When I was eight years old, I was a proud member of Club Nintendo.
Every month, I got a print magazine with the latest game news - and that was all we had. For a month! That’s right, no by-the-second updates via Twitter.
I’m not sure why, but in my dream last night, I remembered a very special issue. It showed an image of Ash and Misty - the two main (human) characters in the Pokémon anime TV show - kissing.
It was complete fiction, just a fan theory. But my 8-year-old self went bananas. I was totally committed to the idea. They had somewhat hinted at it on the show anyway, just never explicitly visualized it.
As I thought about this, I realized that, back then, I was pretty invested into everything.
I didn’t just play Pokémon on my Gameboy, I lived it. I watched the TV show. I collected the cards. I talked about it with my friends.
I knew even then that Pokémon didn’t exist. But that didn’t stop me. In my imagination, all of it was real.
As a result, I could spend hundreds of hours there, finding everything that’s good about life inside this story: passion, friendship, courage, love, joy, happiness, every emotion on the spectrum, really.
20 years later, I often wonder where this kid went. Where is he? He had such a wonderfully unburdened spirit. He was always exploring. So committed. Invested. A little naïve, but not too much. I want to find him again.
As we grow up, our stories slowly turn from fiction into reality. The stakes go up, responsibility goes up, and so does complexity. But none of that changes the basics:
They’re good stories if we commit to them.
They’re fun stories if we engage with them.
They’re happy stories if believe in them.
Deep down, we all wish we could go through life like our 8-year-old selves.
I think we should. Honest, open-minded, curious. If you’ve been waiting for permission, here it is. Use it.
Whatever club you’ll join next, they’ll be lucky to have you.
About Forgiveness Wednesday: No matter how the week starts, by Wednesday, we’ve had enough time to kick ourselves. We’re human. We make mistakes, we regret them, and we blame ourselves. But the only way we can keep moving on is if we forgive ourselves and those around us. So every Wednesday, forgiveness is what we’ll practice.
Let’s be kind to ourselves so we can succeed.
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