Tasting the Air... Revisited

Thursday, December 8, 2011

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I caught myself daydreaming today.  I suppose this is the effect that comes when you get frustrated with your work and you start thinking about where your true dreams are hiding.  My dream has always been to open a children's book shoppe & tea room. I have had it planned out to every minute detail (the only change has been from my younger years wanting it in New York City to now as an adult envisioning it in a coastal Maine village)... and yet it remains just a dream.  I simply wonder if this will actually come to fruition one day... it is surely within my power to change the course of my life- can I do it?

All of this daydreaming took me back to a post I once wrote under the guise of "Phantasmagorical Literarium" (one of my MANY blog attempts- I still love the name!)  I wrote this as a guest blogger for Destination: Unknown.  It sort of inspired me to embrace the future like a child again.  I want to remember that feeling once more and put into action a plan to honestly follow what I know in my heart is my true destiny...

Originally posted September 2010 and titled "Tasting the Air"

"Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them." ~Dr. Seuss

Yes, the great Theodore Geisel said the hell with adults and I completely agree. We complain, we worry, we dissect every look or word from another person and try to manipulate it into some meaning that will either help us or hurt us as we climb the proverbial "ladder of success" that won't necessarily reach a hill of beans in our lifetime. If there is at least one thing I have learned from my few great successes and even greater screw-ups as an adult, it is the fact that once we reach a certain age we completely forget about the very joy there is in living - in playing - in tasting the air around us to find the silly flavor of the day!

Okay, you are probably thinking I'm a complete nut- which, for the most part I will agree with that assessment. I am also a woman who has been to hell and back (the darkest of depressions, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, the list is too long to keep going...) and I have learned on this journey that life is so worth the living if you simply stop and take a moment to look around. In a time when we have it made so easy that, technologically speaking, we don't even have to take one foot outside and interact with the rest of the world because it can all be brought to our doorstep with the push of a button, we should look for the simpler things in this life that will connect us with all that has been before and all that is still yet to be.

Yes, I seem to be waxing philosophical today. To be honest I think it has to do with the time I was given on Friday to volunteer in my Wild Child's class. What an eye opener! As a former teacher I knew a little of the madness I was to expect when walking into a classroom of 20 four-year-olds. What I didn't expect was how, at such a young age, this group of children were wiser in their playtime than the time I have spent lately with other adults. Truly. The innocence of sharing, of being relatively color-blind and accepting of all who come into their little world, of smiling with not only their little mouths (something we all do when we must but have learned to fake) but also the purest intention of smiling with their eyes... now that is a sight to behold. I get a taste of it from my munchkin, but when you multiply that by twenty- well, let's just say that for that brief moment I could see the future and know that this world might have a fighting chance of being a good place again.

Ah, but the cynic in me comes out... the adult in me starts to tear at that pretty picture... yes, they are innocent and lovely now- but give them a few years and the darker side of the world will creep in and turn them too. As old FDR once said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." and it is indeed fear of the unknown that makes children grow up to be the adults that Dr. Seuss said to hell with. So, is this an endless cycle that cannot be stopped? Do we have to allow the anger of the world around us seep into our own skin to make us turn into angry adults who end up raising angry and fearful children? I certainly hope not.

As I said before, I am taking the time now- before it is too late- to taste the air and find the joy. I want to raise my own daughter to believe that anything is possible in this life... I am slowly but surely working on making my life better so that as she grows we can grow together enjoying everything that the world has to offer; I want to learn from her how to see and accept again. Some may call this action a little crazy- a little naive; regardless, I would rather look outside my door with love for what I see than a sort of prejudice for my surroundings- the people and the places. The choice is completely mine- the choice is completely yours- for how you want to live your life... to be the obsolete child or to be a person who still believes that no day should go by without learning something new- without finding the excitement of being alive!

I believe my sister, Nicole, has mentioned this quote by Mavis Leyrer before, and I will continue to work at living by it as well-

"Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy shit, what a ride!”

I do believe Dr. Seuss would approve of that statement as well!


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