I feel like there used to be more of us.

More of us in mismatched clothes from Goodwill, more of us spending our evenings over coffee or red wine with lots of candles around, more of us eager to hear new music or spend an afternoon just hitting a volleyball around for fun.

I feel like there were more of us who dreamed, who lived out of our deepest selves without the fear of what “society” or “the other parents” or our business clients would think.

I feel like when I was younger, more of us did what we felt to be right, said what we felt needed to be spoken, lived the way that made life feel alive.

I want to be that person again – who dresses in whatever she can find because she cares more about spending the afternoon on the lawn with friends than she does looking “professional,” who will drive hours to see someone she loves, who lays around evenings and listens to great music. I want to be her again.

Somehow, in the process of this thing called “growing up,” we lose our edges. Some of us have others sand them off – “You must wear a suit.” “Don’t be such an idealist.” “That’s not really appropriate behavior for a mom.” Some of us rub them off themselves – “What will my kids think of me?” “I’ll never find a husband if I shave my head.” “This is just what you do when you’re in your 30s.”

It seems to me that we don’t always get wiser with age. I think we get more fearful. We start to carry tasers in our purses and stop associating with the Moms who don’t wear the right clothes to the soccer games. We begin to spend lots of money on suits that we don’t even like so that we can blend in. We cut out our night out with the guys because someone said that a night of beer and laughs is childish. We soften ourselves down to bland dough.

Some would say this is maturity, but if it is, I’ll just pass, thanks.
Instead, I want to live my life full of dreams and risks. I want to toss on my dad’s old flannel and a torn pair of jeans and listen to the buskers on the Mall for two hours on a Thursday afternoon. I want to hear a young man sing and feel my soul rip apart a little because he is so true. I want to move to a farm and learn how to run a chain saw and sit with my puppy on my lap as I write.

I want to live in bright colors. Every day.

When we live full, I think it looks like this:*

How would you live if you weren’t bound up with what you were “supposed” to do at your age?

*Thanks to Alise and Tamara for pointing me to this song and back to myself.