Late Night Thoughts On The Importance Of Coloring Books

I was feeling a little too grown up tonight after getting caught up in searching for jobs online. I forced myself off my laptop and headed home. As I walked past the beautifully ornate Waterstone’s bookshop on Malet Street I found myself drawn inside. Standing in front of the store directory sign I surveyed my options. Ground floor: fiction. Second floor: boring. Third floor: serious. Fourth floor: children’s. Yes. That’s where I was headed. I made my way up, flight after flight, reaching the top floor with the rising childish sense of excitement I used to feel when entering a toy store. The room was bright and colorful in contrast with the rest of the building. Inviting. I stood before the wall of coloring books and smiled for the first time in what felt like hours. I flipped through them, applying an absurdly eliza judgement process by which to make my decision. Too easy, too detailed, not interesting. Perfect. “Draw Me a House: Architectural ideas, Inspiration, and Coloring” by Thibaud Herem. The book was filled with homes designed by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and that absurd contemporary architect who builds round tree houses.  I’d seen the book once before but considered the twelve pound ($19.14) price tag a bit excessive. I held it while I continued searching. My Very Own Hungry Caterpillar Colouring Book. Oh yes. Do I want them both? Yes. This will balance out the grownup-ness of the other coloring book. Great logic. As I pay, I internally laugh at myself a little for spending seventeen pounds ($27.19) on coloring books. I also applaud my inner five-year-old for making herself heard. She’s the one who makes sure I don’t get caught up in school and jobs and complaining about the lack sunshine in London. Luckily I’m not five anymore, and I won’t waste my near thirty dollars worth of coloring books by scribbling out pages to reduce the overwhelming number of coloring page options (five-year-old eliza logic). No, twenty-one-year-old eliza wants to color them all, starting from page one.

I’ve reached a point where I’m no longer intimidated by the plethora of options in my life. Instead, when I’ve successfully diverted the daily stresses  (ie. London’s lack of sunshine…) that try to distract me from all the exciting choices I can make each day, I’m entirely exhilarated. For me reducing that stress can mean going to the gym, seeing my friends, or investing a weeks worth of grocery money in coloring books. No matter how old you are, or how hard you work, I think it’s important to step back once in a while and do something that forces you to be in the now. Indulge your inner child. Work hard, play harder.

I’m vowing to stay off my computer for the rest of the night for a change. So if you need me, I’ll be coloring.

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