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“Can I interest you in some salad tonight sir?” The sound rolled off my eight year old tongue in a cheesy Italian accent. Such a simple phrase often provided my child like mind hours of entertainment.

Looking through the foggy window panes in my kitchen, all me eyes could see was a sea of light orange leaves on the ground freshly fallen from above. Looking through the glass I saw the huge metal contraption sitting on the grass, complete with a slide and a pole coming off of the top as a place for swings to wait until someone came and played with them. I spent countless hours building a “machine” to manufacture pretend salad. I hung red and blue plastic buckets from the jungle gym filled with brightly colored leaves and woodchips. I took handfuls of each and pushed them down the slide, creating a mixture of green and orange leaves with woodchips at the bottom – my gourmet “salad”. To transport my salad, I became a truck that moved my product all around my newfound food processing plant behind my house.

I created restaurants to sell the salad in, pretending to be the chef, customer and waitress all at the same time. “What can I get you tonight sir?” I would question to the cold, empty air in front of me with a smile on my face. Then I would turn around and become an entirely different person. “Salad?! I’ll take all that you’ve got! I love salad!” I cheered as Max, one of my many customers. I would make fake menus, money and credit cards all to sell my highly valuable leaves and woodchips. I created a mini salad empire to monopolize all of the other children’s fake salad businesses, and had a wonderful afternoon doing it.

Simply paper, leaves and woodchips made me truly excited for hours on end. As I grow older, even expensive pieces of technology are not enough to grasp my attention for more than a few minutes. I often feel using my imagination is taboo, and strictly for young children. When in reality, many brilliant ideas are stored in my imagination. Imagination is simply a different way of observing the objects and people I encounter every day. When I was younger, I could play with leaves and woodchips and turn them into something entirely different. I need to see the things in my world, and look at them from a different perspective, and see all that they really have to offer. If I embrace my imagination, it is truly letting me observe the world through a different perspective. Looking back, I realize how easy it is to use my imagination, as long as I’m comfortable with myself. I’m constantly aware of being judged, and act accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with being by myself, or pretending I’m in a completely different world. Being alone is healthy, just like using my imagination. I can learn a lot from remembering my childhood – even if it’s thinking about pushing leaves and woodchips down a slide.





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