When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to be older. I wanted to look and act like my older siblings and the people I saw on TV who were living incredible lives as young adults. I did everything I possibly could to make that happen. I grew up at a very young age, way younger than I should have and much earlier than was healthy…but at the time it’s what I thought I wanted.
Years later I find myself at a time and age when I’m trying to do everything I missed out on by attempting to be more mature than I was meant to be. Everything in my life now is intended to keep me young…or be young for the first time, really. It’s not that I want to be young again, but I’m continually searching for the happy medium between being my current age and experiencing the good aspects of youth that I don’t believe we’re ever meant to outgrow.
Somehow as we get older it’s become an accepted practice to “grow up”. We even use it as an insult when someone is acting immature…but who’s right and who’s wrong? Is it possible to be mature and immature at the same time? Are we killing the most playful, creative sides to ourselves by having these limitations and rules about what we’re meant to do or how we should act at certain ages?
Learning skills of adulthood and responsibility may be most effectively adapted to in the early ages of our lives, but these skills don’t affect our ability to relax and have fun. However, we tend to have that happy-go-lucky side beaten down and out of us by the time we’re in our 20’s and surely by the 30’s and 40’s.
However, there’s a growing movement in the US and around the globe where people are waking up to this horrible mistake and starting to reconnect to earlier versions of themselves. Adult coloring books are quickly becoming mainstream in psychiatry as well as connecting to aspects of the inner child through writing with the non-dominant hand, meditation, hypnosis and a range of alternative treatments meant to reconnect what we’ve been trained to disconnect from.
I believe the greatest version of ourselves takes into consideration some of the aspects of adult maturity and responsibility mixed with large portions of the young mindset and energy. I don’t believe we need to choose one or the other…and in fact, acting immaturely at times proves to me that I’m not too old to still live the life that I want. It’s never too late and we’re never too far from our ideal selves.
Moral of the Story: Always stay young in heart and mind. You can’t help but learn the rest of what you’ll need in adulthood as you move forward in life, but if you never knew what it meant to have fun as a kid it will be forever difficult to thoroughly enjoy life as an adult.