An open letter to ...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The grumpy old people around town. 

Dear Fun Suckers, 

I see you watching me as I play on the slide with my brothers, frowning behind your daggy sun glasses. I see you scolding me as we roll down hills, staining our clothes with the deep green of the wet grass. I hear you scoff as Maiya and I dance in the aisles of the supermarket to tacky 80's songs. I see your looks of disapproval as we giggle in restaurants - sometimes laughing so hard that we choke and tears stream from our eyes. And as my brother and I are walking through the park I see your criticism as we jump in the puddles, completely saturating our clothes and shoes.

Yes, I have thought immensely about when is a good time to grow up. When is the right time to be serious, and to appreciate things like crocheted tea pot covers? When should I stop laughing so much that a little bit of wee comes out? Is eighteen really the age I should grow up? Says who? 


I have reached a conclusion. 
WHY should anyone have to grow up? Why do I have to become serious and boring, and wear frumpy clothes and sensible shoes. I have decided that life is too short, and that the only way to get through all the bad things that happen is to focus on the good. It is hard to cry tears of anger, frustration and self pity when you are too busy laughing at yourself for farting at the traffic light and proclaiming it loudly so that everyone in a five car radius hears you and turns your way.

All you cold hearted people out there, it is time to see that the world is a fun place to be. Life is all about loving and laughing. It is about having fun, and not growing old before your time. 

I love to laugh. I live to laugh. 

I happen to like licking lolly pops until my tongue is rainbow and dancing in the rain. I happen to like smooching in the leaves, and turning it into a leaf fight. I happen to like playing on the swings and pretending that I can fly, jumping in puddles and riding scooters. I happen to like picking flowers just to make someone smile. 

I am sorry if these things offend you, fuddy duddies, but I think they are fun. It is the little things in life such as these that make me happy. They make me smile. You are just fun suckers if you ask me not to eat ice cream for breakfast. When did my diet become your concern?

You may tsk tsk and huff at us, and mutter about "the youth of today" under your breaths. But take a closer look at the youths of today. We are having fun. We are celebrating life. We are rejoicing in the brilliance of the world. We are happy! 

So next time you think about telling us to slow our scooters down, or to blow smaller bubbles with our gum, think about what you are doing. You were young once. What made you grow up so quickly? Don't you remember Peter Pan? It's time his philosophy on life came back into play. 

Sometimes it's ok to laugh really loud. It is ok to have a paint fight. It is ok to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. And it is ok to not take life so seriously. Sometimes it is ok not to "grow up". 

So, next time I see you, scowling and frowning at me, I am going to sing louder, ride my scooter faster, blow HUGE bubbles with my gum, and jump in every puddle that I see. Stand back - I might even splash you! You can give me your condemning stares, and frown your biggest frown. You can purse your lips like you're sucking a lemon and make tutting noises. But as for me?

I'm going to fly back to Neverland. 

Yours sincerely, 

Peter Pan Jr.

Oh! The Places You'll Go

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lately i have been thinking about the book that Tracey and my tutor gave me when i left St Pats - Oh! The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. 

When i was getting ready to graduate people said to me about how different my life would be, and how i would never see most of the people from school ever again. 

I brushed it off, knowing they were wrong. My life will be the same in the new year as it was in grade 12. The same friends, the same places to hang out, the same hopes and dreams. Yes, we would be at Uni instead of College, but really, how much of a change could it be? 

We laughed off the people who assured us that they haven't seen some of their friends since the day they graduated - what fools! This will never happen to us. Our friendships too precious, our bonds too strong.

I again laughed at the people who told me that life goes by incredible quickly and if you are not careful it will pass you by completely! I thought myself too aware to let this happen.

Teachers, parents, friends and family promised us a life ahead filled with endless possibilities, countless opportunities and lots of FUN! ... 

Dr. Seuss tells us this too, and his wording is perfect.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

I thought about where i am going in life, and what i want to do. I thought about my friends and how they will always be there and we will do this all together.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

Somehow things have become completely different overnight... Friends moved away, people changed and time is going faster than ever. Suddenly the people who were my best friends have become little more than mere acquaintances in the street. And the faces of the kids i smiled to in the corridor, that i vowed to remember forever, have become nothing more than distant memories. 

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

There has been a shift and life is now incredibly different. The tectonic plates in my little world have shifted and suddenly everything is off balance, and i am working to put it right again - this time on my own. Trying new things and walking down 'streets that are not marked' feeling that i had no places to go.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

And then somehow the planets align, and I have found a balance between Uni and Tafe, and i am enjoying and am happy with both... I have made some new friends and things really are fun! I am thinking about my hopes and dreams and am looking forward to working towards fulfilling them.

There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. 

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.  

Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

Of course there is still that dull ache for the familiar - the comfort and routine of St Pats and the easy friendships that were there. Life was simple, and almost everything handed out on silver platters. 

The ache to fit in and to compete with others has now disappeared. There is great comfort in the feeling that i can be my complete self and that others don't judge or ridicule. People accept that each of us are unique and celebrate this. Things in that regard have become simple and clear. 

It has been easy to doubt that i can't do the things i dream about (photography), but when i doubt i turn back to Dr. Seuss and remember the words that were written and somehow they apply to me and remind me that life is moving on, whether i like it or not. 

And it is just wonderful and fun and yuck and happy and sad and crazy and fast and slow and awesome all at once. 
And i am finally on the road that makes me feel like that is ok, and that maybe, just maybe, with a little altering and adapting of myself, all of my hopes and dreams really can come true.  

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

(words from Dr. Seuss' book found Here. The order was changed to suit the purpose of this blog post.) 
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