tinkerbell silhoutte

Live Like Peter Pan

This month marks the 62nd anniversary of Disney’s release of Peter Pan. I believe we all need to be like Peter Pan. No, not exactly Walt Disney’s Peter Pan. I am talking about the cocky little bastard Peter Pan that J.M. Barrie created in 1904. Peter embodies enough confidence to inspire thousands and does whatever he wants, no matter who is watching.

As we grow up, we tend to lose our confidence and our untroubled way of life. We no longer can approach a random person in the middle of a park and ask if they would like to be friends. While at my age, the park setting may be altered to a bar or party setting, the case remains the same. We no longer have the self-assurance nor the carefree sense of nature to approach a complete stranger. It is of my observation that we have become far too concerned with the thought of being judged to release our carefree, confident side.

One of my favorite quotes comes from PJ Hogan’s 2003 adaptation of Peter Pan. Wendy begins to discuss the topic of love with Peter, and he responds, “Why do you spoil everything? We have fun, don’t we?” 

Why can’t we just have fun? I am not suggesting that the idea of love is appalling; for everyone wants to be in love and be loved in return. I also am not suggesting that we abandon our responsibilities just so we can have fun; after all, Peter is in charge of protecting the lost boys who reside in Neverland from Captain Hook, an act he successfully carries out. However, why can we no longer have fun in the process?

As stated before, people my age are far too concerned with the thought of being judged which restricts their confidence and in turn, their ability to be carefree. I often hear my peers refer to alcohol as “liquid confidence” because it awakens something within them which they so terribly fear to show. 

We decide to get drunk and release this inner side, but our state of our mind will be so blurred, we will not remember our actions and thus, we will not feel judged for these actions. 

Why must so many people my age resort to alcohol as a gateway to say what they want or do what they want? Why have we lost the confidence to merely approach someone we desire to talk to or do what we would like to?

A circumstance such as this happens with my friends nearly every weekend. It goes as followed: there is a good looking man at the bar whom my friends want to approach, yet they do not feel worthy or up to par with that person’s looks or personality. This is because we are our own greatest critique. What you may see as a causality in appearance, another may see as a staple of perfection. It is sad to say, but this is the truth.

One personal case of this misfortune happened during last summer. If you know me, then you must know I am honest to a fault so there is no sense in lying in this matter. During my freshman year summer class, there was one student who I had absolutely no courage to talk to. He was a senior on the soccer team and I felt I had a better chance of hitting a bullseye in the dark than striking a conversation with him. At the end of last spring semester, I would often see him out at the bars but still could not find the courage to speak to him. Now that I finally have the courage, I feel no need to approach him. 

People must realize that being single is something to cherish. One of the oddest phrases we hear around this campus has to be, “I just want to have a bae.” How can you desire to have someone who you know nothing about? If you find someone you sincerely care for, then you start dating; you do not search frantically for someone just to avoid being alone. Anytime you tie yourself to someone else, you simply are restricting your actions as you have another person to take into consideration.

Now I am 21-years-old and for the absolute first time, I feel somewhat confident. Key word: somewhat. Maybe it is because I am now a senior in college or simply that I have grown slightly more comfortable in my own skin. Whatever the cause, I have more fun and feel I am more fun to be around. 

I believe we are all too young to allow the fear of being judged to suppress our care free confident side. We all need to let out our inner Peter Pan and essentially not care about what others may think.