I was That Kid. The one who was colored pictures of unicorns when she was supposed to be solving equations. The one who kept a book hidden under the desk while her teacher lectured. I was the kid who imagined myself a warrior princess, a witch, a wise woman, until grownups told me I was too old to believe such things.
I'm willing to bet most of you were That Kid too. If you are a reader, or a writer, or a dreamer, you were probably scolded. Probably teased. You were probably called a ditz, or a nerd, or a geek.
It's ok. Most of us were.
As we grew up, we were taught how to hide it. How to pay attention when the teacher was talking. How to be smart and professional. How to live in the real world.
It's ok. We all did it. We all learned how to be normal.
But the older I get, the more I resent the "normal" mask, and the more I think it's not ok to wear it.
In recent years, we've learned so much about multiple intelligences, and all the ways that people learn. We've learned how to encourage children who learn by pictures and pretend games and storybooks. But we have not yet learned how valuable it is to be a dreamer.
Have you seen Once Upon a Time? I just started watching the series. It's one of those TV shows that everyone I know seems to love; and I think I know why. It speaks to something deep and instinctive in us - something that begs to be part of a different story.
Dreamers, artists, writers - those are the Henrys of the world. They are the ones who see princesses where others see housekeepers and teachers and college students. They are the ones who see a cursed land in need of healing, when others just see a boring little town. They are important.
You are important.
Your art is important.
You may think of yourself as just someone trying to write a book; just a reader; just a dreamer. But your dreams and your art and your books are vital. They mean something. They add to the world. And maybe we aren't real-life princesses or witches or warriors; but something about art and beauty makes us feel that we can be.
So embrace the fact that you are That Kid. Be a ditz, or a geek, or a nerd. Be a world changer. Make us see the goodness and light behind the cursed land.