Childlike but not childish…

Young King
Six year old me in North Philly…

 

My grandmother would call me mischievous. It’s an adjective that I was well deserving of and even now at this very moment. The earliest memory that I have of my childhood maybe running around in diapers in my grandmother’s house and/or moving into my family’s first apartment. I only had one birthday party there; I had just turned 3 years old but that seems to be the strongest of my childhood recollections. As an only child, I had tons of time to be alone which affected my relationships with the other kids, like I didn’t like sharing because I never had to but I enjoyed having company which usually came in the form of classmates that I’d only see in school but rarely outside of that setting.

I credit my cousins, especially my two older relatives Ted and Che, for exposing me to the creative sides of life. Comic books, video games, and drawing gave me an appreciation of art at an early age. At home, my parents played so much music and since they were relatively young – my mother being 19 and my father 23 when I was born – there wasn’t much of a generation gap and I became pretty hip (more than they’d ever know) to what was going on in the adult world. They took me to my first museums and that fostered a huge love for knowledge. Whenever I was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I said that a tennis player or an architect (because…LEGOS) which became Neurosurgeon, Archaeologist, and Paleontologist once I started to visit the library more often. Being a kid was the shit.

I remember being in the 8th grade and wanting to be an adult already but once I got there… WOW!!! Where did the time go? I’m 30 and I do not feel like it nor do I look like it. Ageless. I’m ageless and that stiffness that I’ve seen come with adulthood hasn’t connected with me. Well, I tend to think that some of this new rap music is complete trash but that’s has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with common sense and being knowledgeable about the world in which I live. People like Pharrell Williams have it right and here’s why? He’s 41 years old and loves what he does. We don’t see the harshness of age in his features and I really believe that he’s found a conduit to his youth that’s everlasting. I’ve seen the interior of his homes in many magazines and they’re filled with color, toys, and other symbols of a childhood that breathes wonder. My homie DJ Skeme Richards is another case of not letting age dictate his enjoyment of life as his basement is the stronghold of all things fun and cool.

I think that’s the key to maintaining youth; Never stop learning and exploring like a child’s mind and see the unfiltered beauty in our spaces like a child’s eyes. As much as I loved Michael Jackson, there were times when he took it too far with the Neverland thing (I’m not saying that he touched those kids but they were around and YOU KNOW THIS) but I understood what he wanted and its something that we all wish for: To be a kid again. Maybe that’s why I can’t take myself or life too seriously. We see what can happen to people that lose their way, i.e. 1993’s Hook starring the late great Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. Being an adult shouldn’t have to be black and white, if there’s color to be had with splashes of rejuvenation, don’t run and hide from the joys of your life.

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