Lets bring it back. Let’s bring it way back.
Before that first day at the job. Beyond those high school halls. I’m talking about those I’ll-give-you-my-Lunchables-for-those-Reeses days. Back when the future prom queen kisses the future president of the chess club. You know, back when things were simple.
So now that I’ve got you nostalgic, don’t you wonder why things were so easy then? For starters, we didn’t have to care for anyone but ourselves making our responsibilities small to nil. And back then there was still so much hope for us! We could hardly know what would become of ourselves; the possibilities were endless.
But here’s a reason we often overlook: we knew exactly what we wanted. In fact, we made sure that every one in the close parameter knew it too. Sure our parents could scold or spank us, but that never curbed our desire to run around the supermarket, to yell loudly in church, or to eat ice cream before breakfast. We acted on pure impulse because our instinct was all that we knew. And as we “became adults,” our parents stopped telling us what to do. What happened is that we started telling ourselves. We started punishing ourselves for wanting what our inner child wanted. We started denying their presence, they stopped wanting to play, and we could feel a small part of us dying during our 9 to 5’s, all because we’ve convinced ourselves that our inner child is no use to us anymore.
My father frequently shares this idea with me (he’s in his early 70s): children act like children but when adults get much, much older, they start to act like children again. Why? Because they realize that what they want is what truly matters, and what matters to them is what they truly need. They’ve befriended their inner child once again.
So travel back with me and remember the days of snatching candies and reveling the stars. Drop that suitcase and unfasten that tie to shoot marbles and shoot the moon with me. Help me count the blades of grass while continuing to feel knowledgeably small in the grander scheme of things. Color outside the lines if you want. Pump and kick on the swing as hard as you want. Hold her hand if you want. And perhaps between the toes of your inner child you’ll find what you’ve been looking for all along.