Remember when you were a child, when using your imagination was a natural state of being? When each day was filled with possibility?
You could be a princess in a castle one moment, slay a dragon (princesses are brilliant, beautiful and tough, you know!), then travel to the moon, and then, after snacktime, create the most fantastic fort out of a cardboard box, pillows and blankets. All in the space of a morning.
Come to think of it, that sounds creative, productive and fun. Oh, we have much to learn from kids.
My parents used to subscribe to National Geographic Magazine. We had stacks around the house. It was the stuff of dreams. I’d pore over them for hours, imagining myself visiting the fantastic places I saw on the glossy pages.
When I was nine I went on a school trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the King Tut exhibit. I was smitten. That was it, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Of course, seeing the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark a year later – ah, Harrison Ford (*sigh*) – only reinforced the glamour of it.
Image source: Google Images.
I also wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic, seeing and documenting incredible cultures and landscapes.
When you’re a child, anything is possible. Children don’t impose the limits on themselves that adults do. You know, like: that’s not even possible; it’s irresponsible; it’s too expensive and there are bills to pay; what would people think? and so on.
In university I went on an archaeological dig for six weeks at a Maya site called Cahal Pech in Belize, Central America. It was an amazing experience. I can’t say I still want to be an archaeologist, but I got to experience first-hand what I had previously only read about in books or seen in museums. Awesome.
A grownup is a child with layers on. ~Woody Harrelson
What if we took some time to peel back the heavy, burdensome layers we carry, and allowed ourselves to imagine what we’d like to do or try if there were no limits?
Part of me would still love to be a photojournalist. But in reality, there’s nothing stopping me from taking pictures when I travel and writing about my experiences.
Now it’s your turn… dust off that grey matter and think back to when you were a child. What was something you really, really wanted to do? Explore the possibilities, even for a few minutes, and ignore that voice inside you that tells you all the reasons you “can’t” or “shouldn’t.”
You could go back to school. Or try flying lessons. Learn to swim. Try horseback riding. Sing in front of an audience. Go to a castle. (leave the dragon-slaying to the imaginary princesses though, please). Charter a boat. Visit the Great Wall of China.
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s your life and it’s precious. What would you choose to do with it?