I saw this posed on A tumblr blog (is it redundant to say "tumblr blog"?)
"If your 8 year old self met you, would they be proud?"
I think I've said before that I remember being 8 as being one of the happier childhood years. It was before all the weirdness and angst of junior high, and even really before many of my classmates learned that they could torment other kids for fun and profit (well, not actually profit, just fun, but in the kid world, fun is enough). I had a teacher I really liked. I had several friends in my class. I even had a boy who liked me and who I kind of liked. (We were 8. We didn't even hold hands. We didn't even really know what "liking" entailed other than that it was nice to have someone who'd pick you first for their kickball team)
And I got to thinking about that question.
And you know, I honestly think the answer would be "Yes. She mostly would."
I think my 8 year old self would be a little dismayed at the degree of regimentation I impose upon myself (an hour of working out every day, an hour or so of piano practice, an hour of research-work) and the fact that I sometimes go to bed when I'm not really tired but because I know I will have to get up early the next morning. I also think she'd think it vaguely traitorious that I now claim to LIKE salad and beets and beans, and that I almost never eat candy bars any more.
However, I think she'd think I have a cool job, especially since part of it is digging around in the soil looking for "bugs," and I think she'd be proud of me for being a professor (I grew up in a household with two professors, and many of my parents' friends were professors, so I liked and respected the idea of teaching college).
I also think she's think it was really cool that I still make stuff - and that some of that stuff are stuffed animals. And that I can make some of my own clothes now. I think she'd be happy that I finally mastered how to purl and that I can do all kinds of complicated knitting things now.
I also - and probably most importantly - think she'd be proud that I have remained mostly true to who I am. That I've remained pretty honest, and strive to be kind to people, and to do things that are ethically right. (Yes, I even cared about that as an eight year old).
Perhaps that's one of the secrets of being mostly happy as an adult - being able to be something your eight year old self would have been proud of, because it means maybe being more true to who you really are?