This adjective… It’s a quality thats become harder to find as time progresses. Further into the well of the adulthood, darker becomes the gleam of playfulness and imagination.

TED speaker Ken Robinson gets it about right in Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Schooling plays a major role in the belittling of kids’ raw potential. As a child, I was instructed to be quieter, be more still, not raise my hand so often, not to draw so strangely, not to make so many weird faces. Little Angela wasn’t allowed to sit like a boy, play rough like the boys, to hum (much less sing aloud) when she just needed to get it out of her system. She wasn’t allowed seconds during lunch, wasn’t allowed extra seconds when something on a test didn’t quite make sense. Boys and girls, from a very young age, are advised by their role model adult counterparts into what we’ve come to know as gendered norms. Schooling (namely public) perpetuates such gendered expectations to the Nth Degree.

At home, my childhood involved a stupid amount of Hotwheels and reenactments of The Mighty Ducks smashing moves – Street Hockey Style with beat up, thrift shop rollerblades, broomsticks, and bottle caps. #reducereuserecycle. I grew with two dudes and it was the only way I could hang. My mom feared the chance of me turning gay because of all the boyish stuff I was always immersed in. She went out and bought me the freshest (circa 2002) Barbie Dream House with a super fly Pepto-Bismol-Pink Jeep along with some of the best looking Barbie dolls money could buy. She demanded I “BE A GIRL!”

Perhaps Little Angela’s experiences would’ve been different is she grew up as Little Angel, or even if she had the opportunity to go to a private school. Limitations and unadjustable circumstances put a damper on her playfulness which has drawn out to the present. And maybe the same applies to everyone else. After hearing NO and YOU’RE WRONG, after being discouraged and unsupported for so long, people’s playfulness and originality, their colors and chimes fade out. And now, as an adult, I’ve come to settle with the understanding that the only way I can play hard is if I work hard.









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