Childhood vs. Adulthood

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I wish I still had the mind-set of a child, where my deepest worry was contemplating what to bring in for show and tell.  Now, every day is full of worries: will my real estate investments pay off in the future, or will my lack of diversification hurt my retirement; will I be able to figure out a meaningful career path, or will I fulfill what feels like a lifelong sentence of monotony and boredom; will I become lonely as I age if I do not start a family or will I continue to enjoy my freedom and independence?  Not to say that every single day revolves around apprehensive thoughts, but some days are more of a struggle than others.  I have learned that certain activities help take my mind off these recurring fears: running, reading and now writing.  Writing is not a new passion of mine, but it is one that I have shunted many years.  Seeing my emotions in the written word makes them feel more manageable.  For any Harry Potter fans, I liken the experience to withdrawing my thoughts with a wand and pouring them into a Pensieve.  It relieves a burden; they are no longer trapped and hidden.

Lately, I have been thinking about how differently our minds work in childhood and adulthood, even simply my thoughts on trees.  As I child, my first thought would be, “I wonder how high I could climb in that tree,” whereas now I think, “I wish my neighbor would cut that tree down so I don’t have to rake all its leaves that fall on my property.”  Continuing on that thought, raking was a fun activity years ago that involved carelessly jumping in piles of leaves, now it is a weekend chore that involves mutant moths attacking me at every chance.  It is strange how our attitudes can do an about face over the years.  I’d like to think someday I’ll revert back to the old way of thinking and now is just a temporary period of petulance.

The words to the new song, “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots also struck me, “I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink, but now I’m insecure and I care what people think.”  I have been told by my mother that when I was a toddler, I brightened a stranger’s day by randomly dancing in the middle of a checkout line.  Although, I would still like to brighten someone’s day if I had the chance, I can’t imagine doing it in the same fashion.  I wish that weren’t the case.  I wish I could be more relaxed and ignorant of other’s judgements, but I struggle to do so.  A high school classmate once told me he knew one day I would break out of my shell of reserved shyness, but it hasn’t happened yet and I feel disappointed in myself that I have not yet fulfilled that goal.  Although, I think I have become slightly less quiet than I was in high school, I still have a long way to go; so far there is just a small crack in that shell.

The biggest difference is my attitude towards getting out of bed.  I vividly remember when I was younger that I would dash out of bed the second my eyes opened.  I didn’t want to miss a second of the day.  After all, I had to get in some decent pogo stick time, practice Chinese jump rope and maybe some hopscotch if there was time.  I even remember asking my mother why she didn’t feel the same way about getting up immediately.  I can’t remember her exact response, but I know the reason now as an adult.  Now, getting out of bed means getting ready for work or doing weekend chores; nothing as exciting as childhood pastimes.  I also remember promising myself I would always get out of bed right when I woke up and I never wanted to understand the reason why anyone would feel differently.  I suppose I didn’t understand the snooze button at that age.

I think it’s important to remember the childhood version of ourselves.  As adults, there are a lot of responsibilities that get in the way of being creative.  Just looking back to some of my memories increases my desire to change up the monotony in my life.  Brushing up my writing skills and finding interesting ways to put writing to use in unique ways will continue to be my goal for the near future.  Who knows, maybe someday I’ll even have the confidence to bust a move for someone feeling glum.

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