A tall mirror stands in front of me showing me the reflection of my younger self. Happy, care free is what I saw looking back. Life was so much easier so much more lucid. It is as if it was all just a dream.
A dream of a clear spring day, running through the grass, playing with my friends. Ability to bend over and see every drop of fresh dew on the grass. Simpler. I never thought why or how, I just did as kids do and chose what was easiest. Do I hangout with friends or stay at home and face the possibility of chores? Friends it is.
Friends I hung out with day in and day out. We played football, we played soccer, we played basketball, we played volleyball, we swung, we talked, it seemed like we did everything together. But too soon the classes appeared rearing its head around the corner. The time we spent hanging out was shorted by more than a half as now we had to sleep early to wake up for the bus in time.
We still hung out. It was just less, it wasn’t the freedom to do what we want when we wanted all the time. Every single day it seemed like we hung out less and less, grew farther apart and apart, meeting people anew and anew. Until one day we spent the last time ever hanging out. I wish I could remember that day, that day when boys would play. Play down in the creek, play in the yard, play in street, play in the playground. No drama, no thoughts of romance/love, just us and our imaginations left to our own devices. We created worlds, we created empires, we created games that never existed before.
I still talked to a bunch of them until I left for college and now I think I lost the most important part of my boyhood: the friends. You could always go down to the creek by yourself and play imaginary games by yourself but it wasn’t the same as exploring and being curious together. Worlds created by us, worlds destroyed by us. Everything that could be thought up was at our fingertips as we were ninjas running in the forest or wizards with magic powers. I think the word I could use to describe this time the best was pure. Pure joy, pure fun and pure imagination as we spent the day away doing the stupidest things. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I stand in front of this rose tinted mirror, I look back I see youth at its finest. Not wasted one bit, I wish I could’ve spent forever being young and foolish but being now older and wiser I understand it was only temporary and we all have to grow. We all have to feel pain, have are hearts broken, get a job, go to school, have an endless list of things to do and things to work on. The pain is what makes this life real. The pain sometimes isn’t temporary. But, we learn from it and we grow from it. Each time we make a mistake, we become better people. I do still wish I was back in the days of youth where I have no worry in the world but make no mistake that I would never trade in the life I lived and lessons I learned.