I was a tree-house-obessed fifth grader. One of my dad’s favorite places was the Home Depot, and a few times a week he would take me along with him. There was a book about tree-house construction in the book section at the front of the store near the checkout stand. While my dad stood in line, I would read about tree-houses and imagined designing and creating my own. Those trips with my dad to Home Depot and browsing through that book sparked in me a love for passionate tree-house dwelling.
After much research, I determined that the ultimate tree house consisted of a slide, a ladder, a rope swing, and shelter for overnight stays under the stars. And because my dad is a handyman and a kid at heart himself, he began working on building my dream tree-house. Perched alongside our pecan tree, my treehouse had a slide, a ladder, and two stories. The bottom story I pinned sheets as curtains where the cement slab was my stage where I would sing and dance for anyone who would listen.
Then I got the wildest idea to make a tree-less tree house in my closet. I wanted a place to read -a reading nook. I came home from school, found the key to my dad’s tool shed, found as many pieces of plywood as I could, and hauled them all into my room. My closet had wooden shelves mounted on L-brackets about two-and-a-half feet from the top of the ceiling. Piece by piece I pulled each sheet of plywood into the closet and up onto the wooden shelves, creating a short second story in my closet, a mere two-and-a-half feet from the ceiling. Those were my tiny days. I laid a blanket over the plywood, tossed up some pillows, and a small collection of books. I climbed up the step stool and made myself comfortable in my own reading nook that I created for myself.
I was so proud.
Until my dad came home and informed me that the weight from my body and the plywood was too much for the sheetrock and the L-brackets were about to bust from the wall and make my entire closet come crashing to the ground. He made me take it all down and put all the wood back in his shed.
Even though I didn’t have the knowledge or tools to build what I had envisioned, I was proud of the ingenuity to create what I imagined. That naivety of the rules made me fearless. I saw what was at my disposal and thought of how I could make my vision work. I found my own way of creating. My resources as a child were limited, but not my imagination.
Over time I’ve become less and less brave. With age comes revelations of restrictions. We lose our wonder and naivety and that loss keeps us from stepping outside the box. We start to think, “That can’t be done.” instead of “How do I make this happen?” Fear builds restrictions for our rogue.
So we must learn to be fearless. Let’s go back to that sense of wonder where we believed anything was possible. Where obstacles weren’t mountains, but merely tools for inventions. Let’s believe that anything we imagine can be built. Let your naivety take over because in child-like naivety, fear is absent. What we build might not always end up working out, but what matters is that we try. We go rogue with our imaginations and try.
Let’s start today…
What dream would you build?