Let the children dream

Originally written in French.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a child with problems. Thirty years ago, it was difficult for parents like mine to accept that I could benefit from psychological help. In the end, I had to fend for myself. Today, I’m learning from the environment in which I live that it’s called “resilience”. Even when I studied psychology in the 2000s, we hadn’t yet heard of this word, so present in our practices today.

Eventually, from a very early age, I found a way to externalize my thoughts, to get them out of my head, to get through difficult times. I wrote. After that, I enrolled in a drama course, which I did for almost fifteen years. Being someone else, playing out the life of a character, and receiving applause for it, was the best experience of my early years.

As we know, most great artists are tormented beings, and their art is a form of expression. Evil is painted, papered, sung or played… as long as it’s on the outside, rather than stuck on the inside, circling and threatening our stability.

Now I’m older, and trying to improve the mental health of young people. I wish I had an ‘Aire ouverte’ when I was a teenager, but I never had the chance. On the other hand, I’ve been lucky enough to have the art of words, the art of the stage, and this form of therapy that has enabled me to take care of myself, often without even wanting to. And I’m grateful for that.

So, although I can’t recommend taking care of yourself enough, inside and out, I’d also like to recommend that every young person take care of themselves. I’d also like to recommend to every young person in this world to find the artist in them and let them go their own way. Too often, creativity is sidelined in favor of productivity, results and the tangible. I’d like every child, mine included, to know that they have an artist in them, a dreamer, a creator, and that they have all the time in the world to let them express themselves, and maybe, who knows? That they might improve their mental health in the process.

By Céline Villemus