Participating in the Day of Play was quite the interesting experience. I’m sure many of my fellow classmates felt great amounts of nostalgia playing their favorite childhood games and activities. Sure, I did enjoy squishing the various colors of Play-Doh and creating incomprehensible shapes out of the colorful mold. But, this experience bore a deep hole into my soul. Not one of emptiness, but in fact a crater filled with an enlightening yet painful feeling. Well, I mean of course I felt a little heavy-hearted and was stuck in a melancholy state for a bit. Except sadness wasn’t the feeling that overwhelmed me. It was in fact the presence of a new awakening that shook my clueless mind.
Realization is what was implanted into me.
This experience literally broke my previous perception of my childhood. Man, I was so ignorant before…I just never realized what I really lacked until now.
I used to think that I had a normal childhood; one that consisted of fun and all the free time in the world. I used to think that I was able to explore and try out anything I wanted, with a little control in my life, of course. I mean, every single child has to have some control in their lives to be kept out of any possible trouble. But, I now deeply figured out that the amount of control I had in my life was a bit over the top.
My life was limited through the sport that I once enjoyed for a short while. I thought it was entertaining to do gymnastics simply just for fun, but that all changed quickly. I soon found that my parents began to base my life around the sport. My schedule drastically changed. My free time became limited; my attitude and thoughts became negative. It’s not fun to be controlled and watched over more than the normal amount. Being forced to do a sport that I didn’t want to do for 5 days a week, 4 hours at a time for about 8 years straight was absolutely torturous. I wanted to quit basically right when I started, but my childhood was slowly sucked away through those 8 years of pain.
I never, ever got to experience what a normal child did. I never went traveling; I never came across undiscovered, mysterious places; I never had friends come over.
I never got to do the things I wanted to do.
However, this Day of Play that I got to experience helped me realize that what I do now makes up for the playtime I lost in the past. I’ve found that I get as much joy from one of my main hobbies as from what I could have experienced as a child.
Now, drawing is the way I play. Through drawing, I can explore new worlds that I’ve never experienced before, unlike how I did in my childhood. I can express emotions that I can’t really speak through the portrayal of my original characters.
I base most of my characters that I draw off of small parts about me. One in particular has a childhood similar to mine. Basically, his parents controlled every bit of his childhood, keeping careful watch over all movements. Well, now his current life is one of happiness, because he found an escape. He found his way of play. His way of making up for his lack of childhood. Just like how I have with art and creating these characters that are so like me.
Now, I refuse to be deprived of it. I will not allow my life to become absent of the one thing I greatly lacked before. It happened once, and I’m never letting it happen again.