15 years ago, I was 5 and I was walking into my first day of kindergarten. I had on my shiny red cowgirl boots, my hair in pigtails, and my brand new Barbie backpack in my hands. I thought was so cool. Kindergarten, although I didn’t realize it at the time, taught me things that I still use today. Things like, always share your cookies because the person beside you probably has chocolate chip, don’t hit each other, afternoon naps are ok, and always hold hands and stick together with those closest to you. Thinking about the fact that the hardest part of my day was trying to sleep during naptime and coloring inside the lines makes me laugh sometimes. I am also forced to reflect upon the most important aspect I learned in kindergarten: ALWAYS let your imagination soar. Let it help you to create games and stories and pictures, let the jungle gym be your castle and your best friend be prince charming rescuing you from the evil dragon that lives beneath the slide. Let the sea saw be a pirate ship rocking on the rough waters of the seas and let Dr. Suess offer you great philosophies.
Throughout elementary school and into middle school, I began to see myself grow and mature. I had many exciting new experiences and I began to see how much one summer could change your entire life. I remember my first day high school like it was yesterday. I remember being intimidated by the upperclassmen and overwhelmed by the loads of homework that were piling up. My years in high school had ups and downs but were fulfilling both socially and academically. At my high school graduation ceremony, my class was told “leave behind the things that are not important and bring forward with you the lessons that will be the working parts of your life.” For me I guess that would have been my Barbie backpack and my shiny red cowgirl boots but along with those simple objects came life lessons that are important 15 years later.
I believe that you should always embrace what you learned in kindergarten. Always remember your manners, share your cookies, stay within the lines and more than anything let your imagination soar! I believe that as adults we sometimes forget how to live. We think we are too old to play on the playground and find dancing to the music within our own heads silly. I always try to remember the five year old girl that I once was. I wear my shiny red cowboy boots and put my hair in pigtails and although the Hot Pink Barbie backpack has long since been retired, I still believe that by embracing what we left behind all those years ago, our futures can be brighter, more fulfilling. I believe that finding my five year old self allows me to be a better thinker, a better creator, a better writer, and hopefully a better person.