"Growing up is hard to do. It’s no fun getting old."
Phrases like these are said all the time and accepted as the truth for the majority of people.
These catch-alls represent the common idea of where innocence is lost and playfulness is forever crushed.
Previously doe-eyed individuals are forced to meet the harsh realities of the working world, whose full effect they were shielded from unto this point.
To me, growing up sounds about as fun as a root canal. However, that isn’t the case for everyone.
Some people, including me, were truly born to be adults. That might sound strange, seeing as all children are born with the intention to become adults, but I’m referring to destiny.
We're not all necessarily cut out for childhood.
Some of us were born as practical children who merely flirted with fantasy, but never stuck with it, as we were always quick to dismiss the imaginations of others with the harsh truth of the real world.
Some people, on the other hand, are just good at being kids, ready to dive head-first into any imaginary dream world, explore their surroundings with a glowing curiosity and are quick to bounce back from a dozen falls around the playground.
But those kids who were just busy being kids do grow up. And yes, for them it is often painful.
They are forced to put a fair majority of their carefree days behind them as they take on new adult responsibilities.
But, they don’t lose the twinkle in their eyes for creativity and exploration.
Those exceptional childlike qualities never falter; in fact, they only make them stronger adults.
But, what about the rest of us? Those of us who never had that sparkle and thirst for a fantastical life.
Sometimes it’s not growing up we need to do. Rather, we need to learn how to be kids.
Sometimes the plans we have don’t come to fruition.
And then what? As it stands, we lack the inquisitive ability to be curious and to do something that’s so different, it’s a complete risk.
We're stuck in an inescapable rut, trapped by our failures and fears of the future and the world around us.
We often spend so much time focused on one direction that we forget to be carefree, open and willing to move onto the next great idea.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I so desperately wish I could be the kid who wanted to be a superhero, a curious human who looked at the world wide-eyed, seeking exploration and dreams.
I, on the other hand, saw an easy and predictable life for myself, complete with pencil skirts and briefcases, in an attempt to become a person that I felt could most easily guarantee a successful legacy.
I was never willing to truly bet on myself, to go all in on my talents and true aspirations because I feared leaving nothing to fall back on.
As silly as it may seem, some of us need to learn how to be children, to stop buttoning up crisp white dress shirts and get a little paint on our hands.
We bottle our emotions instead of leaping into someone’s arms.
Children are trusting of everyone, sometimes too trusting, hence the common instruction, “Don’t talk to strangers!”
Those of us inclined to adulthood lack this issue. In fact, we are often so emotionally guarded, it becomes quite difficult to form meaningful relationships, particularly romantic ones.
We find it nearly impossible to validate the choices of our free-spirited friends when deep down, we are only jealous of their fearlessness of the world around them.
It's time we got things wrong. When we were children, our parents and teachers told us to learn from our mistakes.
It's time to make those mistakes, perhaps the ones we didn’t make when we had the chance to during childhood because we spent so much time worrying about our distant futures.
We need to stay out too late and do something crazy — anything to gain inspiration.
The carousel never stops turning.
Sometimes, as much as we don't want to believe it, things don't work out how we thought they would.
Those who take longer to get back up and move onto the next thing are at a large disadvantage.
The childlike adults can step right up, ready to move onto the next job, the next industry and eager to beat someone out for a position they set their sights on.
This all happens while we sit mourning what we believed to be our futures.
It’s never too late, at least I hope, to become the kid I never could be at a young age.
While it may have seemed like we had everything figured out at 14, that we found ourselves ahead of the game, suddenly that might not be the case.
Go make a flower crown. Build a sand castle. Find yourself a new dream, a dream so great, you might just bet on yourself.
CS Lewis said, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” Maybe that someday is today.