To live like Azia at 10 . . .
Do it now.
Now is always the best time. Begin. Plans and patterns can be figured out along the way or often completely ignored. They aren’t as necessary as many others believe.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to grow up. Though many friends around you are desperate to be older too quickly (and you find yourself balanced right on the edge of being a child and now longer being a child at all) cling to childhood.
Always add more color. More patterns. More shimmer. And thrown on a pair of boots (purple cowboy boots, zebra-print rainboots. . . really whatever you have laying around.) Life is more fun when you’re vibrant and sparkling.
Be busy. There is so much to be done, so many things to create. Always be working on something. Also, nearly every project is more successful with duct tape and glitter, so it’s best to stock up.
Remember you can be both tough and dazzling. They go together well. Make sure your nails are painted perfectly before you work on your take downs. Understand your favorite ruffled skirts, polka dot leggings, and pink cleats are perfect for throwing strikes or hitting doubles. Be that visual reminder that everyone needs an amazing sequined hat for fishing. Sometimes people forget that pink looks fabulous with mud.
Pay attention to the moon, the beauty of its phases and stages and how it lights up the night.
Sleep. Start your days early and be sensible enough to end them when you’re tired. Put on comfy pajamas, find your favorite blankets, and tuck your favorite stuffed dog or your American girl doll under your arm. Find your kitten and put it to sleep beside you. Sleep soundly despite all that constant talking, giggling, and yelling at your brothers you do in your sleep.
Have just enough fear to keep people guessing. Rollercoasters? Huge fireworks? Two things everyone assumes are things you’d love? Avoid them at all costs.
Be unconcerned with other’s expectations. Even when it would make your life a little easier, stick to your own agenda. Spend your days figuring out answers to your own questions, building things to make the world more interesting or beautiful.
So as your mother dusts and re-stacks the growing pile of unopened math books, you’re much too far away to hear her sigh. You're already floating downstream in the canal, wearing the mermaid tail you’ve made, alterations for the next generation of your design already swimming through your head.