I’m a New York City kid. More specifically I was raised in my apartment in Inwood.
Going off to college – one of their crazy graduation requirements was that you MUST pass a swim test. Needless to say that I made it through 21 years without learning how to swim. The best part was that in true Mary-form I waited until my senior year to take swim as my gym class.
On the very first day, my instructor thought it fitting to bring in her 3 year old twins to show us their chops. These young little rascals just DOVE into the deep end of Olympic-sized pool. They were little sea-otters just splashing around and playing. All us old people were glaring and throwing shade in their direction.
After a few minutes of this – she ushers the babies away and then looks to us and asks – so which one of you is going to be the first one to dive into the deep end of the pool?
I look around and wonder who it will be.
She then mentions that we are not leaving until everyone does it…
My hand goes up…
Do shit – make decisions – be a boss. Be the first. blaze a trail. dive in.
You don’t have to be the strongest swimmer or even the best – just the fact that you suited up and jumped in is enough sometimes.
Life requires your full participation.
The Full Human Experience
We signed up for this but somewhere along the way we forgot that it was supposed to be FUN. Life is not a whole bunch of responsibilities and bills to pay that weigh heavily on our shoulders – WE CHOSE THIS! It was supposed to be FUN and we were supposed to be HAPPY. Somewhere we forgot that we had a choice and that we could choose differently. Every second – you can choose differently. You can choose to see it differently or to change the film playing on the screen altogether.
The challenges are part of the fun. If it were super easy we would take it all for granted and we would know what’s coming next. Who wants to watch a movie when you know all the lines and how the story ends? (some ppl actually love doing that too…)
Getting dirty and messy is part of the full human experience. I’ve come to a point in my life where I even love the tears streaming down my face – there is beauty in the rainbow of emotions and the wild vivid tapestry that is woven into the fabric of life. These are the sweet moments and the “humble beginnings” that you will cherish and come back to. This is it.
This is the INFLECTION POINT in your (my) life
This is where you can change your mind – change your view – change your life.
I always remember kindergarten. Not for what I learned or what happened but because it was broken up into different sections. You could play cooking in the kitchen or take time to draw a few stick figures in a diff area. When you grow up all the sections go away and everything blends into gray and blah. We forget the importance of infusing fun into everyday life and holding events (simple data points) with lightness and curiosity. Everything is an opportunity to play and to learn. To see how we face challenges and how we can grow from everything. Play is Life. Life is Play. Play and laughter are the tools that will save us.
Forget about perfection. Play is holy work. Play is productive.
‘Perfect’ your Play- work hard at PLAY. Find joy in the adventure and trying on new things for size.
Make mistakes. Challenge yourself to do things that are out of the box and weird. Make even more mistakes. Become ok and comfortable with being wrong. And no- you don’t have to know everything. Let your memory falter and be ok with it.
Remember to forget to remember and keep doing it all over and over and over again. There’s no rush and nowhere to be but present and in joy. Just sit and relax. And it’s ok if you forget to Play – Just come back around to it.
Take it lightly.
Take yourself easy.