There is a childlike wonder that starts dwindling the moment you realize the fantastical stories you grew up with are just that—stories. Expectations of a “responsible” life and “successful” career creep in as soon as grades in school start to matter. The magic, the awe, the whimsy, begins to fade.
Shame, guilt, fear, insecurity—they all play their role, too. With age comes an awareness of imperfection, an ability to compare to others. As years pass, we collect failures, hangups, and bad habits. The child within us becomes more of a stranger, and we fall into our role as a “mature” adult.
I’m reminded of this tragic trend every time I have a chance to take off my “busy, hardworking, responsible, mature, adult” hat and replace it with the much lighter hat of my youth—a wizard’s hat, Mickey Mouse ears, a Batman mask or cape.
I guess I’m feeling nostalgic of my youth this morning. Lacie and I both share a love of the Harry Potter series and spent last Friday at the McWane Center for “An Evening at Hogwarts.” We had a suspicion we might be hanging out with a bunch of kids all night, but there were just as many adults there geeking out, too.
It was refreshing to pull my mind away from monthly sales targets, finances, and schedules and allow the kid to come back to the surface. It’s why I love to travel to new places. The same excitement, unfamiliarity and need to learn and adapt we feel so much as a child comes right back.
It reminds me that the best things aren’t really all that complicated. It just requires a willingness to step away from the norm, the never ending expectations, and the schedules every once in a while and step back into the wonder that came so easily as a kid.