Haha, hi millennials.
[who know this term to a T]
We say it all the time, when we have to start doing our own laundry, pay for new pants, or show up for work at 5:20 a.m.
Recently I saw the movie BFG with my family, a film I never intended on taking the time to watch because I’m not that into Disney movies or anything animated as much as I was at age 6. TBH I never really got into them as a kid even, I thought they were cheesy and when the fairytale ending didn’t happen in real life, I switched over to sagas and action movies, where heartbreak, hurt, and hatred dominated the storyline, and I slowly became a “realist”, something I coined as a scapegoat in order to protect myself from disappointment.
Instead of convincing my parents to switch to something else I figured a Steven Spielberg film had to at least be a solid 8/10 so, I watched the Big Friendly Giant in hopes of finding some hidden reality in it. Despite what you may think, I am not about to analyze every piece of the plot to make the fairytale seem relatable. Instead I’m concerned about my own human condition to disregard the beauty of a hopeful story because it doesn’t show the corrupt, brokenness of real life.
I hate to break it to you, and maybe this is just the coffee speaking to me but we are doing life wrong if we think the goal is to see what we will become when we “grow up”. Completely growing up could actually be the worst thing for humankind.
The problem with growing up is losing the childlike imagination and wonder of the world around us. The big swaying trees that were blown by the giant looming in our dreams, the trickling of the rainfall that drops to the beat of our pumping hearts, the hope of love’s true kiss. Kids have the biggest, craziest ideas that maybe life isn’t that terrible and the magic is just right under our noses.
The thing about “adulting” is you start to see the darkness that was just a nightmare as a kid exists out in the news and in our homes. Yet, unlike children, we stay focused on this, forget about the sparkling fairy that whizz around leaving glowing dust, lighting up the emptiness and lifting everyone’s spirits.
As “adults” we strive to know more information, buy pricy things, make payments, and make it big. We lose sight of the beauty of life and get stuck staring at our failures, hang ups, and broken relationships, when we lose the child inside of us.
Unlike kids, we forget to smile at our mistakes, instead of laughing at the splattering of mud all over our faces when we trip in the puddle we were playing in, we pout at the mess we made and never want to go out in the rain again.
This summer has been a big “growing up phase” for me, where some days I feel that all I do is work, eat, sleep (repeat). I am about to transition to a new school and live in an apartment for the first time in my whole life, and I am terrified of just becoming a soldier to adult life, working my brains out, paying bills, and then dying. The problem is that with the freedom of leaving your parent’s house and entering into big kid territory you leave behind your identity as a dependent on other adults to take care of the rough stuff.
Not all of growing up is detrimental, I think each of us were meant to open our eyes to the brokenness around us, to feel the stress that comes with responsibility in order to seek out solutions. However, I’m not about to give up the child inside of me like I used to. The one that tells me to stretch my imagination, dream big, and jump higher. I don’t know about you but I would rather try and fail 1000+ times then just sit still, waiting to die.
And yes, there is a delicate balance between believing life should be a fairytale and giving over to becoming a pessimistic realist. Understand that life is hard, but it’s the difference of letting the pain define you or push you to passion, repainting and repainting new stories of hope from it.
I am setting out on a quest to never fully grow up, so that at 95 I can say I still fall in love with nature every time I climb a daunting hike and peer out into the valley. That maybe I don’t have much money throughout my time here because I chose to follow a passion that requires sacrifice of comfort for accessibility, but that when the world has taken it’s toll on me, I can still build sandcastles and play tricks on my hubby when we’re waiting for our food to come, holding onto the belief that there is a hero that exists and saves us every day, giving us grace to get up and try again, bringing life to our dusty bones and old souls.
I hope you never lose hope, no matter what happens to this earth we call home, you hold tight to that voice inside you that’s whispering “just one more try”.
Dream big, because why not?!
Sincerely, Brain Fuzz