J J Hanna
Second Star to the Right and Straight on 'til Morning
Recently, I've been listening to a song by Ruth B. called Lost Boy. It's premise is simple, the story of a lonely child who meets Peter Pan and is no longer lonely because Peter takes him to Neverland and he finds his family in the other lost boys. Having recently turned eighteen, on the evening before my birthday, I had a realization. That night was truly the last night that I could go to Neverland if I was ever going to. Come morning, I'd be a grown up and there would be no point in never growing up. It would be too late. Of course, I didn't go to Neverland. I woke up the next morning, feeling no different than when I'd been seventeen, except for having the knowledge that legally I would now be treated as an adult. And to quote my almost eight year old self on the eve of yet another birthday, I didn't want to grow up or be an adult. I didn't want to grow up then, and I didn't want to grow up now. Thankfully, I didn't sob out of fear of turning eighteen like I had when I'd turned eight, but if ever Neverland sounded welcoming, it was then, as I sat with my friends watching Disney movies until we fell asleep. The concept of a place where you don't age but grow in experience is quite amazing. You grow in wisdom from life experience without any aging to show for it. You can play all day every day and no one tells you to decide a career or figure out your future. In Neverland, your future is simple. 1) Don't get caught by Captain Hook. 2) Use your imagination and have fun. After that, it's pretty much whatever you want to do for however long you want to do it. There are no responsibilities, no reason to move on from that gleeful time of life. However, even though that sounds amazing, to not have a care in the world, I guess the grown up part of me says, "You'd get bored." I know for a fact from my childhood that entertaining yourself is only fun for so long. Playing the same games over and over again is only so much fun to an extent. But once you learn the storylines, once you know what will happen, the excitement goes away. So maybe growing up is a good thing, no matter how much I'd like to go to Neverland. We have to keep moving forward. Staying in one place isn't the right next step. It isn't a next step at all. But neither is going to Neverland, even though we all know how to get there.