The joys of feeling young

Jess Hylton and Jess Hylton

When I woke the other day and saw snow on the ground, I felt my childish sense of wonder come creeping back. A good friend of mine told me she hates the snow. According to her, snow is cold, wet and has no point except to make people miserable. And granted, it makes driving a lot more ambitious, but I cannot help but to love it.

As a child I had such a crazy imagination, a way of making something simple become worth the world.

I find it so interesting and, at times, so sad how people, including myself, have changed their perspective and priorities since they were children. Obviously, one cannot remain a child forever, but must we as adults let go of our young ambition and marvel?

I am a sophomore in college and have observed numerous behaviors in others as well as myself. There is this constant sense of urgency and need that distracts from the beautiful details that surround us every day. I realize it is clich’eacute; to tell someone to stop and smell the roses, but most of the time those roses smell so sweet.

The excitement of going to a park was abandoned for the fun of going to a movie or a bar. Not that those activities are bad, I am just curious as to when the transition happened. I cannot speak for the rest of you, but when I was younger I never spent a lot of time in front of the television. I actually would try sleeping in my clothes so that when I woke up the next day I could go straight outside and play.

Of course my mom told me that made my clothes dirty, which was a good life lesson to know. But the point is that I wanted so badly to be outside. I did not want to waste a single moment. Every day I discovered something new, I was enchanted by an ongoing sense of awe. Now I find that I let many moments, even days, pass by without notice.

Being in college it just seems as though so many of my peers and friends have lost their verve. The vitality of youth is, I believe, crucial, especially in our world today. There are so many crises going on that it is difficult to maintain high spirits. Neglecting our youthful propensity only further detaches us from the little sanity left on this planet.

When I was 4 years old I walked up to an old man who never spoke to anyone. He was bitter, mean and quite literally terrified most of the people who knew him. But I went over, I did not say a thing. I just took his hand, and held it for the longest time. I believed that I could change that man, that by simply touching his hand I could make whatever it was that hurt him go away. This, of course, is not the most recommendable action for a little girl to take, but to me, it was worth it. He smiled.

For a child, I had an intense sagacity of morality and an open heart. I am not saying I now have a closed heart; more simply it has lost some of its warmth.

My childhood friends and I had an aggressive take on the world. We wanted to rule the world, we could do anything. Here I am, now 20 years old and quite passive with my life. I am living, but not changing much of anything. I, and many I know, have been playing it safe – by not playing at all.