ohio in the US. Please read his article and leave your comments below.

Do you remember being a child? That big imagination that you had; when the world was as big as your backyard; when the world was as adventurous as you wanted it to be. You dreamed of being royalty, a superhero, or even a dentist. …Not just any dentist, but like, a vampire-killing dentist.

A child is what we imagine an author becomes when facing an empty document. It’s not until you pick up the pen and see all the white space on a page, do you realize how false that is. When an author writes a story, they do so for a reader’s enjoyment. It used to be, when you were a child, that what you conjured up in your imagination was to make you happy.

However, things have changed. As you become older, you’re expected to live a life that other people find worth living. Maybe, you can still learn from your childhood self. Yes, you’re grown up, but the child you once were still lives in you. If you look into a mirror long enough, you’ll see innocent eyes staring back.

Veronica Roth states, “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading.”

To you, what she’s referring to is a book, and has nothing to do with life itself. Or, in other words, it has nothing to do with you or your inner child.

You speak just to hear yourself talk. You speak in riddles and the type of quotes that people caption on their Instagram. You speak in such a way that makes the world slow down. It’s like the wind is trying to catch your voice and capture what you speak, forever. Even the sun shines brighter, as if it wants to give you all the spotlight. Everywhere you go, people listen to what you have to say.

Why would you ever be silent? You know you have a pretty voice, and no one demands your actions to be louder than your words. You speak because, since a child, you’ve been a great story-teller. So why don’t you speak the truth?

When it comes to your convictions, you must know what to say. If you don’t speak the truth, how can you expect any action to follow? In life, you will be asked, what is your story? We all must have one if we want to survive this world. When we die, we want to leave a legacy behind that will make our inner child smile ear-to-ear. So, at the end, what story would you want to be told?

It all starts with a question: Who are you?

As a child, that question is beaten into your head like a hammer. It’s a virus seeping into your skin like poison. Makes a home in the spaces of your skin your fingers cannot reach. Imagine an itch you cannot scratch, even as you peel the skin trying to find it. The scars you leave behind are how it mocks you. That question is as desperate to break you down as you are for an answer.

Besides, what can you say? If you don’t answer, you’d be betraying your inner child. You run away from a mirror as if what’s reflected on its surface is a monster. And maybe it is. Maybe the reason you cannot answer the question is because you’re afraid of what you might say.

Some questions demand an answer!

For instance, did you know the body can be a cage to the soul? Imagine your heartbeat as someone banging on a steel door. What you want is for someone to find you. You speak so someone remembers you’re there.

Sadly, self-discovery in the place where you’ve lost yourself is impossible. You’ve long forgotten where it was you were trying to go. Why else would you travel a road if you had no destination? You wanted people to follow you, or maybe, by following a crowd you’ll find a home wherever they’re going?

Did you really think you could fool people or yourself this easily? What you want is for a prison to escape itself. How do you demand the world to do for you what doesn’t make sense, in any context?

This question is always presented as an interrogation. You committed the crime of pretending to be someone else. You forget that the universe was created to expose a liar. So, if you think there’s power in your name, eventually, you’ll be forced to prove it.

Do you think a crown is what makes you royalty? Watch as everything crumbles around you; you’ll be expected to build a kingdom out of ruins. When you lose everything, who are you then? What you say should humble you.

Before you write your story for an audience, you must know that what makes you great is what you learned as a child: yourself. Never fabricate a story you don’t feel good writing just for good reviews. It’s not worth devaluing your craft.

It’s time you be the author of your own story. We’ve read every chapter of the book you’ve written and realize you’ve never been a real character. Your handwriting is sloppy as if you’ve rushed to finish it, and the words were plagiarized from someone else’s manuscript.

Who do you know that judges a book by its cover alone? It’s unlikely a reader will skim through a page, ignore the grammar mistakes, and not ask questions when the plot makes no sense. So, why live trying to fix critiques on a story that no one except you will find entertaining? You’ve got the relationship with your audience confused. Their engagement to your story doesn’t mean they care about you and the hard work you put into writing it.

The truth is, the reason why you’re afraid to tell your own story, is because you spent so long creating a story for an audience to enjoy. You’ve given your inner child nothing of interest to read.

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