How To Have a Happy Childhood – Even If You’re Already An Adult

Ambitious Resilience, Change & Reinvention, FEATURED, Human First Leadership

Growing up, music was limited to whatever the least drunk adult sang. In our house a radio was rare and a TV was a luxury that used up too many 50ps in the lecky meter.

I loved singing and longed to have a go on the school piano in the hall but that was only unlocked at 9.10am on Monday mornings to accompany us as we belted out ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.

At high school, the mysterious guitar, trumpet and violin-shaped boxes covered in colourful stickers and carried by my peers captivated me. My own embedded internal story around identity forced me to turn the volume down on my curiosity. Instruments were something that other kids to had.

👉🏾 People like me didn’t do things like that.

That theme tune of self-othering became my mantra growing up. Physical poverty was never as debilitating as the mindset poverty it caused.

I’ve navigated chaos, overcome adversity and processed so many of the big rocks in my past. I use them as an invitation for change through my captivating keynotes. Recently I’ve been getting curious around the less sensational but still limiting stories I still hold from my childhood and letting go of the ones that no longer serve me.

‘Gifted’ to me by adults who, having failed to do their own work, these fear-fuelled stories were passed down like precious heirlooms.

Some were easy to release…

“Girls should be seen and not heard” An Aunty

Yeah, that was the first one to go!

Others adapted, shape shifted and lingered for far too long…

“Half-caste means you’re neither one nor the other so you don’t belong in either group.” A History Teacher

The latest story I’ve decried to rewrite is around music. Here’s the 2023 update… I am a cellist! 🎵 🎼 🎶

Meet the newest member of the Team AF household, Chadwick Cello. Named after one of my hero humans, Mr Boseman himself! I can’t read music and have never been within two metres of a cello before, let alone touched one! As if that’s going to stop me! I’ve always loved the sound of the cello and am determined to learn.

My Google search for cello music threw up composers consisting largely of dead white men. Keen to continue the investment in my new and improved them tune of ‘People like me do things like this’ I searched for the exact opposite of each word.

‘Live brown women cellists’ led me to the wonderful world of Ayanna Witter-Johnson! Stop reading this right now and check her out, I’ve been happily lost in her music, videos and story all afternoon!

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

What old lie-flavoured story are you finally ready to release yourself from? Choose you favourite social media platform below and let me know.


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