By Victoria Lynn Hall
When I was in the first grade my teacher arranged a meeting with my parents to express her concern over how serious I was.
Her suggestion was that my parents purchase some art supplies for me so I could express some of that seriousness creatively.
I strongly suspect that teacher saved my life. She gave me a way to play that both honored my seriousness and helped me to manage it. But she wasn’t able to cure me of it.
I think this is in part why I preffered the company of older kids and adults when I was young. They seemed to care more than kids my age about the serious things that mattered to me like history and philosophy and why god made the world. I couldn’t wait to be older so I would finally know everything they knew.
Then a strange thing happened during my first year of high school. I was sitting in history class listening to the teacher and I realized I knew things he didn’t know. What was even more unsettling was that he wasn’t interested in learning what I knew.
It was the first time I really understood that being older didn’t make someone smarter or as serious as I was. In fact, it suddenly seemed like all adults were stupid and silly and my serious friends and I were the only ones who knew anything.
We weren’t going to be like them when we got older, we all agreed. We weren’t going to settle for boring lives and boring jobs. We were going to all live together and take care of each other and learn and love and create.
I look back at that time in my life and I can see how obnoxious my know it all friends and I were.
And yet I don’t really see that we were wrong.
We knew something then that I think is one of the most important things people can know: we knew what we wanted.
And it wasn’t money or things or what our society tends to define as “success”.
What we wanted was community and creativity. What we wanted was love and connection.
I don’t believe we ever stopped wanting those things. I just think we were made to forget that we wanted them or we were made to believe the lie that we could get them if we had more money or things or “success”.
The child I used to be would consider me ancient now but I’m remembering more and more what it felt like to be her because I find myself wanting to know things that many people my own age don’t seem to know, like what’s really important and what’s possible.
It seems to be those younger than I am that have the wisdom I want now.
I’m going to have the wisdom to listen to them.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.