On Instagram, you post a photo of yourself with closed eyes, arms spread wide, hair blown by the wind, in your cute adventure outfit. In this photo, you are probably at the beach, or at the top of the mountain, or in a new city in another part of the world. The caption says something in the lines of “Never lose your childlike wonder”.
It is a five-day long weekend for everyone in the city. In other days, that could have also been me. But this time I decide to stay at home in the suburbs through (almost) all those days, without any plans. In this era of filled calendars, that is an awful long time with barely anything setup. Life as an adult is a collection of lists of things that must be done – things to do, errands to run, muscles to gain, inboxes to empty, eyebrows to pluck, children to run after, money to earn, occasions to attend, places to go. But this weekend is mine. I am free to be bored, to stare at the ceiling, let my thoughts wander, read a good book, or play with the dogs all morning and afternoon.
It’s so refreshing. I haven’t felt this way since summer in school. As a kid, I would wake up excited, and all there is to think about is play. Will I be playing hide and seek, or agawan base, or with Lego? Will there be dragonflies to catch outside at 4:00 in the afternoon? And when all is done, I’d lie down thinking that I’m so bored – what else can we do? In high school I would lock myself up in my room, turn up the volume of the stereo, and jump on my bed. What was the point of doing that? But then again, what would have been the point of not doing that?
Sometimes I’d stay in my room until sundown, practicing tunes on my guitar all day long – John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Incubus. I’d attempt to scribble songs, poems, ramblings in notebooks; I would paint, draw, record myself, break my computer apart – anything and everything. I sucked most of the time, by the way. But it didn’t matter. I remember in college, my mom would knock on the door asking why I was listening to tribal songs. I was practicing Capoeira, and trying to move around without making any sound on our wooden floor.
My sister has this habit of asking what our plans are on weekends. For the past consecutive days, I’ve responded with ‘nothing’. I’d wake up early in the morning, and stare at the blue sky from my window. I’ll stay in bed and read a book for another hour before going down the stairs to meet a very excited beagle. That normally means I cannot eat breakfast in silence unless we play, so we play. After which, I can enjoy a slow breakfast while chatting with whoever’s downstairs. Then I do my own type of play, which consists of a few movement exercises I’ve discovered the night before. I realize it’s fun, so I’ll do a few more until I smell the food cooking and my stomach grumbles for lunch. I’d watch videos on YouTube about dog training, and I couldn’t wait to try it so I’d go out with the dog to end up all sweaty again. And should a friend ask if I could go out, I’ll say it depends, and I could decide on the last minute.
It’s so simple but it feels like absolute freedom. To have so much space. To be able to adjust by the minute, to do things a little longer or shorter as I please. Not that I don’t have, as a normal adult, a list of things that must be done. I have simply chosen to free up this time for myself. Not at the beach, or at the top of the mountain, or in a new city in another part of the world. But here, at home, just as I did in the summers of my childhood days. And in the midst of this, I wonder if this is actually what it takes to “never lose your childlike wonder”.