#letsgetflexyin2015 challenge day 24: happy baby.The wildflowers are blooming outside my house. (Sorry east coasters.) There is nothing that connects me back to my inner child more than rolling around in the grass and enjoying the sunshine. A quiet, introspective child, I’d spend most of my recess time hanging out with and hugging my favorite willow tree. I still visit this tree every now and again. We’ve both grown up, but we still maintain our friendship. As the other children screamed and played, I’d sit and read a book, stare at the passing clouds, blow on dandelions, and fashion jewelry out of clover flowers. The teachers used to express concern that I wasn’t socializing enough, but I was just being myself and creating my own joy. I am happy in the quiet solitude of nature. I feel centered; I feel grounded. Freed from the confines of 4 walls, I can breath again. One of the things I hated most about my two years at grad school in West Virginia was the snow day. While everyone else rejoiced at having no school and enjoying a day watching movies, eating food, and doing nothing, I started getting antsy in about an hour, was bouncing off the walls in 2, and going completely crazy out of sheer boredom in 3. When we had a big snow storm with several snow days in a row, I fell into a deep, dark, looming sadness. My life was not the same without the ability to go out into the world, feel the sun and wind on my face, and enjoy the space outside. I couldn’t wait to get myself back to the California sunshine. As soon as I stepped onto California turf, I raced over to a tree, gave it a big hug, plucked a wildflower from the ground, and breathed a sigh of relief. I was myself again: happy. Never let anyone tell you who you should be or how you should conform. Be your own beautiful, imperfect self… even if it’s a tree-hugging bookworm.