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A journey through grief & self discovery

  • Writer's pictureChristine Angelique

Self-Care for Your Inner Child

From Rufio to Zuko Workshop Performance - Greenway Court Theatre

I had a thought about why loss hurts so much. I think grief cuts so deep, because your present self is made up of all your past selves. Your past experiences and memories grow with you, they don't just stay in one moment of time. So when you experience a major loss, both your present self, and past selves experience it. My 29-year old self isn't the only one grieving the loss of my mother, so is my 16-year old self, with all her angst and dramatics. So is my 4-year old self who just wants to cuddle up with her mommy. All these versions of myself have to cope with the loss, and treasure the memories that help keep her alive. Heavy, I know, right? That's why it's important, not only with grief, but in your self-love practice to remember your inner child. Not just to focus on the ways they influence your perspective, but also giving your inner child some self-care too. They also need some love and attention.

So, for this week’s self-love date, I decided to let my inner child take charge, and she really outdid herself! I was strolling through my Instagram before bed, half conscious, as you do, when this ad popped up for a workshop performance of Dante Basco's new one-man show. It's inspired by his book, From Rufio to Zuko. I snapped back into full alertness, and without hesitation bought tickets. lol Let me explain...

Dante Basco was my childhood! He voiced some of my favorite characters from my favorite TV shows: Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender, Jake Long from American Dragon: Jake Long. He voiced characters in Kim Possible, The Proud Family, The Goofy Movie! (I was such a fan, and he has such a distinct voice, I could always tell when it was him.) He also starred in movies I loved as a child. He was Rufio from Hook, and Ramos in Take the Lead. Plus, ya girl was a bit boy crazy as a child, so Dante Basco was also one of my first celebrity crushes. Now, for $12 I get to see him in person?! SIGN ME UP!

And let me tell you, it was a fangirl's dream! His performance was a part of the LA Get Down Festival held at Greenway Court Theatre, which is a celebration of hip-hop and spoken word. Since this was a workshop performance, it was intimate and laidback. His performance was a mix of storytelling, spoken word, and dance. He told stories about how he got his start in entertainment with his breakdancing crew with his brothers, the Street Freaks. And his enormous impact on pop culture when he brought Rufio, and the voice of Prince Zuko to life! At the end there was a Q&A to get the audience's feedback, and to give suggestions for what fans might want to see in the full version of this performance. It was interactive and intentional.

They say not to "meet your heroes," but Dante Basco was exactly like I imagined he'd be– full of life, grounded and had a very welcoming energy. My inner pre-teen self was living her best life! I was practically on the edge of my seat, fully engaged in this moment. It was so cool to learn about his journey as an actor/voice actor, and how he used poetry and spoken word as an outlet to express himself and understand life. As a fan, it was also incredible hearing behind the scenes stories of his experiences as Rufio, working with Robin Williams, and Prince Zuko, with the voiceover actor for Sokka in the audience supporting his friend. It was the perfect, little self-love date for my inner child. 

As I continue to create better moments for myself while on my grief journey, I am constantly reminded that it’s the little things that can make a big impact. I’m also learning that there are multiple layers to consider while healing. When my mom died, I felt like my innocence, or child-like “whimsy,” died with her. Everything felt so serious and bleak. There was no space for child-like optimism anymore. But thinking that way was depressing, as if adulthood could only be serious and dark, which isn’t true. Now that I realize my inner child is grieving too, I can include her on this healing journey, and get some of that child-like whimsy back. Have you ever talked to a child and listened to how they see the world? They can still see the magic and goodness that adulthood sifted out of us. But even as adults, we need some magic and goodness. So, I highly recommend that you listen to your inner child the next time you’re planning a self-care activity. Mine was fangirling over Dante Basco aka Rufio and Prince Zuko, but yours can be anything that makes you light up, and feel a bit of magic and whimsy again. Here’s a list I came up with for some self-care dates for your inner child: 

  • Going to your favorite sports event/game 

  • Take a trip to Disney World (Y’all leave Disney Adults alone lol it makes them happy!)

  • Treating yourself to some ice-cream or your favorite childhood candy/sweet

  • Have a board game night with friends

  • Rewatch your favorite childhood movie/TV show

  • Spend some quality time with your parents 

  • Play some of your fav childhood games at the park (stretch first though lol)

  • Buy that cute squishmallow, build that lego set, play that video game! 

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