Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Naked Disguise

Being that my blog (and the working title of my manuscript) is called 'Childish Things,' I am apparently interested in, and an advocate of, all things that allow the imagination to run wild. Too often in life, as we progress from childhood to adulthood, we are encouraged to put away childish things and behave a little more maturely, a lot more seriously, and focus solely on the mechanics of day to day functioning at the expense of the occasional daydream or wish fulfilment fantasy.

We tend to be extremists that way. As young kids we can go nuts and create whole worlds in our minds (even build castles and forts with the cushions off our sofa), yet once we cross that imaginary line, the world drains itself of every colour to become harsh in its black, white and predominantly grey tones.

We equate seriousness with maturity and using imagination with being somewhat naive and childish. At least, that's the face we show to the world.


Have you ever noticed how older teens and adults regress - cut loose, if you will - once they're given official permission? A couple of examples in my life have occurred these last two Saturdays. Both were 40th birthday celebrations - one was a Red Party (wear anything red), and the other party's theme was Hat, Wig and Hairpiece (you can kinda guess what that involved).

Suddenly, well respected, somewhat serious, intelligent professionals (I work with a few) happily regress to their younger, cheekier and more energetic selves and lose their inhibitions. Usually, alcohol is the elixir of regression in adults, but it's not the same. For one, it's inherently messier and it dulls the senses. So when a simple hat, hideous mullet wig (my choice) or splash of color is donned, you get the same looseness without the groggy repercussions. Basically, you 'play' once more.

Adults don't play, you might say. It sounds a little strange. Perhaps it does. In reality, it's just a label for a feeling that comes naturally to all kids (big and small) when the timing and circumstance are right. The fact that I was in a roomful of adults who were having a ball, dancing up a storm, exchanging hats, wigs and tiaras as the night grew young is all the proof that I need that ALL humans (and animals by the way) play, regardless of their age. Call it whatever you want, but strip the euphemism away and that's what we're all doing.

If it takes a disguise or accessory to get to the real 'you' beneath the role you assume in society, then I say why not? And if you're a young kid or a teen reading this entry, never let your ability to play slip away.

I guarantee you'll be happier for it.

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