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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 50
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Toddler Eyes
Olivia Bettis


Toddler Eyes


I believe in seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler.

As a terrible two year old myself, I thought the world was a huge place full of new adventures, where anything was possible. Going to the grocery store wasn't a chore but a pirate ship in battle with loaves of bread as our swords. Jumping off the swing wasn't dangerous but a way for me to fly through the air. The possibilities of my future were endless. One day I was going to be a princess and the next day an astronaut. I had no doubt in my mind that I could do and be what ever I wanted. The only monsters in my life were the hairy monsters that hid under my bed or in my closet waiting to jump out. My mind was free and blew wherever the wind would take it.

As I got older though, responsibility and knowledge of the real world began to weigh me down. I no longer looked at everyday as an exciting new odyssey but as a day full of tedious work so I could one day get a sensible job. My greatest enemy became myself. The real demons in my life had become my obsession over self image and insecurities. I had begun to model my life based on others' thoughts over my own thoughts. I let grades and how many friends I had define what I was worth.

One day I finally realized that my insecurities were no longer like sporadic thunderstorms in the summer, rare and short, but my sun, a constant and ruling part of my life. I saw me regularly putting myself down. An A wasn't good enough because someone else did better. I let bumps in my hair determine how my day was going. I constantly thought everyone was judging me, but in reality I was the only one scrutinizing myself. Beginning to drown myself in the ocean of my own thoughts, I was determined to make a change. Looking back on my life I realized that the solution was already within me. The person I wanted to be is the person I was ten years ago.

Walt Disney once said, "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional." This quote explains Disney's point of view on the relationship between an aging body and an aging personality. This saying does not warrant one to act as two year old, for reality does require a sense of maturity in decision making and actions in order to survive; it does, however, allow one to change the age he or she models his or her outlook on the world around. Getting older and more mature does not mean I have to lose my childlike sense of wonder. To see the world through the eyes of a toddler, I allow myself to be enthralled with fascination in any and everything I do and be able to see the excitement and humor in every new day.

I choose to see each day as I did on my first day of preschool. I was so excited to finally start school. At that age I jumped at the chance to do anything new, so I could later boast of how much more I knew. Walking into the classroom, I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of screaming kids that now surrounded me. After my ears had adjusted to the noise in the room, I jumped right in with the rest of the kids. Not even aware of what self image was or that anyone else's thoughts mattered in the world but my own, I had no care weighing down my shoulders. I went up to anyone I could find, and within five minutes I would consider him or her one of my best friends. Playing with any toy throughout the day, I could make my dreams come to life without any perception of what was practical. Finally after a long day of playing, I came home exhausted and happy.

Each day I hope to wake up with the same exuberance and enthusiasm as I did on the first day of preschool– no matter what I plan to do that day. I want to be ready to absorb what ever knowledge that I can, not because I need to but because I want to. I will no longer have to avoid eye contact with people walking down the street because of fear of what they will think of me. I will strip all consciousness of others's thoughts from my head and see strangers as potential friends rather than threats. I plan on starting and finishing each day believing anything I can dream is possible, whether it be being an astronaut, a princess, or both. Lastly, knowing I have worked hard, I hope to end every day exhausted but happy.

Allowing myself to see the world through the eyes of the innocent does not make me less mature or likely to succeed but allows me to see the world through a unique perspective. Through this mindset, my heart has become open to more people and experiences by opening my eyes to a world I hadn't seen since I was little– a world where each day there is something new to learn, someone new to meet, and a place where impractical does not mean impossible. I believe in seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler because it has enabled me to see and believe in the possibility of an extraordinary life.