my imaginary friend

my imaginary friend

i’ve been getting to know my younger self
more and more over the past few years.
it’s been difficult
but it’s also made my heart very happy.
when i visualize her, she’s about 5 or 6
with soft, short, curly blonde hair –
even though it might have been long and
brown by that age  –
and she’s always sitting by herself
at a patio table in my childhood backyard.
for a long time it was just her there
because that was my focus,
i couldn’t see anyone else.
but then more people started to show up;
my 10 year old, my teenage self,
my young 20 something, my old 20 something,
me as a new mom, and me now,
just three months shy of 40.
and when this started to happen
my younger self began to feel an incredible
sense of comfort,
because it made her feel less alone
and more safe.
things felt full and complete,
as though everyone had arrived.
but one day, not too long ago,
another person came to the table.
i had never seen her before but she looked
very familiar.
long silver grey hair, tied up in a bun.
deep wrinkles in all the right places –
the ones that mark and show
the way someone has lived and laughed.
a sublime sense of calm emanated from her
and there was this tremendous amount of
in the depth of her gaze.
as soon as she sat down
i started to feel less alone
and more safe.
because she was my older self.
and oh man
how I think about her often.
how i try to take her with me
in my pocket
wherever I go,
like my own imaginary friend.
i get her to sit down beside me when i’m
i get her to rub my back and whisper in my ear,
“i remember this time, it was really tough.”
and i gain so much strength just in knowing
she exists.
knowing that she made it through.
and somehow the specific details of it all
the hows and the whys
are inconsequential.
because when I’m near her
i just melt into her calmness,
i stand stronger in her power.
and I can tell by the look in her eye –
the soft mix of joy and sadness, of experience
and wisdom, and of acceptance
of the bittersweetness of it all –
that she’s genuinely grateful
for every little bit of it.
and that brings me so much comfort.
that’s what imaginary friends should do, right? 

2 thoughts on “my imaginary friend

  1. This one made me cry, when I read it back when. I meant to comment that this piece particularly resonated with me and the images were so clear to me. That’s partly because I had the honour of knowing parts of some of those Taylors – but mostly because of your writing and the beauty and relatability of it. A new favourite for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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