I’ve come across a few things lately that have left me thinking, why did I ever stop doing that?, which has led to, why do we grow out of things?, which brought me to my 2016 mantra: discover and rediscover.
I have been in Asheville for about six and a half years now. What I love about this city is how much I discover and rediscover about it and myself in this wonderful place almost every day. (Kind of like my personal style, which I discover and rediscover constantly.) I’ve only been a student and an employee here. But how do I be more than that? How do I be more than a stressed, busy, 25-year-old just trying to do my best every day navigating adulthood?
When I was little, I colored pictures for everyone–grandmomma and granddaddy’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my aunts and uncles, my babysitters, for my teacher on the last day of school. It was a thoughtful and personable gesture–like, “yeah I put thought into what picture to color for you and I even stayed inside the lines.” I got to a point where I started free-hand drawing and sketching pictures of my family, animals, and re-creating characters in books (and I am no artist). I got super ambitious and created books from scratch for my sister and helped her learn how to read. (Talk about a good big sister.)
I am trying to remember what age I stopped coloring, but more importantly–why? Why did I grow out of it? And where has my sense of creativity, like making my own books, gone? Could I even write a children’s book anymore? Why did I stop wearing bows in my hair?
My former roommate/BFF and I were at the grocery store and passed by the card/office/magazine section when we saw coloring books–all we had to do was look at each other to know we were bringing one home. (Because #adultcoloring is a real thing.) The energy that came over us just by seeing the coloring books was pure happiness. It was that kind of energy that makes you forget about last month’s bill being late or that deadline you have to meet at work tomorrow… or should have met yesterday.
From new routes to my favorite places, hiking trails (I still have a lot of those to get to), new and old restaurants, coffee shops–Asheville is a place that constantly sparks new energy in me, helping me rediscover my love for life daily. I was on my way to a new doughnut shop one day in west Asheville (an area I go frequently). One drive-by and I spotted a wall I’d never seen before: Play every day. I felt energized by this spot that was new to me. It was like rediscovering a part of me and discovering a new connection to the place I now call home–just because of this wall. But why?
Play every day.
It was like the coloring book–the feelings and memories it brought back. This wall reminded me of my youth–a part of myself I haven’t experienced in Asheville before (or a part of me that Asheville hasn’t experienced before). When did we grow out of our youth and become too old to play? I don’t think we really ever do, it’s just where our energy goes through the stages of life and growing up–it’s hard to keep track of where that energy is going before we’ve gotten lost in it.
Discover and rediscover. Play every day.
Color pictures–for yourself, for your co-worker, for anyone. Go out of the lines, or if you’re like me, stay in the lines. Wear bows, try a new outfit, write thank you notes, dig into your childhood memories and rediscover the simplicity of your creativity and life around you. But most importantly, just remember to play. Play every day. Once you do that, the bills and deadlines will work themselves out. But we have to take care of ourselves before we take care of anyone else. If we take ourselves too seriously, we find ourselves asking, “what’s the point,” right?
What’s your personal mantra? I want to know what inspires you! XOXO
Play every day. The best, and simplest, reminder ever.