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Forget about "acting your age"

Life is full of lessons, and one that I’m holding on to lately is that while your twenties are a time to figure out how to do life as a “grown up”, your thirties are a time to invite childhood back in. What this means for me is that I am starting to reintegrate the parts of myself that I once judged and disowned. For instance, in my teen years I found that being obsessed with faeries and mermaids was unrelatable. Yet in my thirties, I’ve made faerie and mermaid loving friends and I’ve found communities such as Black Fae Day and Black MerMay Day that share my interest. Twenty-nine years later, my “vintage” American Girl Dolls are still just as enjoyable when I pull them out to play with my daughter and her new American Girl Dolls. And being an artist, crafter, and a dancer fills me with as much joy now as it did then.

As an art therapist, I’m always helping people come back to their interests and hobbies, art related or otherwise. Yet I frequently have to rearrive at the conclusion that without these fanciful passions, and frivolous hobbies, I’m barely surviving, and certainly not thriving. Taking the time to create art, play, and have hobbies that make you no money is inherently anti-capitalist. In a society that measures our waking hours in productivity units, art and play are revolutionary. In an country that is openly hostile to Black and Queer people, finding joy and leaning into pleasure is rebellion. So I encourage you to spend some time meditating about the parts of yourself that you gave up to be more mature, more professional, more palatable to others and consider making some space for what might bring you back into the fullness of you.


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