“If growing up means it would be beneath me to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!”
(J.M Barrie, Peter Pan)
Uh oh. I’ve grown up.
No matter how many times I turn up to family events in the same outfit as a toddler, no matter how much fun I have with spaghetti, no matter how excited I get about a gift shop (NOVELTY PENCIL SHARPENERS! TOYS! THIMBLES!), I am still, reluctantly, a grown adult person human being twenty-something individual now.
It’s not fair.
There is no place for building dens. I’m not allowed to cry when the soap gets in my eyes. Egg boxes are not toys, nap time might as well be illegal, and it’s increasingly difficult to find an excuse to talk about my favourite character from The Clangers.
It’s a punch in the face when you realise. That green tea is now a part of your daily life. And you often wish it was wine. You’ve stopped weighing yourself as it’s just painful. You’ve also stopped waiting for your Hogwarts letter. You relate to F.R.I.E.N.D.S on a genuine level. They are no longer living your future. They are living your present. In better houses with more pizza. You think about Enid Blyton books a lot and wonder why you never found your faraway tree or solved a mystery. Chopping vegetables is now fun. So is Tupperware. You find yourself missing the most peculiar things, like the magic shoe measure from Clarks, sleeping lions, and rainbow drops. You have a genuine interest in politics.
At some point you have been addicted to Berocca. You envy the flexibility of babies and wonder why moving your body feels like cement. You know at least four people with IBS. The same excitement you used to get from an after-school treat you now get from a new fairy liquid scent. You own an iron. You worry about things like the future of dairy farms and increases in medical prescription charges. Potato smileys are retro. You are aware of the sugar content of cereal. You eat halloumi and spinach regularly. You know the different yoga poses and can get quite competitive. And you can’t help but feel like the average birthday night out would be a lot more fun if you got to go home with a party bag.
It calls for rebellion. I’m doing a Peter Pan. I’m not ready for a life of quinoa and credit ratings. I’m finding my pixie dust and bringing back the magic. We need to find our own path in the stars.
Start small. Eat Quavers more. Watch Bagpuss once a week. Buy a hula hoop. Make a sandcastle. Run like a crazy alien. Get some novelty straws. There’s room for some Plasticine on your desk. Daydream. Slurp spaghetti. Decide on your favourite dinosaur. Ask ‘Why?’ to simply everything. Learn something new everyday. Love the little things. Look around. Sing. Smile. Dance. We can have it both ways. Nap time and success. Party hats and thinking caps. Herbal tea and Nesquik. Fuzzy felt and laundry.
Let’s follow the fairytale that never gets old. The quinoa can wait.
“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
(J.M Barrie, Peter Pan.)
Photo credit: Paperchase, postcard.