When I was a kid, I was hardly one to wish I was older. I never dreamed of taking on the world at an age older than I was. Life as it was seemed just enough. Of course, the simplicity of childhood is like a dream that we spend most of our lives remembering fondly once responsibility has decided to take hold of us. For me, the first step along that dreaded path was when I was nine. The next, when I turned fourteen. While it might be common practice to share everything on the internet, there are still parts of my life that I feel are private. As such, the events that led me down a somber, responsible path will remain known to me and a select few people. However, having spent more than enough time depressing my readers, I’ll move on to the whole point of my latest ramblings.
Growing Up is Underrated
For those of us who have shouldered responsibility for most of our lives, there is a time when one might start to feel like that is all we have. I know for me, the years between turning fourteen and halfway to eighteen felt like the world had fallen upon my shoulders. I lost almost all traces of the child I was. I still read books, I have never not read books, but the spark within me that had once led at the young age of six to writing stories, was dimmed to the point of absence. The only pleasure in writing to be found was in the assignments that were given out by my English teachers, mainly Mr. Canode. Every once in awhile a story would pop in and consume me, but they were mere wisps of what could be, and they were easily enough satisfied.
The winter of my seventeenth year, I had an epiphany. I cannot affix on the moment or the catalyst, but I realized in short succession that I had been burying myself for far too long. I had to break free, to be able to embrace just what it was I could do. That was the beginning of what would become this passion that now consumes me on a rather regular basis.
However, the years of repression were not without their effects. I started many stories that had been building in my mind, but until I was twenty, never finished. Then, through sheer perseverance, an idea finally came to fruition in its entirety. It was a ghost of what I had originally imagined, but it was complete, and that was the most important part. When something like NaNoWriMo stresses to let your inner editor lie quiet while you just get that rough draft done, there is a very good reason for this. After that, I finally found what had been missing, and I could embrace the wild side of me to let out story after story.
This might sound dull, perhaps a little trite, but the single most important factor I have found to continue to write has been a new found love of childish things. I buy My Little Pony toys (preferably those that still look like ponies), Disney Princess pencils, and I never miss an animated film with a happy ending. But that was exactly what had been missing for so long, my inner child. By embracing her proudly, I can now write the stories that fill my head, and I can smile about it all again. After all, it’s hard to take life too seriously when you’re playing with your ponies.
For all those who have felt a need to break free from the day to day grind of life, try watching something quaint, colorful, and, most importantly, with a happy ending. You might just find what you’ve been missing, too. And always remember:
Until next time…