Maybe it was just me, but when I was little I always dreamed of staying up all night. I always wanted to have the freedom of being a grown-up. Staying up all night was a very concrete action I could do that would ‘show the world’ that I was in charge. Bed times were so annoying as a child. If I was allowed to stay up all night I would do tons of cool stuff…like…um…well where do I start, there are so many things…hmm…give me a minute. Exactly! I really had no clue what I would do all night, but it was still one of my life goals as a child.
When my cousins would spend the night we would camp out in the living room (with my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag that was no thicker than a tissue) and try to stay up as late as we could. Our efforts always ended the same. First there would be a generous amount of giggling and story-telling, maybe a giddy game of ‘truth or dare’ which would always start out exciting, then got boring QUICK once everyone had mustered up the courage to share who ‘they liked.’ Eventually there would be gaps in the talking, the gaps would get longer and longer, until eventually – Z’s. Even when I had the chance to stay up, I couldn’t.
Now, being in my late twenties, I have all of the ‘freedom’ of being a grown-up. I can drive. I can buy chocolate in the check-out line. I can pick out my own clothes…even that super short skirt. I can even sleep until noon (on Saturdays). I can skip brushing my teeth, if I choose. I can spend my money on what I want. When you’re a kid, the list of do’s and do not’s seems like a mile long. So now that the list is gone, I should feel free, right?
There is a dirty little secret no one seems to tell adolescents as they make the transition into young adulthood. For me it was quite a shock.
The freedom you dreamed of as a bummed-out fourth grader seems so close you can taste it, but it’s hard to grasp. I never dreamed of the bills and taxes, telemarketers and spam, cleaning and laundry, obligations and responsibilities, 40 plus hours a week and working for the weekend, worries and fears, cancer and illness…should I continue? (because I can)
I am trying to challenge myself to live-out the secrets from childhood that Jason shares in his book. It’s a way to combine the ‘freedoms’ from childhood with the ‘freedoms’ from adulthood into an exciting lifestyle that is fulfilling and purpose-filled. While I may not be staying up all night for the ‘fun’ of it, I am trying to enjoy the choices I make with the time I’ve been given. ‘Truth or dare’ anyone?