Friday, August 14, 2009

Another Year Older


So it came to pass that I am a year older, not really a year wiser, and for all the hub bub I feel… about the same.

The last few weeks had seemed rough, dark, not quite so happy. I felt old. I figured it was the approached of the dreaded birthday. I’m not sure why it was dreaded, but it was. The feeling grew heavier and heavier with each passing day, each second that ticked closer to that fateful day was like the tolling of some horrid bell.

Only then did I realize that it was not the impending doom of my birthday which had had worn me down till I was but a nub of myself. I didn’t feel old because of another year being tacked on. I had felt old all these weeks because my imagination had seemed to forsake me. As a painter, an aspiring writer, my imagination had always been there for me. It was a close friend, a confidant, a secret love, and it had vanished. I looked at clouds and merely saw water vapor hanging in the sky, I saw no patterns forming the hidden faces of wood nymphs and ancient tree spirits in the leaves and bark of the forest trees. My imagination had left me to wander, and without it I was lost. I blamed my birthday for surely getting older meant sooner or later you must give up your imagination, you must give up the thoughts of fancy that delighted you in your youth.

Then suddenly the day before there was a change in the breeze, a shift in the winds of my mind. A light switched on in my brain, and the darkness vanished. I found myself humming, and then whistling, and finally singing with all my might. What was I singing you might ask? Well, I was singing “I won’t grow up” from Peter Pan. I found it odd at first that I would have such a tune in my head. I hadn’t seen the movie in years. Why then did the song find its way to the surface of my brain on this the day before my birthday. The answer is really very simple. I needed it. I needed it then more than ever before. I was forcing myself to grow up, with all the dieting and have to’s and schedule of this and that, and it was my minds way of bringing me back, of reminding me that I don’t have to grow up if I don’t want too.

Then just like that, my friends were back, I could see the smiling faces in the leaves and the bark, I could see the hungry dragons flying in the clouds. My imagination had returned. Although in hind sight it had never left me, I had left it. The world had been so dark without my dear friend and now it was light again. All because I accepted that I wouldn’t grow up. Another year meant nothing. It was a day in which to celebrate, to rejoice at staving off old age. You are only old if you believe you are old, if you let others believe you are old.

Say no, stay young, keep the wonder of a child. Remember your oldest friend, it was there for you before you could even know it was, and if you call, it will return. Let your imagination run away with you for a bit. Look into the clouds and see what you find, see how many goblins you can see hiding in the patterns of your bathroom tile. What is their story? You might be surprised to find you feel much younger when you dust off your old friend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A little bit o' happy

It is back. My dream, my vision, my ambition. Today I will reread all I have written thus far, and perhaps even begin upon a new expedition into the dark and oft perilous world I have begun to create.

I spoke with someone today, someone I had not spoken too in some time. It was for lack of a better word, enlightening. I said something to him, which upon reflection, I needed to apply with the utmost haste to my own life. I told him "You have to be happy for yourself, and cannot let others affect your happiness." Simple words really, but each day we all let so many outside forces determine if we will be happy. Shouldn't we be the judge of that? Granted, occasionally we all need time to feel sad, or mad, or just plain down. What would happiness be without those to make it all the brighter? What is crimson or sapphire, if all the world is in shades of grey?

As of late I had felt myself... dwindling, as it were. My mind drifted from project to project, never settling on any one thing to do, never getting excited about anything I did. I thought it was just a down day, clearly it would go away. I forced myself to move on, to smile the smile, walk the walk. Each day became much like the one before it, all fading into nothing, nothing accomplished. Then I realized I had let others affect me to such an extent that I was no longer in control of my own happiness. I had let missed plans, broken promises, and unreliability, all affect my happiness. I was lost, a ship being tossed along the waves like Neptune's plaything. I had to find my way back to land, to set my feet once again upon solid ground.

So as of now, I take back my happiness. It is in my keeping. I will smile because it is what I feel, and not that which I should do. I will write, because I want to, because I want to see my world come to life, because I want to show myself I am good enough to do this. Not for anyone else, not for those that have doubted, not for those who may have at any point naysayed, but for me. I do what I do for me. Until I can be happy for me what good am I to those around me?

In the end, we are all in charge of our own happiness, outside forces come and outside forces go. You are the one true constant in your life. If you are as lucky as I am, you have found your soul mate and you have one other constant on which you can rely. In this ever changing world, only you can make yourself happy. So be happy and make your happiness all your own.