Maturity. It’s been the catchword flying about my mind the past few days. I’d like to think that I’m mature, now that graduation is coming up. Now that the real world is flying towards me. Yesterday, within the span of three hours…two people exclaimed to me “You’d think that now we’re in college, people would just grow up!” It made me sad for two reasons. In one situation, we were speaking of two people who were acting immature in a negative way. They were being selfish and hurting people. The other situation was vastly different – they weren’t hurting anyone, just having good clean fun. It got me thinking. I appreciate my youth a lot. I don’t want to grow up (I’m a Toys R’ Us Kid!). And I was thinking of lots of things I never want to feel ashamed to do because they are part of me expressing myself. So here’s a list.

*I never want to stop coloring.* I love coloring. Whether it’s with pencils, crayons, painting, chalk, or even markers that smell like fruit – I love it. I’m not creative enough to draw or paint things in the real world…I have to rely on my imagination too much for that. But I still love coloring in coloring books and painting pictures of stick figures…especially with my fingers.

*I don’t want to stop playing nintendo.* Nintendo sucks up more time in my day then it should. I will fully admit that I’m addicted to Zelda. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I’m not very good at any other games. I’m wretched at Mario, any fighting game, and sports games. I can only handle playing one character at a time, and anything that requires me using different moves at strategic times takes a while for me to master. But still – I like it a lot.

*I want to always believe that having a pet is worth all the mess and frustration.* My parents always complained about having a pet, no matter what it was. Dogs poo in the yard and we have to shovel it. Cats shed on the furniture and make smelly litter boxes. Fish are too hard to care for. Birds are too loud. Ferrets smell bad. And why in the worldwould youeverwant aturtletheyresoboring. PETS ARE WONDERFUL! They’re friends when you feel alone, and they teach you to love when you believe with all your might that you’re incapable of it.

*I want to continue to take time to read for fun – especially children’s books* I love reading so much. I also adore losing myself in the beautiful illustrations and innocence of children’s literature. I love the humor of them. I love the lessons in them. I wish that there was such a thing as a professional storyteller…that’s the job I’d sign up to be trained for. I have a passion for telling stories.

*I want to continue to find joy in simple things.* I can be rendered breathless by a sunset. I can be moved to song by a smell in the air. A single statement of encouragement can press me to dance. I love tiny white flowers. I like stickers to stick on my nalgene bottle, and writing with fancy pens. I still laugh at the word “fart.” I would still cover myself in mud or draw on my face with ashes if I could. I save pennies, and I still lick the bowl when I make brownies and have dumped the batter into the baking pan. I want to be able to see pictures in the clouds instead of just the idea of impending rain. I want to believe that my friends won’t be a distant memory in a few years, replaced by new faces and personalities. I want to believe that my siblings will never lose their innocence. I want to believe my parents will never die.

I always was the one who held back at any sign of growing up. I can count on that never changing…