To tell you the truth, I’m a fan of youth. I’m a fan of anything young and hopeful. In fact, it took me decades to be able to say this: I want this to be me. No matter how old I get, I still want to be the youthful version of myself which I hid away for a very long time.
To be clear, I think the biggest thefts of all are the thefts that steal away our youthfulness. I think the biggest bully of all is social conformity and the need to fit or the need to “grow up” so-to-speak and become so distant from our true selves.
I understand that with age comes responsibility. I understand that when I was a young person, I spoke like a young person and thought like a young person. I also understand that at some point, I put away my favorite toys to conform to the person who I thought I was supposed to be.
I can tell you this with all my heart – I want it back. I want my youth back. I want it all back from the Tooth Fairy to the Man in the Moon and the belief that the world is anything I want it to be.
To be clear, I see nothing stupid about being a kid. In fact, I think there are times when being a kid is the best thing a person can do – to be young at heart – to be so youthful that age is just a number and the heart is still raging, still yearning, loving and still believing in the magical touch of say, your Grandmother’s hand or the healing power from one of her bedtime stories.
I have always wished I could create a kickball game . . .
But the game is only for grownup kids or the young at heart.
Would you play?
Do you remember kickball??
It’s like baseball. Only, the pitcher rolls a big ball or maybe a soccer ball to home plate and the batter (namely me or you) kicks the ball as best as they can and then runs the bases – as in first base, second base, third base, home; around those bases we can roam.
The reason I picked this game is because I remember playing this at recess in grade school. I remember that once recess came, the rest of the school day was on a downhill slope. The tension was gone and the rest of the day was an easy squeeze.
Plus, I remember the screams and the cheers of kids who kicked the ball and ran the bases. I remember the kids in the field, trying to tag the kicker out or catch the ball and win the game. I remember the beauty of wholesomeness, which is the most amazing thing to a kid.
And I want that.
I want that back.
Right here and right now.
By the way, if you think this is silly or inapplicable in the real world or business life, then I will ask you which is more drawing or attractive; self-promotion and boasting or natural attraction and the character of being youthful and energetic – which do you think?
I want to explain this to you to the best of my ability because I want to share something with you.
I went for it . . .
I called on myself to go forward and take a shot. Whether the shot I took was a hit or a miss, I took a shot towards the life I want to live instead of living a life I only have.
Or, wait . . .
Do you know what I mean by this?
What I mean is there are times when life deals you cards. We take them and we make the best of them. We live and we learn. Most times, we have to live and endure because hey, let’s face it; life is not like it is at recess during a game of kickball.
I have lived with a generation of people who forfeited themselves to a blueprint of living. I have seen people do this because they were told they’re supposed to be.
I have seen people be fooled somehow that who they are (as they are) is somehow wrong or (I hate to say it) defective – as if who they are, how they live, love, laugh, or how they learn is not in accordance with a social norm – to which I say, to hell with the norm and to hell with the average. To hell with the common formations of people, places and things. Let me be me.
Or maybe I should say this to myself instead of you (no?).
I have watched people, myself included, become lost to emotional concepts that distract our focus and set us apart from our true authentic selves.
I say to hell with that.
Go color outside the lines, kid.
Dream. Think. Imagine.
Collect stickers or whatever it is you choose to do.
You be YOU!
I say it’s time to get back to passion – to be, think, feel and choose the life you want to live.
I went for it though. Last night, I mean.
Whether I was received or rejected, I don’t care because I let my youthful true-self come to the plate.
I let myself come forward as if to say “This is me!” and “This is who’ll you get!”
I get that perhaps I am being slightly vague on this, which is only because I have to be in such an open forum.
Then again, I don’t think the particular details are any more important than this – I decided to let it go.
I decided to play this hand, no matter what cards were dealt to me and I said: “I’m all in!”
The reason I celebrate this is because there is a theft that comes after our younger days when we think we have to live or act a certain way. There is the biggest theft of service, which somehow tricks us with lies that suggest we are less than or not good enough.
There comes a time when we no longer speak like young people speak and I get it.
No one wants to sing nursery rhymes in the boardroom, which by the way, maybe we should . . .
Maybe we should relieve the tension and rather than succumb to pressure; maybe we should get back to cookies and snack time.
Maybe a little juice box. Maybe a little game to break the tension of the day.
Maybe a jump rope challenge is in order. I don’t know the answer to this and I’m not sure who’s to say.
My point is that the tension can be pretty thick. And to me, nothing breaks the tension like hearing the words “Home-free-all” screamed out while you’re playing hide-n-seek.
This means it’s safe to come out now – and be your perfect authentic self.
Dear God – or to whomever is up there, out there, or if nowhere, Dear Universe; Dear Cosmos, or Mr. Fantasy, Mother Earth, Mother of All, or Dear Hope, Dear Me, Dear You, or to whom this may concern –
I am writing this to you, south of the hour of 5:00 am. Today is Friday and the weather is hot. I am asking for a break in the tension. I am asking for a moment of recess. Or maybe a game – it would be nice if it could happen.
I wish it could.
A game of kickball with no one else but players who choose to be youthful, who want to play, to run, to scream, to laugh, and above all else, to keep themselves dipped in the fountain of youth – which does exist. I swear it does. The secret is within us all.
Maybe we just need another bedtime story from Grandma.
Or maybe we need a good snack or something to break the tension – to keep us youthful.
Anyway, I am writing this before the sun wakes up and, to you, I promise this – no matter what happens, I plan to leave it all out there.
If I’m liked or not and if someone should look to pick teams again; if I’m picked first or even if I’m picked last, I’m going to play my best.
But more, I’m going to do my best to stay youthful.
Always . . .
This a sweet piece that I think many will agree with. It really made me emotional, and thinking about my kickball days really made me smile. Thank you for sharing this.