Friendships made in youth were based upon what "could be," "dreams," "whims," "opportunities," and figuring out the world together. Sometimes, we wanted to grow up too fast, dreaming of cars and careers and living on our own, and other times we were happy with age-appropriate milestones like adolescence, periods, and first kiss.
When was the last time you had a snowball fight? Went sledding? Stalked out into the woods with a map looking for some supposed buried treasure, or camped in your back yard? Bonfires, shadow puppets, bedtime stories, and dress-ups are not just for children. Sometimes, performing the "frivolous" is the best way to recall what is exciting about life.
If you want to tap that childlike exuberance and wonder, those tight friendships, those searches for treasures and missions against monsters, pull up some of these movies below. When you are done, do something from your youth, whether it's swinging on a swingset or getting your friends together on some crazy adventure.
I am highly encouraging you to bring back the traits of your youth and look at the world as something unexplained still and study it, interact with it, learn how it works, washing away how you were told in school to see it.
Open your minds - insert wonder!
Here are just a few movies that will inspire different parts of your child-self. (Descriptions thanks to IMDB site)
Stand By Me: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy with his outcast friends of his youth.
This one is particularly good if you want to recall setting a goal and going for it, no matter what the obstacles or how frivolous it might seem to others. It will also remind you of the power of a group of friends who have a common goal and believe in that which they seek.
Now and Then: Four 12-year-old girls grow up together during an eventful small-town summer in 1970.
This one is good if you want to recall the awkwardness of adolescence, the desire to fit in and yet be different, and the power of friends who stick through everything, even if they are quite dissimilar. It deals a fair amount with loss at a young age and emotional support of friends.
The Goonies: In order to save their neighborhood from developers, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient treasure.
This movie is all about unique traits. Each child has a special set of talents to bring to the table for a common goal. It's about taking a big risk for a big reward and escorting each other to the finish line.
Explorers: Ben Crandall, an alien-obsessed kid, dreams one night of a circuit board. Drawing out the circuit, he and his friends Wolfgang and Darren set it up, and discover they have been given the basis for a starship. Setting off in the ThunderRoad, as they name their ship, they find the aliens Ben hopes they would find... but are they what they seem?
This one is about dreaming the impossible and chasing it with friends who are willing to go along and join in the wonder and the hope.
The Monster Squad: A young group of monster fanatics attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his army of monsters.
This one is about courage and determination, banding together as a group for a common goal and being on the side of right.
The Last Starfighter: A video-gaming boy, seemingly doomed to stay at his trailer park home all his life, finds himself recruited as a gunner for an alien defense force.
This one is all about finding your special talents and a mission to use them.
Flight of the Navigator: In 1978, a boy is moved 8 years into the future and has an adventure with the alien ship that is responsible for that.
This one is great for exploring your purpose and your ambassadorship skills.
Little Darlings: Two 15-year old girls from different sides of the tracks compete to see who will be first to lose their virginity while at camp.
This one is a great reminder of trying to compete with others, keep up appearances, out-do the neighbor. It puts big decisions into better focus.
The Parent Trap: Teenage twin girls swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.
This is a great one for reminding us of our very best friend and the close ties we develop as we go for a goal that seems impossible, but with the power of two, we can get it done.
The Outsiders: The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.
This is a reminder of how traumatic youthful events can change the course of a life.
Lucas: A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends -- Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love -- fall for each other.
This one is great for understanding heartache, feelings of being an outsider, and how determination of the face of defeat can create a miracle.
My Side of the Mountain: Sam, a brilliant child, leaves home for the mountains after being told that the family summer trip has been canceled, thus preventing him from doing the algae experiments he had planned for that summer. The film chronicles his struggle for independence, and with the forces of natures.
This one is great for remembering what it's like to disregard what people tell you is possible and not letting fear stop you from a goal.
Escape to Witch Mountain: Two mysterious orphan children have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire. But where do these kids really call home?
This is about saving what is precious about you, what is unique to you, and valuing your life and your preciousness enough to fight to keep it intact.
The Phantom Tollbooth: Milo is a boy who is bored with life. One day he comes home to find a toll booth in his room. Having nothing better to do, he gets in his toy car and drives through - only to emerge in a world full of adventure.
This one is all about imagination and the power of it to transform you. If you can think it, you can do it!
War Games: A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.
This one is about realizing the power you wield and doing the right thing.
Snow Day: When a school in upstate New York is snowed in, a group of students hi-jack a plow to keep the school closed.
This one reminds us of how a group can form for a common goal and have more power than the individual. It's also about capturing a day and making it last!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: A poor boy wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all.
This one is a great story to remind you that diligence and honesty win out and wonder and respect are well rewarded.