I wrote a guest post about “Theo and Sprout” for a Young Adult book site. I thought you might enjoy it.
You ever think of that person inside you? You know the one. The one you wish people knew better. The one that is hard to let out. The one that your afraid to let out. I do.
I like to think about that person because that person is me. When I was young, and even sometimes now as I am older, I wish I could have had that someone who helped me be the person inside on the outside. Someone to walk with me, hold my hand and have my back so the real me could interact with the world.
Sometimes I have found that person. But it was never easy. I had to trust and be vulnerable. And sometimes I failed, could not let go. And sometimes the person wasn’t trustworthy. That hurt and usually sent me back inside for a long time until I was ready to try again. But I knew I had to try again. And I usually did.
Sometimes I found that person and that person was me, my inner person. I know that seems odd. We think our outer person and inner person are the same person. They are but they are not. But however we think of our inner and outer person, we have to nurture the relationship between the two. It isn’t just a given.
When I wrote “Theo and Sprout,” I imagined Sprout was my inner person or at least she was part of it. She was the guide I wanted when I was young and the guide I still sometimes need today. Sprout spurs Theo on to act as if he was her. And just like much advice we get in life, Sprout’s advice left Theo skeptical or nervous or even at times afraid.
Learning more about your inner you is important. Because often we think we know our inner person and we really don’t. And that’s okay. But sometimes it’s scary to learn things about yourself you didn’t know before, learn things you didn’t even know existed. You outer person may even judge that. We often negatively judge things we don’t understand, even if it is within us, and maybe especially if it is within us.
So Sprout becomes Theo’s inner self and his guide. Once he learns to trust her, he learns that he can grow. While he knows his inner person can’t always be his public person, he learns that sometimes Sprout will be there to have his back and give him strength when he needs to show the world who he is.
The most important thing Sprout gave Theo was not specific guidance or courage or a helping hand. The most important thing Sprout gave Theo was permission. Permission to talk to her. Permission to be her. Permission to be things he didn’t understand.
That was the most important thing I learned in writing “Theo and Sprout” as well. I could ask my inner person, my inner Sprout, for permission and she would always give it. So that is what I hope Sprout can give to you too. Permission.