The one thing that pops into my head whenever I hear the words “growing up” is: I don’t want to. Now, I know that may sound unhealthy (and maybe it is), but I don’t mean that I want to stay a child forever and never have new experiences or change in any way. What I mean is I don’t want to lose that part of myself that looks at the world with curiosity and wonder, that is unafraid to be goofy, that runs as far from cynicism as humanly possible. The older I get, the more I find myself surrounded by people who have become so jaded that having fun and being playful are looked at as qualities of the ridiculous. And at times, I have let this get to me and I start to feel inferior, as if I am somehow less of an adult because of the way I view the world. I have responsibilities, bills to pay, obligations to uphold like every other person, and I take them seriously, but I refuse to sacrifice my inner child just to be considered an adult. If I’ve begun to learn one thing over the years, it is that the purpose of living is to relish being alive. And no one does that better than a child.
I am here today with a quick list of some of the things I’ve been loving this fall. I won’t go into much detail because I’m pressed for time today but I do think everything on this list is great!
- Musicals! I am loving Hamilton and Finding Neverland. The cast recordings are phenomenal so check them out if you haven’t yet.
- Netflix! This fall I binged on How To Get Away With Murder and Jessica Jones and Broadchurch season 2.
- Books! Read the Robert Galbraith mysteries starting with The Cuckoo’s Calling and Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
- Movies! The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition is wonderful!
- I don’t have a fifth category! I just like lists of five.
Bye! ( I know, I know, I’ve been away for too long again!)
This land that I call home.
My heart beats in time with the vibrations beneath this specific patch of earth.
It is a part of me
And I, it, like the roots of a tree.
We are intertwined, as necessary to each other as sun to the leaves.
I am built from its soil.
At night its breath sings me to sleep.
And I know that while I may roam to far off mountains,
and drink in the lakes journeys away,
this is where I belong.
This is where my spirit dances.
“Life throws these things at us. Life makes us wonder if we should be less naive, less childlike, less enthusiastic, less excitable. These things are looked down on when we grow up. And I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that the way that you’re dancing tonight yes, it’s childlike, enthusiastic and excitable and it’s BEAUTIFUL. That’s how I want you to live your life.”
Taylor Swift in Glendale, Arizona (8/18/15)
I was five years old when my grandfather died.
For most of my life I have been without him.
But when I look in the mirror,
His nose and cheekbones reflect back at me
surrounding the forest eyes of his daughter.
The temper I try so hard to master is a legacy of his,
and my mind as well,
whether I am wasting it or not.
Would he be proud of me, of the woman I am becoming?
The woman who so desperately longs for the courage he had when he was sent to war
and didn’t run.
Who wishes for his tenacity, his goodness, his integrity.
Did he lie awake at night with worries for his life
or did he simply live it?
This man, the only man my grandmother could ever fall in love with,
This man who needed no recognition or permission,
When I look in the mirror, I see his face.
I hope my heart resembles his too.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I will officially leave 23 behind. That’s a little scary for me because 24 feels grown-up and I certainly don’t. I’ve not yet reached that point where I feel like an adult, if such a point really exists. We all are sort of winging it, aren’t we? But in celebration of my birthday and as a way to say goodbye to 23, I would like to share with you three things I’ve learned while calling this number my own.
- People are complex and have different perceptions of reality. Embrace that. We are all biased in some way but your opinions and thoughts aren’t any less valid simply because it is you who holds them. Differing viewpoints don’t have to be threatening; they can help you look at issues in a way you hadn’t thought of before.
- Plans are overrated. Some of the best things to happen in my life were never anything I had planned on. Sometimes short term goals propel you farther than long term goals. A dream is a beautiful thing but staring too far into the distance can leave you blind to opportunity right at your feet. Don’t miss out on adventures just because they are a detour. You might end up liking that road better than the one you mapped out.
- And finally, live your own life and let others live theirs. If we all only get one shot at this, don’t come to the end feeling like you lived someone else’s version of you. Try things. Fail. Fill your days with things that bring you joy, even something as small as a cup of tea before bed. Add to your pile of good things. Maybe the point of life is simply (and not so simply) to live it.
Here’s to 24!
I sit in solitude by the window
as the wind rustles the leaves outside.
The smell of summer is in the air
And of rain.
The thirsty trees turn their leaves to the sky in hopeful prayer.
I wonder as I watch the leaves shift and dance,
how anyone could want to be anywhere else?
How I could want to be anywhere else?
But I find I have not yet learned contentment,
a virtue in everything but title,
and restlessness hums inside my bones.
Not always, but sometimes.
It is there today, a hunger I can’t feed.
So instead, I watch the leaves
and try to be the tree.
Growing outwards, into the earth and sky,
without taking a single step.