I've always had a child-like heart, a natural attraction toward the simple things and stories of make-believe and whimsy and wonder. I've held on to my inner ten year old for close to thirteen years, as I debated on how to nourish her while still allowing myself to grow and mature at the same time. But this past year has made me realize how important that is, regardless if people think I'm crazy, or need to "grow up" in order to be taken seriously.
I'm not going to pretend that I know the in's and out's of sports, because a lot of it goes right over my head. I get nervous watching certain games to the point where I'm pacing around the room and beating my fist into my palm because I'm not sure what else to do. But when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this past June, I literally felt like a little girl at Christmas; I was jumping up and down and giggling like crazy, forget the fact that I'm twenty-three years old. I do experience a sense of magic when I'm watching any Chicago sport, even if they're losing or the team isn't doing well at the time. My grandfather and I have started an official tradition of watching the games together, or sometimes I'll go to a bar if I feel like it. Nothing really beats yelling and cheering at the TV though; aside from exercise, how else am I going to let all that aggression out? Not to mention that hockey players are actually pretty nice to look at.
As a creative, I'm not sure how I forgot about coloring books. I heard about the ones geared toward adults a while ago, and bought my first one that was on sale at Barnes and Noble around Halloween. It's really soothing to color while playing some kind of meditation or relaxation music in the background, and I need to put that into practice more often.
I love affection, and I love people who feel the same way. This one is kind of self-explanatory....
The majority of my favorite childhood and family memories involve being near a body of water. When I went to South Carolina back in March, I hadn't been the ocean since I was sixteen. Even though the water was too cold to swim in, it still gave me a sense of peace, and a little nostalgia along with it.
I firmly believe that you can never be too old for Disney; I gladly went out and bought the Blue-ray combo pack of Aladdin after waiting what felt like a decade for it to be released again. I watched a special celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Toy Story with a glass of wine in hand and am currently geeking out of the anticipation of seeing the new Star Wars movie. My mom and I have a running joke that I'm going to get married at Disney World, and I will say that I'm a bit overdue for a trip.
I still love listening to boy-bands on Pandora or Spotify, and the city of Chicago has become like a bit of a playground for me as I've visited different neighborhoods and met a ton of people in the process. I can still eat ice cream faster than anything that's actually healthy. I kind of miss going to theme parks, even though riding roller-coasters tend to make me queasy now.
It might look like a coping mechanism, but deep down these things are just part of who I am. When it comes down to it, embracing this side of myself is what makes me feel alive. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, especially that we now live in a world that becomes more dangerous and cynical with each passing day. Life is not having to choose between what's beautiful and what's reality, but a balance of the two.
Someone once asked me what happened to the happy little girl that I used to be; I can now say with confidence that she's re-emerging, albeit ever-so-slowly. I'm thankful for those who are willing to appreciate and celebrate such things without making me feel like an idiot or bad about it. And yes, any man who wants to be with me must be able to bring out that side of me as well, and honor it.
If it's now socially acceptable for kids to grow up too fast now a days, why can't adults incorporate the other aspect into their daily lives? If it makes you light up, then it shouldn't be ignored, regardless of how old you are. That kind of magic should not be hidden, because it's the kind that teaches us how to fall in love with life.