A few days ago, I was strolling around the mall looking for nice gifts to give my godchildren for Christmas when I saw a Harry Potter coloring book at Precious Pages. Instantly, I bought it - along with a 16-piece Crayola set - and knew that it would be the best and most meaningful gift I could give someone.
And of course, I've known already to whom I wanna give that set.
So that night, I met up with my friend and gave him the coloring book. I decided to surprise him because I want to see his real reactions; and when he opened it, I knew instantly that my thoughts were right.
He didn't appreciate it.
I'm not hurt or anything. I've expected that. For a while, I've wondered how stupid of me to hope that a 22-year-old professional would appreciate the very childish present. But then, he said 'thank you' and that was fine with me.
Nonetheless, I sent him a message that night to explain why I did that. I told him that I want to see him go back to being a child because it's too tiring to try to understand why some people always have to be matured and upright. Apparently, he got my point and replied. He said he was really tongue-tied when he opened it up because he no longer knows what to do with a coloring book. He called me thoughtful and generous too.
I think that's enough to compensate.
Honestly, it was an impulsive decision that was triggered by the fact that all these efforts to prove that I'm all grown-up now are exhausting me. Seeing people require themselves to be always like that is as tiring. You see, life needs not to be taken seriously but some people just won't accept that. They constantly tell themselves that they're enjoying (and they know how) but in the end, they still can't... Why? Because they're afraid of going back to being a child. And that's like forbidding oneself to breathe. It's not right.
What people should understand is that every once in a while, we all have to go back to who we were when were toddlers or teenagers. Every once in a while, we have to let go of all the pressures adulthood is dumping on us.
The coloring set had much more meaning in it, actually. You see, it conveys the message that it's fine to live in simplicity. If you give that to a kid, you'll get to see how their eyes sparkle with interest and appreciation. Their smiles would be authentic because to them, the coloring set is already an extravagant gift. That's what we all should learn to go back to - the days when we we still think that coloring books and a 16-piece Crayola set were the best things life has to offer.
Another thing is that I hope that people understand that just like how we did in coloring those images back when we were young, it's okay to make a mistake and slip past the boundary line. I mean, it's fine to be messy sometimes. It's fun to break the rules and just be free.
You see, life is already difficult so why do we need to make it more difficult, right? We need to breathe. We need to relax. And I know that coloring books would help us with that.
Incidentally, as I was writing this blog, I remember Bo Sanchez's book: Take Delight on the Simplest Things. There, he wrote about his honeymoon gift to his wife - a few pieces of coloring books and a 64-piece Crayola set. I guess his preaching was really that influential that I have managed to do the same thing (although not as a honeymoon gift!) unconsciously.