I try to go for a walk everyday. Sometimes it’s just around the block. Sometimes I go a few miles. Usually I go by myself, but some days my husband will come or a friend will join. Walking has this magical power to get me thinking. It’s the best kind of thinking, too. It’s the kind of thinking where the thoughts come freely and the ideas seem clearer and the magic inside my head (sometimes also called imagination) runs free.
I seem to forget more and more each day how to use my imagination and engage freely with ideas. The critic inside of me shoots down my whimsical big ideas and dreams almost instantly with what if’s, and’s, and but’s.
When I was a bit younger, I swore I wouldn’t let that happen. I promised myself that I wouldn’t let the darkness of the world overcome the light and the dreams and the magic in my head. I committed to myself that I wouldn’t become jaded like all of the adults I saw who seemed to forget that there was still fun and goodness and hope in the world, despite the darkness it also contains.
Somehow though, I’m slowly, unintentionally breaking that promise I made. One day I’m letting the stress of a broken down car or an overspent budget overcome me. The next day, I’m noticing that I can’t remember the last time I really dreamed.
Do I even know how to dream anymore? Is my imagination still buried inside of me? Because, I can’t remember the last time I used it. I wonder if it’s sitting on a shelf somewhere, covered in a thick layer of dust, underneath some old thoughts and dreams, in the back room of my mind where I inadvertently locked my inner child.
The truth is, I’m not exactly sure how I got here. How I became the young woman who forgot how to dream or how to belly laugh on the regular or let my ideas be ideas without dissecting them or tearing apart their likelihood of easily coming true.
I’ve always been a champion of inner joy. I’ve always called myself a wanderer and a dreamer and an adventurer, but in these early days of adulthood and responsibility, I am already losing those things. How do I go back? How do I find the girl who wrote her college application essay on the importance of everyday magic? How do I find that back room in my head where my inner child is locked and open the door for her before she suffocates?
Maybe the key lies in those daily walks. Maybe, just maybe, moving my feet and looking outside of myself helps that little dreamer find some freedom. Maybe the sun and the rain and the flowers and the trees remind me that there are forces out there bigger than me. Maybe all these things teach me that it’s okay to let go and free my mind to imagination because I will never be in control of everything.
The spring flowers teach me that beauty comes when I least expect it. The summer sun gives me hope and renews my joy. The fall colors tell me that change doesn’t have to be scary. The winter darkness reminds me to seek out goodness in short days. My mind finds a special inspiration through a simple little walk.
So I will keep walking to remember how to dream.
Hi, I'm Emma!
A Maryland girl who moved to Washington state seeking adventure, I adore writing and delight in sharing my favorite things. I celebrate whimsy and you can find me doing a happy dance when something really strikes my fancy.