An Explanation

I wrote this yesterday:

We grow up. Inevitably. Life demands so much from us, in that unrelenting and selfish way. We finish grade school, get an education from some upstanding college or university, and are expected along the way to get "real jobs" and figure out who we are as individuals. Meanwhile, there are the more practical problems of paying rent and bills, building and maintaining relationships, and all of our efforts seem to be localized at just trying to get both ends to meet; to keep our heads above water. Life never really wants to wait. For anything. It makes constant demands. So where, and when, and how, in the pursuit of meeting these demands are we supposed to figure out just who the hell we are and just what the hell do we wanna be "when we grow up." Even now, at 30 I still have to seriously wonder whether or not that I'm a grown up. Society has dictated that I am, but I certainly don't feel like one. I stay up later than I should, eat too much food that's bad for me, and - on occasion - make incredibly terrible choices. Surely, no responsible and well put together adult suffers from this affliction, do they? To those adults I say this ..."You're doing it wrong."

I don't usually defend my writing, but in the interest of trying to open a continuing dialogue, I feel that it's important to discuss it when something makes one of you uncomfortable, or my meaning isn't clear, or there is something you just wish I had made a little clearer. Please bear in mind that this is just my own humble opinion. You do not have to agree, and it cannot be taken as fact. 

What I am trying to say is that, even as adults, there has to be a way for us to be able to hold on to moments that fill us with childlike wonder. And the only way that we're going to recognize those moments is if we remember what it felt like to be that little kid. 

Perhaps my ability to love and share and revel in these moments is a product of how I grew up. Imagination and reading and playing and stories were a part of my life from a very young age. I started reading The Babysitter's Club, Goosebumps, Ramona and Beezus. My collection as a kid included Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, and a more than a few Sweet Valley High books. We were read countless Dr.Seuss books, Bernstein Bears. There were countless trips made the library - I spent hours there after school as a kid, looking at all those glorious shelves filled with countless and wondrous books, 

I remember that, when playing with one of my older brothers (he was He Man) I would pretend to be Shera. I had no idea who she was but with a name like Shera she had to be pretty kick ass. 

Anyway, all I'm basically trying to say is that people like me ... we connect dots. We think in abstracts and colors, while other think in logical A+B=C patterns, all in black and white. And that's okay. 

I was wrong to say that you're doing it wrong. You are living life as only you know how. Just as I am living life the only way that I can. The world needs people like me just as much as it needs people like you. We bring balance to one another. Your logic brings balance to our whimsy. I for one am not always a grounded person. While my feet are literally touching the ground, metaphorically speaking, my head is in the clouds busy with dreams. And it's easy to forget the Real World and it's problems and the calling of Real Life and sometimes we need a tug to bring us back.

Just, return us to the ground gently.

And when we return, we'll tell you about what we saw and dreamed and thought about while we were travelling in the clouds. And if you don't understand it all, that's okay. We'll live those moments for the two of us, just as long as you continue to love us, bear with us, and listen to us. We might not understand the logic and practicality of the way you see and encounter the world - and that's fine. As often we think in abstract, or the bigger picture, we are sometimes capable of looking at the practical way of the world, though it might be difficult for us at first. I'm not saying that you have dream dreams like we do. And I'm not saying that a practical life is a boring life. What I am trying to say is that, at times, just try to have a little fun. Infuse it with some small abstract, some tiny little dream, a little drop of color. And, if you cannot, or find that it is hard, then talk to us. We will lend you our dreams, tell you our stories, and maybe in the listening of them you might understand us just a little better, love us a little more.

But in the end, please ... 

Return us to the ground, gently.


  1. I'm still trying to figure out the definition of 'Real' and 'Dream.' Food for thought. Fodder for the old journal. All I know is that I had a better sense of Self as a child than I do now. Working on it.

  2. This is why many authors write middle grade and/or young adult fiction. We want to recapture those times when we had different pressures besides paying bills. There are difficulties at every age; Real Life intrudes no matter how old you are. But writing allows me (and others) a break from the pressures of now and a chance to play in the sandbox that was then.


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