When I got home from a late shift a few nights ago, smelling like stale popcorn and preserved Sheep Brains(more on that later), he was waiting in the driveway with a look of glee on his face and said to me....
"Wanna go look for frogs?"
Unfortunately a series of cars driving by terrified the usually loud frogs nearby into silence, and we weren't able to track them down with our little flashlight in the middle of the night. That's besides the point, the point being, no matter how small the event, I love that he asked me to do something I haven't done since I was about 10 years old. When I was a kid, we used to go look for frogs all the time, and I don't really remember why I ever stopped. Childishness is fantastic, oh so healthy, and extremely gratifying.
One of my fondest memories from this past week has been throwing around a giant beach ball in my friend Alissa's house with a bunch of my good friends. We knocked over glass candle holders, tipped lamps over, caused a bloody nose, and showered ourselves with ceiling popcorn... but hot damn it was so much fun.
Maybe it's because I love spring, and seeing the wildflowers blooming all over the place have put me in a really good mood lately, but I just feel really happy. I think I have been realizing in the last week or so, exactly what a good decision I made in going back to school. Cheesy as it is, as I was driving to school on Tuesday, top down and radio up playing Priscilla Ahn's Dream (so cliche it makes me sick,lol), and I was trying to sing along to the music, I couldn't because I kept getting really choked up. I couldn't stop smiling. I feel like a little part of myself has been muffled for years, the part of me that was so sure of what I wanted to do with my life as a child.
For me, growing up has been a journey to reunite my "adult" self with my childhood self. It's hard to demonize the path I was on, towards Big City life in the film/animation industry. The animation industry is full of delightful people, and going into film is already considered a dreamy thing to do... I felt mildy rebellious and like I was taking a chance on living the dream, but it just wasn't MY dream. It was not me. I tried to convince myself I would love living downtown, moving to New York, going out dancing, making movies... The majority of my life I had wanted to work with animals, there was no question. And somewhere along the way I decided I might try out film, because I might be good at it, I love making art, I really enjoyed editing my own home movies, and it seemed romantic. But I always wondered why I had to try and force myself to work even though I enjoyed what I eventually produced... albeit in that very gradeschool "look ma! I finished my school project! Aren't you proud?" Kind of way.
At heart I am someone who gets the greatest joy out of sitting in the woods with the people I love, laughing at rabbid racoons, riding horses, and letting my long hair get tangled and muddy. I am not naive enough to think every single day is going to be a walk in the park on my new path, that it is all daisies and fluffy bunnies... but I am sincerely enjoying the path now, and I am not having to force myself to work toward it to eventually enjoy some end. It's almost comical how identical my new wants match up with those that I had when I was 10 years old.
The child in me was right all along.