There is a new found freedom when one suddenly doesn’t have to physically attend school anymore. All the social pressures of what to wear, how to fix your hair, name brands, trends, you name it, suddenly disappear. We all remember what those pressures were for each of us and it is no different today. So I am seeing an emotional freedom in my children now that school is online. Showers, clean clothes, and brushed hair are optional. The most pressing need now is working internet and a quiet space to listen to lectures. Both of those seem to be at a scarcity in our house!
Yet, In this new reality I have seen some creativity and freedom emerge in my children. My middle schooler, in particular, has quickly shed the middle school fatigue. In fact, this past weekend, he dyed his hair. He didn’t pick any color, he picked the brightest hot pink he could find. He sat extra long to make sure the color took hold, and he dutifully followed all the instructions. His hair is shockingly pink. It’s extra long right now as well so he looks a little bit like a Fuzzy Q-tip with lipstick on top. And he loves it. Not only is he super proud of his hair dying creation, he loves his new “look”. When I asked him about his Zoom Spanish class and if kids could see him he looked at me and said “pink hair don’t care”. I cannot help but think about how free from judgement and criticism he feels. I cannot help but wonder how much of his creativity has been sparked by the absence of stress. Not that we don’t have stress in the house, we do. But social stress seems to have faded away and the all too common desire to “fit in” or just “not stand out” for a middle schooler has all but disappeared. How beautiful. How wonderful for him to get this moment in time to breathe a little creative life into his soul. How awesome would it be if one of the fallouts from this time in seclusion is that people emerge more comfortable and confident.
So how about you? What pressures have loosened their grip on you? Or better yet, what stressors have you let go of this past month? How has that changed your perspective on things like your work, your relationships, your self? Have you found a new sense of freedom to “be who you really are” or at least to let your creative self out? As we all know, Middle School luckily doesn’t last forever but societal pressure does. This break has given us the opportunity to “reset” and rediscover who we are, what we love, what we need, and what we really don’t need. It’s a time to “clean out the closets” of life and pursue relationships and activities that build you up and make you feel good. It has also given us a chance to breathe life into pieces of our soul we may have neglected or forgotten about.
We also have been given to the chance to move closer to who we are created to be. Psalm 139:14 reminds us that “we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Today may you clear your mind from all that clutters it. May you also free your soul to become all you have been made to be!