I’ve lived in the same house my whole life, so when my parents officially put it up for sale this week, I felt a little sad. As much as I adore their new place in the country, moving is a huge change–and change usually makes us uneasy, even when it’s for the best.
In preparation for showing the house, I’ve been spending many hours sorting through my closet, which is full of mementos from my childhood (I guess I’m one of those nostalgic people who never wants to throw anything away). When it came to toys and clothes, my little cousins took much of the clutter off my hands (“Do you want this!? Can I have it?”). But the best treasures I dug up when clearing my closet were my creative writing pieces from my childhood and teenage years. I always wrote for fun, and this included short stories, song lyrics, comic strips, and beginnings of little novels. Reading through all this, I found myself genuinely impressed with the creativity and writing ability I had as a child. The stuff is actually good!
When I started college, I stopped writing for fun and lost a lot of the creativity and imagination I used to have. Don’t we all? We reach a point where it seems like a waste of time to daydream. It seems like a waste of time to write unless we’re getting paid to. Growing up is hard on the creative mind. By the time I took creative writing and screenwriting my junior year of college, I had difficulty coming up with story ideas. In this instance, the 10-year old me was much better than the 20-year old me.
The other day, I was calling out spelling words to my little cousin when I noticed she had stopped writing for several moments. “What’s wrong, do you need help?” I asked. She snapped up and replied, “Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming! What did you say?” It was the most adorable thing ever.
Be young at heart, they say. Maybe I’ve been having trouble with this concept. Lucky for me, there was also a small unused journal in my train-wreck of a closet. I’ve decided to keep it in my purse so I can now write at every chance I get. And I’m also going to allow myself to indulge in the occasional daydream, make up fictional characters, and take time to write things that may never get published, just for the fun of it.