wearing big girl pants…

“all children, except one…grow up…”

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photo credit: Sam Norman

well good on peter pan, i say…the lucky chap.  this whole concept of growing up has put me in a bit of a whirlwind since my state side return from my life of carefree backpacker ways, looking out for numero uno {and the gorgeous humans i met along my journey} erasing stresses of days past and embracing the stresses of life on the road to everywhere.  now that i am back to a {new} american reality, i have been reflecting on this whole idea of growing up.  it seems overrated to me…which is the answer i created while coloring with crayons in my living room fort in mismatched socks earlier today.  growing old…it’s inevitable, kids.  but growing up…ahhh…that’s a choice.  after a year of being mostly unhappy in my city life that started to not fit so well…which ignited an ache in me to finally pursue the travel dreams i’d been holding onto…resulting in a year of pure bliss as a {mostly} free bird… i have found, that us young folks who still have good couch surfing, hitchhiking, sleeping on rooted national park land and on sandy beach years in us just shouldn’t even think about that growing up choice thing…maybe ever.

sure, there are bills to pay, debts to settle, life to live and live responsibly…however, you can still accomplish all those things, without taking life too damn seriously.  my adventures in australia taught me a plethora of lessons…as travel and life aims to do…and one of those lessons was learning that life is short.  because life is short and we really never know how long we have on this beautifully overpopulated and vastly destroyed planet, we must seize each day, opportunity and lesson.  for me, that means accepting that with each passing year i will indeed gain a new year in age, but in growing older, choosing to never grow up.  it worked for peter pan {whom i’ve always admired} and it can work for me.  i still giggle like the 4 year old girl i used to be in curled pig tails when my dad tells a silly joke…i still have a love // hate relationship with tickling…i still adore stomping in puddles and dancing in the rain, regardless of who’s watching or judging…i still use my hair brush as a microphone whilst dancing in my underwear at home…i still don’t like mushrooms {although i have been trying them more often to acquire my adult taste for them…finally}…i still love a good disney movie…i still have an obsession with dinosaurs…i still know every word to every raffi song…i still eat honey nut cheerios with my feet dangling off the couch and drink all the milk up when the cereal is gone…i still…okay, my point is…i haven’t allowed myself to lose my childish heart  // despite how many times it’s been cracked and broken by life and humans.

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photo credit: Sam Norman

as a little girl, when i finally got trained into my big girl panties, i was all about showing them to everyone…seriously.  i would show them to everyone…proud of my accomplishments, much to my parents’ mortification {and hope that lifting my skirt up in grocery stores would end after age 2…it has mom and dad…mostly!}  i LOVED big girl pants.  if only that love continued into adulthood. these days, i am struggling to enjoy the fact that i now have to wear pants.  everyday…i have to wear pants.  the big girl kind.  the kind of pants that cover my body as i trudge through the cold weather to get to work…the kind that make me look somewhat professional in small town jobs that help me pay my bills.  i have started to resent pants.  while i was enjoying my final month in australia {the best month of my life}, i got to go to bed every night with or without pants since the beachy weather we were surrounded by was warm and kind, i got to wake up every day and not wear pants.  i lived in my bathing suit since the ocean was our playground most days…no pants or shirt required.  clothes, i find these days, are restricting and overrated…just like growing up.

so even though life has changed once again…as i set goals and gear up to pay off the debts of my adulthood, continuing to giggle at my life like i’m still 6…daydreaming of the day that my green backpack can be brought down off the shelf, my passport can be dusted and we go off on another international adventure together…that wild haired, barefoot, free loving hippie child that’s always been inside me, that i fully grew into in my year in a foreign land, went into the wild exploring land, sea and human souls with…she’s still in me…even when she has to wear pants.

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