I want to be a lost girl. I want to be the lost girl. I don’t want to be Wendy. I don’t want to be Tinkerbell. I want to be Peter Pan, joyful and proud.
The more I grow up, the more I like to play pretend. While I’m walking, I can see myself soaring through Neverland clouds far, far away. While I do mundane tasks, my spirit is off fighting Captain Hook and his crew, a faithful gang of lost boys protecting my every step. While I am dancing in my room, my soul is circling a firepit, voices chanting, the tribe’s fire reflecting in my eyes.
I don’t believe I belong in this world or the next. I belong in Neverland; second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. My place is in Peter Pan’s hideout, planning new adventures on an island where I am legendary. I want daring swordfights with nasty pirates, and scavenger hunts with the mermaids in Mermaid Lagoon. I want to hear the fairies giggle as I rush by in wild attempt to hide treasure from the Lost Boys.
Somewhere in Neverland the waterfalls whisper my name, encouraging me to lose myself in their rivers until duty calls. The forest is so peaceful yet alive; it begs for the chaos and hollers of Lost Boys who are victorious in finding their leader during an overcomplicated, brilliant game of hide-and-seek.
The disaster that comes with growing up is a horrid feeling. You lose the time and energy to run, to scream, to believe in what you cannot see. I can’t lose any of that. I don’t want to grow up if it means the end. I want to believe in monsters, fairies, pirates with flying ships, Indians with healing rituals, and mermaids with secret desires to drown other girls out of jealously.
I would give anything to run away with a charming, bold boy with the marvelous power to fly over great distances with the ease of a bird. I’d love to put my faith and trust into spreading my arms and jumping. In a perfect world I would take off, making my way to Neverland and never looking back.
But I will always be told it is fiction, stories, pretend. Well, I play pretend because I don’t want to grow up. I play pretend because it helps. I play pretend because Peter Pan is the prince of all that is childish and adventurous but I intend on being the queen.
Happy 16th birthday to me.