Oh the days to be a kid again, with no adult responsibilities and not having any worry in the world except for having fun. As an only child growing up with artists for parents, it was hard to not fall under their influence of expressing myself creatively. My favorite childhood memory encompasses the entirety of my childhood days that consisted of lots of make believe and making things with my hands. It’s my “go-to” memory because I’ve known no other happiness in my entire life where my imagination flourished.
My senses come alive whenever I come into contact with paper, brushes, clay, and other art supplies. The smells, the colors, the textures are all things that immediately take me back to my childhood days. One day in particular is when I unearthed an origami book from my dad’s treasure trove of dust collected art books. Filled with intense curiosity, I wasted no time flipping through and scanning over page by page.
Excitement propelled me then to pull out my bin of craft supplies as I proceeded to recreate every animal paper folding instructed in the book. Then within that hour, I transformed the entire living room into an interacting biome. Origami animals roamed the coffee table and couch, as patches of fringed green construction paper covered the carpet. Snakes magically scaled the walls and the stereo, as a waterfall of blue sharpie-colored aluminum foil fell from the computer table and trailed its way down the hall.
It’s from this man made stream I would catch carefully cut out and hand painted fish then retreat to my fort of fresh unfolded laundry hanging from the ceiling. It’s within this one day that you can sum up how every day of my childhood went and that is what made it so special.
This memory tends to be my go to memory because of the peace it brings to my mind. In my current life as a working college student, I struggle to keep a balance in my everyday routine. There are constant financial and academic stresses. It is so easy to get wrapped up in work life and adult responsibilities that I tend to neglect making time for myself to have some sort of enjoyment outside of that. Because of this, I am led to feel unsatisfied and unmotivated most days. I am also at a time in my life where I am still trying to figure out my career goals. Whenever I come back to this memory, it’s like a reminder of who I am and where my true happiness resides. I try to hold onto this memory for as long as I can when it comes and incorporate it into my waking life.
There is no doubt that my childhood would have been different if I had grown up with a different family. Although my dad has influence on me through drawing and painting, my mom happens to be very crafty and resourceful with whatever she finds. She’s shown me the magic of paper cut outs, of sewing and knitting, and sculpting with clay. She has also shown me the magic of being able to combine it all, which means that there are no limitations or rules with art. As a pre-teen, this was mind-blowing for me. I would come up with ideas of painting clay hearts with nail polish, something that would protect it and give off this pretty glossy finish. I’d experiment with mixing nail polish with eye shadows to create a palette of paint. Blocks of Plaster of Paris, soap, and scented candles were casualties to my pocketknife as I’ve carved everything from mermaids, to dragons, and chess pieces. This opened more doors for me as I also quickly discovered how easy it was to transform my entire room so that when I stepped into it, it was like traveling to a faraway place. For this, my childhood symbolizes the joy of imagination and how my family and I are tied through this artistic passion.
I credit my parents for giving me the gift of art and creativity. Someday, I plan on passing this gift down to my children. I would love for them to experience the same joys of exploring their curiosity and being able to bring their imaginations to life as I once did. I continue to carry these memories with me and revisit it every so often. They are a kind reminder of who I am and that the true source of happiness is created from within. My childhood remains one of the happiest remembered times of my life.