As many of you probably know, the poem/illustration above is that of Shel Silverstein’s.
I loved, loved, LOVED his books as a kid, but stumbling upon them now that I’m an “adult” always stops me in my tracks. I always think; “Did I ever understand these back then?” Yet they hold so much meaning to me now.
I think that today was a good day for me to stumble upon this poem. Lately I’ve been struggling trying not to doubt myself. My anxiety has been a little aggressive the past couple of days, so of course I’m wanting to re-think everything, and I feel all the progress I’ve made means nothing. But I’m doing my best to push those thoughts away and focus on the positive.
This poem hurt me a little today because it’s so incredibly true. Especially for a lot of children. A lot of parents want their kids to have a firm grasp of reality, it seems they often don’t notice that they might be shattering a child’s dream.
I was even more imaginative as a child than I am now. I made up many games, and to be honest, maybe I was weird. Maybe I did act in ways an adult mind find a little concerning. Is my child TOO imaginative? For whatever reasons the adults in my life had, I was often told to keep dreaming in a sarcastic tone. I was told my world and ideas were unrealistic. That I’d never make it in the real world.
I’m learning now that they were absolutely right. I won’t ever make in the “real” world. That’s not the world I want at all. If I can pretend my life is a game and all hopes and wishes; there’s nothing wrong with that. If I can imagine every day of work is a challenge like a Mario game to get to the next level, what’s the harm in that?
To be honest, when I’m in those moods; when I can use my imagination to change my reality; I’m much happier. I don’t think we all need to be gloomy stiffs to make it in the “real” world. I don’t want to always view the future and “adult” life as a drag. Yes, there will always be things I don’t want to do. Yeah, there’s going to be tons of challenges. But if I can conquer them in my own way, who can tell me I’m wrong?
No matter how weird or wrong someone may have told you you were back then, maybe even now, it’s never too late to grow those flowers back! That’s what the poem is missing. You can grow them back! It will be a hard process, but don’t lose yourself to others.
If you’re stuck wondering if you should follow the crowd or make your own path; do what will make you the happiest. Never settle for someone’s view of you.