Was my childhood so bad?

The waves crashed with a thunderous roar that echoed through the wild cove. I'd never been to this magical corner of the world at this time of year before. It was early December, approaching Christmas and felt roughly the same as always but much more ferocious.


After returning to the UK from Canada 2 weeks ago, I was grateful to get the opportunity to head down to a village in Wales this past weekend and a place we've frequented as a family since my pre-teen years. The place is quite special to me and a particular cove off the tip of a peninsular there is a space that when I’m away, I enjoy re-conjuring in my imagination as a method of making me feel grounded in moments I am overwhelmed or afraid. 

I often feel as though many of us in the world of growth and personal development have a greater tendency to look at our childhood in a way that makes us focus on what was missing or what we lacked than what we gained. However, what if we were to give equal attention to each?

Perhaps, we can go on further nurturing those strengths we built in a very conscious way today or perhaps, we’ll start to shift and balance our perspectives from one that sees all that’s ‘wrong’ to one that also sees what’s ‘well’ (something that not only makes us always see better but feel better).

Through my trips to that beach as a kid, I gained a love for nature, adventure, risk-taking and play. These are all things I look to consciously employ in my approach to life today, especially in those moments when I’m afraid of what’s next and when what seems more natural is to stop or hide. 

This helps me to start taking action again when I was previously stopped, embrace the total experience when I was previously trying to shut it out and gives me enough of a birds eye view perspective to make the prospect of a negative outcome fade into the exciting totality of what a fully lived life is supposed to be.

What strengths did your childhood help you nurture? And how will you consciously employ these moving forward?

p.s. After my trip to the beach, I was inspired to write about it in a much more intimate way (as per my opening paragraph and continued below). If interested, continue reading:

…and felt roughly the same as always but much more ferocious.

Upon arrival, only a breath of the golden sand I'd dreamed of this past summer could be seen in the top western corner of the beach. Too far to reach, perhaps, as the high tide and treacherous water grasped across the sand and over the rocks adjacent my feet like human fingers scrambling at a mountain face. Conceivably dangerous I thought as the daredevil within me jumped down to the rock close by the stone cliff steps that grant access to this natural yet unruly beauty of a place.

Will I get swept away with the next all-encompassing wave break?


This place feels like a 'rough around the edge' diamond type place to me, except those edges sometimes feel more beautiful than the diamond itself. It also feels like home. A home away from my 'real home' back in Greater Manchester. Though, what is a 'real home' anyway?

I've lived in several places at this point in my life, none of which have created that transcendental draw for me that this place has.

Leaving my belongings a short way up the stone cliff steps should I be chased by a swiftly ascending breaker and need all the energy I can muster to escape it, I attempted a deftly scuffle across the smattering of large, grey pebbles that line the lower edge of the inner cove towards the small triangle of golden sand in the western corner. I felt not so different from my pre-teen self that would adventurously clamber up the larger cliff debris and boulders at the farther end and that at this moment, were being assaulted by riotous tidal waters. I made sure that this time, however, I would not tumble at the occasional misplacement of a sandy foot- a small white scar from which I still bare on the front of my lower right leg today.

Plunging my feet into the cold, wet sand after triumphantly leaping down from the last grey pebble, I took a deep, long breath in reverence of the moment. It was winter. The salty beach smell was duller than the heat the summer sun brings forth and the image of these populated sands was now enveloped with the remote shade of hollow desertion.

I gazed into my most frequented corner of the cove and my cautious scuffle followed by a momentary pause turned into an ebullient race across the elapsing sand.

I wish I could stay. Nigh at 3 pm, the winter sun was already dipping.

I'll stay just a tick longer and drink in the ocean view, I thought.

The dipping sun had turned strips of the wet shoreline into luminescent gold and it appeared as though the breath of sand I'd, what seemed only a moment before traversed, had opened into a long, almost rectangular, more familiar looking belt of shoreline as the sea had loosened its ferocious grip and retreated.


Thank you, mother nature. I know I'll be safely back.

Reaching down to the sand, I scooped up my own small portion of this delicate Welsh gold and spread it inside an empty jewellery box I'd brought. I knew I'd be off on my trans-Atlantic travels again in the New Year, my spirit of adventure for which had largely been nurtured by this place and I wanted to take a piece to remind me of that with me.