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What is ... “Fun”?

”What is...Fun?” I remember asking myself. A strange word. Not alien, for I knew it well. But when I tried to bring myself to define it on my own terms, I was faced with a strong truth: I didn’t know what it was.

I knew it in theory yes. But when I tried to name activities, ideas, moments when I had fun, I realized that it wasn’t really integrated into really anything that I did.

And then I realize that most of the activities that I do, I do by myself. Being raised as an only child, with adult siblings grown and out the house, I had to keep myself occupied and entertained for hours at a time. Now, don’t feel too bad for me. I actually think that was a great learning tool: I learned that I was my own best friend.

But I did realize in that moment, when trying to think about the fun that I have in my life, that I don’t have enough of it. And then I realized that the times that I had the most fun was when I was with people who I loved, and that I trusted to be fun and spontaneous around.

Fun and play is a very important part of development for children, and is also vitally healthy for adults. It helps teach children role playing, important moral lessons depending on the games the culture introduces, and provides stress relief for all. But for some of us, a childhood of abuse and addiction has led us here: where we often have a hard time having fun. This is because our childhood was somewhat or altogether stolen from us; our FUNdamental fun years taken from us. Those of us in this category often are haunted by traumas at worst, and have had to care for (i.e. physically, mentally, or emotionally) our adult care givers who were supposed to provide these things for us.

So going forward in 2019, I am making a new commitment, a new resolution, if you will, to simply allow myself to have more fun, to try new things, to not be afraid of failure. So many activities that I do I find enjoyable, such as painting, writing, exercise, etc.

But fun is a state of mine, one that I am determined to fill my life more with more with each day this year and many more to come.

Dominique (Afro Sappony/Norse-Irish/Polish descent) is a poet/spoken word/hiphop artist, short story writer, clothing line boss babe, + aspiring recreational therapist. She is also the co-founder of Indigenous Womxn In Solidarity Empowered + Rising. She is currently working on her B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies, and lives between the southeast + southwestern U.S.

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