I get on the bus this morning and as always things come to mind when you see different people passing you by. So this kind of sloppy kid gets on. Kind of a skater-type. He’s got his “uniform” on for life today. Airwalks shoes, huge hooded sweatshirt, unkempt hair, baggy jeans, backpack. I’ve got my corporate garb on. Standard fare. Tan Dockers, brown shoes, blue and white poplin shirt, scarf, navy blue coat and the standard North Face backpack with a book and blackberry in it. Ipod locked and loaded pumping the latest and greatest from my collection of tunes. Oh yeah, my umbrella. I carry one of those old guy umbrellas. It could be used for protecting you from rain or as a javelin in the next summer Olympics.
Anyhow. I’m sitting there and I wonder what this kid thinks when he sees all these “corporate” kids getting on the bus. All business-like and promoting a successful life of work, education, and burning the candle too brightly at both ends. I wonder, does he understand the freedom his life now includes and the freedom that he may not have in 5 to 10 years? I guess when I saw him I saw more freedom than what I see when I watch all of us go to work every day.
What he didn’t know is that I wanted to lean over and say, keep that style man. Just keep it. Don’t change and oh yeah….do whatever you love in life. Youth is such strength to me. It can change the course of your day in one instant. Maybe seeing your children, some kids playing, kids going to school, the kid on the bus, or a baby in a stroller. I sometimes throw myself into that ageless melee of playing on the playground between classes. Or standing on the deck at the local swimming pool. Going there so early that I’d wait outside for it to open and stay so long that my eyes gave way to the chlorine and had this psychedelic rainbow glaze on them. If you’ve ever swam for hours on end in a pool you know what I’m talking about. For all of those that haven’t, think about something you took between the ages of 16-30. Ha.
I always want to take that youth with me. Most of my cousins are grown, but I love seeing children of close friends and often time think of the day when I may have my own. I guess anyone who doesn’t will do that. My friend S often times sends me pictures of her newest. I nicknamed her Chubbsy cause her extra folds are just the cutest. I often times look at the pictures if I’m having a tough day, tough time, or going through some down times.
Back to this kid on the bus. Freedom of youth to be who you want to be should really be supported. I think to often kids today feel they have to conform in a retreat to not be picked on or criticized, but lets think. Does this ever change? I respect the people that can say, do wear, be, act the person they really are inside. I mean, maybe not everyone will love the person you truly are at heart. But at least you know who does like you for who you are and that lends itself to really creating an environment of calm freedom.
Don’t be afraid to show people who you are. Say what you need to say. It may feel better to get something out of your mind. It’s amazing how words can be just as liberating as visiting places in your mind or in the world that free you from prior constraints.
I know we can’t be the same people we were when we were young, but I’m thinking that while your body will change your mind can keep the spirit burning. Someone will appreciate that desire for individuality as we are separated by more than just DNA and color. I am excited about the next few days. I’m going to get the chance to learn more about people I care about and I hope they just want to tell me something that they’ve been wanting to say or just express. I will just listen.
I want to hear you again friends. It’s that time when you’re able to share without worrying what we’ll think. You are just as special as you think you are.
Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years. -James Thurber