“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e.cummings
In early adolescence I was precocious and bold. If I had an idea I would pursue it.
Such as the time in 4th grade that I persuaded a few of my classmates to sneak with me onto a basketball court and perform a roughly, made-up cheer before a crowd of puzzled spectators – all because our school team had no cheerleaders and I plainly thought we should.
I loved to explore and invent. I was amused by the simplest things – like the way a velvety leaf felt in my hands, or how a fallen tree could take on new life as my majestic steed.
Children have a natural curiosity and creative genius. I am not advocating for an undisciplined life, however the very act of play can give birth to ideas and solutions to some of the most puzzling problems, and I believe we should encourage it in our children and make time for it for ourselves.
I’m on the other side of 50 years now, and I am finally letting my childish self out to play and explore. I haven’t invaded any sports arena’s with my cheerleading skills, but I am taking new risks and liberating myself from fear – fear of failure, of looking foolish, of disappointing. I am joyfully happy to just be me – blemishes and all.
To my children – I’m sorry that I didn’t let you play longer, and that I suppressed your creative virtues in favor of the more manageable ones. And I’m sorry for all the times I was too busy to pay attention to your big, bold imaginations.
And what about you? Can you remember when you had the boldness and creativity of a child? What were you going to do? Who were you going to become? Is your grown-up purpose still locked in there somewhere? Have you exchanged the joy of play for more suitable skills?
If so, and if at all possible, go outside and play!