This I Believe

Erin - Smyrna, Tennessee
Entered on September 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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My Imagination: My Refuge

I remember the dress up clothes, the red lipstick, and my grandmother’s high-heeled church shoes. These memories are my fondest. I remember pretending I was a princess or a mermaid, and waiting for someone to come rescue me. My imagination would run wild, and I could turn any rainy day into a fairy-tale.

My childhood memories are my most cherished possession. My memories, of playing with my cousins in the woods, dressing up and telling my parents I was going to run away and become a princess, and playing with Barbies. If I could go back in time, I would go back to the times at my grandmother’s house, playing with my cousins.

My life is full of memories. I can’t think of any adventure or any magical land that I didn’t visit in my younger years, through my imagination. I could turn any object into a magical piece of a story.

My imagination was my escape from the reality of my dull childhood. My grandmother’s clothes were my disguises, in a fairy-tale world, where I was a princess running away from an evil queen holding me captive. My imaginary rescuer would always come and save me just in time, and look like the princes from the Disney movies I would watch everyday.

I believe that my imagination was my refuge throughout my younger years. It kept me away from the scarier parts of my life. It protected me from the reality that not everyone in the world had a happy ending, or that people really weren’t always nice. My imagination was my shield from the world. In reality, I think that is why I am the person I am today. It helped me learn to see things in a different perspective, and to know that the only things that bother you are the things that you let bother you. I could make any scary situation a little less intense by just escaping to a magical land with princesses, wizards, and happy endings.

In my room I would sit, and imagine being treated as a queen when my mother used to bring me afternoon snacks. She was my servant that was also my best friend. My sister was the evil witch who kept me from going to a ball, made me do her chores, and had an “I’m-better-than-you” attitude. And my father was the wise man who always seemed to know what to do in any crisis. I had my own fairy-tale anytime I wanted to, it was just a matter of whether or not I thought of it that way.

I look back now, remembering the happiness and joy I experienced just using my imagination, and miss my childhood. I regret wishing to grow up so fast, and wanting to be ” The cool, older, teenager” like my sister. Now I no longer have the protection against reality that my adolescent mind provided me. I can’t avoid the fact anymore, that not everyone has a happy ending, with pretending that I would see them again in a fairy-tale world where they are the rulers of magical creatures and living in perfect peace. I couldn’t think that any bad thing that someone did was under the influence of an evil King wanting to take over the land, but that it was just a person’s heart.

I believe that my imagination has protected me over the years. Now that I have grown up to realize that I can no longer rely on my imagination to shelter me from the reality of the world, I appreciate my childhood, and miss my free-spirited youth. If there was anytime I could go back to, it would be the days that I spent playing in the forests with my cousins, and dressing up in old night gowns. I miss those days the most.