I spent years hiding my playful side because I couldn’t contain it when I was a kid. I bounced off the wall, making my mom beg for mercy. I couldn’t control my accelerating energy. I suppose it contained pieces of my needy side, as well as pieces of an unbounded creative drive. Without stopping this paragraph to sit on the therapist couch, I can conclude with some confidence that I had issues, some of which I may understand. Regardless, for my own safety, my parents kindly urged me to “tone it down.”

It worked. I could fake functioning in the adult world as a balanced, reasonable human being. I even managed to secure a professional position at a leading computer consulting firm. The corporate culture promptly conformed me even further to think about how I present myself to the world. I resisted in many ways, trying to throw my supervisors off with wacko faces during serious meetings, and pushing the boundaries of good taste. Many of my superiors practiced extreme patience with me, and my professional character deepened. But, the inner me couldn’t help but push and prod to make an appearance. It oozed out of all of my microscopic skin holes.

In the process, much of my inner child got shoved down far enough that it’s hiding inside somewhere. I must make efforts now to tap into my playful side after years of fear-conditioning. Actually, trying makes it harder. The control runs counter to the concept of freedom. Channeling might be a better term. Tapping into that flow of my inner play by letting go of my control.

I see some signs of success. I found myself dancing at work yesterday. It was not a dance of grace, but more of insanity. I didn’t plan it, which I guess works best for play. It was especially victorious because I didn’t care what people thought of me. Any moments we spend worrying about the opinion of others always prove to be time and energy wasted. Those opinionated others have their own reasons for pushing their issues on me like a Super8 projection lamp shining through their inner home movies. I no longer want their issues on me. I prefer to live my movie in the moment. Starting right now.

I mean, first thing in the morning.

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