Childhood & Growing up
So many of us spend a good portion of our childhood striving to be grown up. It’s all those dreaded questions: What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to study in college? You know, all those delightful questions that require kids start thinking about their adult years before they’ve even hit puberty.
It’s an entirely unrealistic expectation, especially considering that the part of the brain that drives major executive decision making isn’t even finished baking until the early/mid 20s. At least when I was a kid we were allowed to be kids for a bit. Even if all those questions existed and persisted (which they did) there was still time for cavorting in the wooded area outside, games of make-believe, blanket fortresses on rainy days and the like.
Candidly I’m not altogether clear on what’s so amazing about being an adult. If it’s about having agency over myself and my life, choosing what I eat, wear and do with my time, then okay, I guess. But the problem I see is that when we say that someone is being “childish” or call someone “juvenile” it’s thrown as a pejorative. It’s something I noodled on in this episode of the Talk, Unleashed podcast.
Thing is, it’s when we are in these early developmental stages when the breath of creative life fills our lungs. When an oversized cardboard box might double as a pirate ship. When we bust into song and dance for no particular reason with our friends as we walk down the street.
Then we “grow up”. Gone are the impromptu dance parties. Gone are the creative sparks that lead to other worlds and characters.
Personally I think that’s a load of horseshit.
I’m that person who you see at a stop light, jamming out to the music on the radio and, on being seen by someone in another car, rolls down the window and invites them to jam along. I’m that person who doesn’t just mindlessly bob my head to music in the grocery store, but will bust a move and coax others to do same. It’s about joy.
So what’s your take on the idea? And what preconceived ideas can you break apart to find the power of that youthful mind and bring that passion into your life today?