When I was a young girl I had a small wardrobe in my playroom. There were many days when I would climb inside, close the door, sit on the floor and lean against the wardrobe’s back wall. Each time I wished so hard that the wall would dissolve away and I would find myself in Narnia.
Today I turn thirty-five. Say it with me…t-h-i-r-t-y-f-i-v-e…doesn’t that sound so…grown up? Don’t you think of someone who is thirty-five as an “adult?” Somehow my brain cannot compute this information. I looked out of my front window this morning. It is my birthday after all. There was hope that perhaps the TARDIS would be out there in my front yard. The Doctor would be waving up at me (donning his best bow tie) and say,
Sarah! Now where do you want to go?” Then I thought, is that really what someone who is 35 should wish for their
birthday? Shouldn’t I want a nice pair
of slacks or a nice purse (and not the cool bottomless kind like Hermione). As my birthday fun treat I was given the opportunity
to go to the Arden theater to see their (children's theater) production of
Cinderella. I repeat, a children’s
theater production, not very adult at all. The
other day I was having a conversation with someone about reading certain kinds
of books and I said,
“I don’t like reading books where the characters are suffering the whole time…oh unless a dragon or maybe giant robots or something cool that is the cause of the suffering, then that’s okay.” Dragon’s and giant robots are not thirty-five sounding.
When I was a little girl I started using my imagination to cope with sadness. Awkward, odd and often made fun of I used to pretend that a man talked to me through my mirror. He was from another world where I was a princess who was stolen away and placed in this world for protection (Can you now understand how I felt when I first read Harry Potter? It was like finding a soul mate). On my sixteenth birthday I would have to go back to my kingdom and fight back for my throne (using an awesome magic sword). The man was my advisor who kept me updated on what was going on in the other world and I would often lament and pour my feelings out to him about how lame I found this one. Those classmates could mock me all they wanted…I was secretly a warrior princess so…in your face! To this day I still find imagination to be a reliable coping mechanism though I no longer secretly talk to my mirror. Instead I loose myself in the stories of others. Stories about flying around with Time Lords, or drinking vials of metals that will give you special powers, or solving crimes and/or puzzles because you are super intelligent, or being the chosen one who can save the world, or having dragon companions who you can talk to telepathically, just to name a few. I have also been known to write stories of my own about dreams delivered by spiders, a weird train that takes you to a spectacular place and doors that can only be opened by carving special keys. It seems at this point to be who I permanently am, an adult who has somehow still been able to retain the same imagination that she had as a young girl and I can only believe that on my seventy fifth birthday and beyond I will still look out of my window hoping for the TARDIS and still believe that perhaps the wall within the wardrobe will finally disappear.