I'm 20 years old now and have found myself under the new and horribly uncomfortable label "adult," complete with bills, responsibilities, W2 forms, contracts and insurance. It's draining and strange. Ultimately, I enjoy the freedom and independence, but often take myself too seriously. As a so-called "grown-up," I don't make nearly enough time to simply play. Playing came so naturally as children but as adults, work and school and the messy parts of life clutter up our time. So, here are a few of my favorite ways to let out my inner child during these dreary April showers:
1. Jump in puddles.
I know that nobody likes wet socks. I know some shoes are too expensive to risk coating in mud. However, a pair of boots can take on a puddle like a champion. Don't always avoid them. Pick just one special puddle and let your heart skip a little as you leap in.
2. Make a blanket fort.
Let yourself be an engineer for an hour. Find new and interesting ways to build a fortress of fleece. Then, once your cozy construction is sturdy, curl up inside with a good book and a flashlight. You won't regret it.
3. Pull out old video games.
I love mind-blowing graphics as much as the next guy, but there is something comforting and familiar about simple 8-bit images flashing on a dimly lit screen. I recommend classic Pokemon games; the manageable goals and turn-by-turn gameplay style keep it from being too stressful, and you can save and quit the game at any time.
4. Get invested in a silly TV show.
Whether it is reality TV or a shallow comedy or classic cartoons, take some time to un-ironically enjoy some television that doesn't require your mind to be engaged the entire time. Laugh too loudly at the silly jokes and allow yourself to cry when your favorite character gets hurt.
5. Throw a tea party.
Do your worst fake British accent. Buy cookies from a package and display them on a platter like a foreign delicacy. Heat your plain Lipton's tea in the microwave and pretend you had it imported. Invite your human friends or your stuffed animal ones. It will be the social event of the season.
Maybe you still have some Disney Princess coloring books lying around or maybe you want to snag some of the adult coloring books that are the latest trend. Markers or colored pencils or crayons can ease your worries. Whether you stay inside the lines or not is totally up to you.
This game is about as close as I will ever get to doing parkour. If you are as uncoordinated as I am, just play for a few steps and smile knowing no one else has to know the floor is burning. (Please don't injure yourself.)
8. Have a water balloon fight.
If it is raining already, you may as well get soaking wet on purpose! Grab some friends and throw things at them in the name of fun! Well, don't throw just anything... Use harmless water balloons.
9. Go to the park.
In those sparse moments when the April rains let up, find the nearest park and ignore the fact that you are the biggest kid there. I promise that swing sets never stop being fun.
10. Sing and dance unashamedly.
Sing Adele at the top of your lungs. Hit all the wrong notes. Dance to the "Hamilton" soundtrack. Trip over your own feet. Always seek the child-like bliss that comes with being carefree.