It was raining as I drove my car down the street the other day. The world looked positively gloomy. I was just about to play that old record in my head about how dismal British weather is when suddenly, a flash of colours caught my eye. I was mesmerised as I watched a group of about five or six young people in their mid-teens making their way down the street. Their hair was peacock blue, they wore neon, paint splattered t-shirts, vibrant “Hoodies” and skin tight jeans. It was not just their beautiful, funky clothing that caught my attention, but the way in which they were moving. They seemed to dance rather than walk down the pavement, they swirled around to face each other as they spoke, they jumped on each others back, nudged each other and linked arms. They stopped for a while on the corner of the street. One of the girls jumped up to sit on the edge of a wall, only to leap into the outstretched arms of her boyfriend a minute later.
I parked the car and hoped I would catch up with the gang to ask if I could take a picture of them, but they were gone. All day I carried the image of this colourful group of young people in my minds eye. Something about their spontaneity and playfulness moved me. I felt a joyfulness return to my own step as I walked down the street with my daughter, as well as a great desire to dye my hair peacock blue immediately. I also started to ponder on how serious most of us have become as we grow into being what society calls, “Adults”.
When did being an Adult become so Boring?.
Later, my daughter asked me, “How come you don’t laugh much mum? I hardly ever see you laughing”, I smiled at the wonder of how my children always seem to know my thoughts, “Oh, I thought I did!” I replied. The truth is, I DO laugh a lot, but I knew my daughter was picking up on something much more obvious – that as an adult I was not having enough fun. Most of the time, I am caught up in the seriousness of the adult world trying hard to be a responsible “Grown up“. A friend of mine admitted to me the other day, that she does not feel like a proper grown up compared to some other adults she meets. I also share the same feeling. In fact, many of my friends feel this way maybe that is why we are friends- all us “Non proper grown ups” sticking together.
Who said, being a grown up means you have to be serious?
Who said, you can no longer dance down the street, dye your hair peacock blue and leap from walls into your boyfriend’s or husband’s arms after sixteen years old?
Playfulness is something seriously lacking in most of our adult lives. A few years ago, I remember seeing a man in his late twenties wearing a suit and tie, carrying a skate board towards the skate park. I noticed, my judgement of him as not being a proper grown up. When he reached the park, he was greeted by the younger skaters with one of those “Cool” handshakes young people do. He then headed up to the top of the half pipe, took off his jacket, loosened his tie, stood on his skate board and took off. I watched, as the man stepped out of the burden of being in the adult world and right there, on that half pipe, he came home to himself.
So what will bring us all back to ourselves, back to our playfulness? I believe, we may need to gather all our courage and dare to step out of the what a proper grown up is suppose to be and for heaven sake, have more fun….Disco Rollerskating anyone?