A Personal Anecdote


graphic by designbyallyssa

What would my inner child do? What would she say? How would she feel? These are some of the questions I have come across recently when searching for advice on what to do for a career. I’ve been in the most indecisive period of my life since having the realization that I no longer wanted to pursue the career path that I was. I have found myself back at square one, where absolutely anything seems to be possible which is equally liberating and terrifying. My future seems entirely undetermined again, a blank canvas just as it was when I was child. Maybe this is why I feel the inclination to seek her advice. 

There are many factors to consider that my childhood self would not- like the current state of the job market, financial stability, where I’d like to end up living, work-life balance. There is a cost-benefit analysis calculating itself in my mind each time I become drawn to a certain path. There is also a part of me constantly weighing the chances of certain success vs, well- uncertain success. And whether I am willing to take a risk in a direction with uncertain success. If I can say anything for certain, it is that the highly analytical part of me is of the most contrast to my inner child. She wouldn’t overthink it. She’d choose what sounded the most fun, what sounded truest to me.

Nurturing, Valuing and Protecting

In trying to seek my inner child’s advice, I have been thinking a lot about what that really means. At its core, I believe it is seeking the version of yourself that is the most authentic. It is trying to access the part that is the least influenced by self-criticism, self-consciousness, external gazes or societal pressures. The purest, most curious and free-spirited part of ourselves. Before the faculties of perception and reason were highly developed, when imagination and intuition took charge. Before the many ebbs and flows of life set the most authentic version of the self adrift.

Its picturing the childhood self and among all of these other factors, feeling an instinct to protect. To hug them, guide them. But the linear motion of time means that we can only seek their advice, not the other way around. Fortunately, we have something to learn from them. Wisdom is said to be gained from life experience, but something tells me the inner child may encapsulate our wisest selves.

I feel that nurturing, valuing and protecting the inner child are of an intuitive nature. I am not going to attempt a how-to style to this, because quite honestly- i’m trying to figure that out for myself. But this is, I suppose, what I believe it means to do these things and why it could be an asset.

Nurturing– I believe this is done in action. Doing things your inner child loved or would have loved to do. Channeling the free spirit. Where you loved to spend time, what you listened to. Nurturing the playful, creative and imaginative spirit. Its also doing these things without expectation, without seeking perfection.

Valuing- When the inner monologue is intercepted by the inner child’s voice, it is likely and often dismissed because of the adult self’s favouring of reason and rationality. Because of every influence previously discussed. It doesn’t have to be. I think what it means to value the inner child is to not naturally dismiss thoughts that may be unrealistic or impractical. That may seem child-like. It’s valuing that opinion among others, it’s giving it a chance in the mix. Life can become quite bland when we neglect our sense of wonder and imagination. I also believe valuing the inner child is recognizing the wisdom that derives from the most authentic self. Feeling the vulnerability that goes along with true authenticity but embracing it anyway.


illustration by @theDood6Doc

Protecting- This one seems instinctual. Your inner child is not merely imagining a simpler version of you. There is an emotional component that goes along with imagining your childhood self. That comes with a representation of all of your memories and the contrastingly unique, innocent and unbridled perspective. This conceptualization, who you cannot protect from what’s to come, who you cannot guide from what to do and not to do. But who you can protect in the way of valuing and nurturing their voice, safety, security and love in the present.


Illustration by Kimothy Jo

About the Author

Hello! I’m Chloe and i’m a third year Philosophy major. This is my first year writing for WEW. I love painting, writing, and watching my favourite shows. I’m very excited to be part of such an inspiring group!