Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forever Young

We are all forced to grow up. Getting older is hard, and there is simply no way around doing it. To quote Ben Folds, "Everybody knows It sucks to grow up and everybody does." We cannot slow down time, nor can we retrace our youthful steps. We all must grow up eventually.

However, just because we have to grow up does not mean we cannot, in some ways, stay young. In fact, I feel compelled to stay young. I believe that there are a few things no one should ever stop doing.

1. Build a fort
Design a palace that is uniquely yours. No, I am not necessarily talking sheets suspended by chairs, but I am talking haven. Pick a room, a nook or a corner and claim it as yours. Then, design it as you choose and fill it with things that make you happy. Finally, go to that place for inspiration and refuge. (Repeat final step daily or as necessary.)

2. Take a nap
I do not nap very often. Instead, I try to push through my midday sleepiness until bedtime. However, there is something nostalgic and energizing about naps that makes me wish I allowed more time for them more often. Get up early, be ridiculously productive all morning and then hop back into bed a few hours later. (Note: this is best done on weekends or in offices that support nap time -- let me know if you hear of any.) You will be amazed at how refreshing and revitalizing afternoon slumbers can be. Remember, their ability to erase grumpiness is the reason Mom made you take them daily. Naps never lost their power, we simply stopped believing in them.

3. Dream BIG
When I was little, I dreamt of becoming a professional soccer player, an author and a movie star. Yes, all at the same time. After a while, I gave up on those dreams because I thought they were too elaborate (and because my soccer skills peaked at age 9). But now I realize that we should never stop making goals that seem too big or too far out of reach. No, we cannot do everything we set our minds to, but we can certainly do most of it.

4. Play pretend
Act like you are someone else; dress, talk and walk like a person you admire. Channel the confidence of Cameron Diaz, the humor of Chelsea Handler and the drive of Barbara Walters. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, so honor your role models by pretending to be them. Become great by acting great.

This could be you (kinda)

5. Eat dessert

. . . without worrying how it will affect your figure.

6. Wear weird clothes
For some reason that will never be known, my mom let me pick out my own outfits from the age of 5 and on. Needless to say, I wore Disney-themed shoes and patterned leggings a lot. I am certainly not suggesting you go that route, but I am suggesting you be fearless with fashion. Try out new trends, be inspired by art or music and wear bright colors. Somewhere along the way, you will develop your own amazing and unique style.

Sometimes it's OK to act like a kid, to act like the world is yours for the taking and like you have all the time in the world to take it.

So get out your crayons, channel your inner 6-year-old, draw a map of the world and then conquer it.

Stay young.


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