This I Believe

Lauren - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I remember as a child, sitting for hours with an old stack of business cards pretending to be carrying out credit card transactions and waiting on customers at the local bank. I remained perfectly content with my old computer keyboard, washable markers and little wooden boxes that posed as cash register drawers. I was an entrepreneur as a child with a bank, a grocery store, a beauty parlor and a quaint little café in the attic. Of course my restaurant specialties consisted of mostly toothpaste and a box of spaghetti noodles, but none of my customers seemed to mind. I never understood that I was supposed to completely hide during hide and see; I think my little wiggling toes and giggles from beneath the couch gave away my position all too often. My cardboard spaceships were as real to me as the bills were to my parents, and my “secret” forts sprawled across the living room floor were grounds for private vocal concerts and playing house. I remember rummaging through an old chest of lacy curtains to find my princess wedding gown complete with cape and veil; prancing about in oversized heels, silk flowers in hand. I remember dancing in the sunlight, picking dandelions and attempting to put their little flimsy stems in an oversized vase. This didn’t often work out because the flowers usually just fell in the cup, none the less, I was the best florist I knew. I remember the feel of fresh cut grass between my toes and my mother definitely remembers the stains on my clothes from my jubilant gymnastic sessions throughout the yard. It’s truly amazing how many natural disasters ravaged our back yard during those years. I can’t recall a single day outside when there wasn’t some sort of earthquake, tornado or flood I had to escape from. I remember the little wooden swing in the back yard that hung off of a crooked little tree. It was always fun to fly; balancing on my stomach, singing and kicking my feet, arms outstretched like a super hero of sorts. I found it amazing how any summer day could be turned into a fabulous day at the water park with the help of a sprinkler and a hose strung to the top of a sliding board. I was an architect and a ballerina, a mother and an astronaut, a professional chef, a bride, a business woman and a super hero. I was a protector of ants and destroyer of clean clothing. I was a child. My imagination ran wild. It was my best friend and my constant companion. It helped me through some of the most traumatic times in my young life. Though my home life was difficult, I knew I could always find acceptance in my world. I was invincible during my most venerable times and courageous when I felt so helpless. I learned to love life despite it’s disappointments and cherish the small things, this is why I believe in imagination.