Walking through the street after a short trip to gather some supplies to do some home improvement, we stumbled upon a yard that was filled with home-made cutouts of popular tales and cartoons from my childhood. After the 30 seconds of nostalgia passed, I was confronted by some comments from a friend that I received last year and surprised me quite a bit.
This was a friend I have known for over 15 years. Someone I used to hang out with a lot and someone with whom I always had something in common. After I moved to Canada we completely lost touch and only ever exchange messages here and there through Facebook. Recently he contacted me to know how life was going over here, to tell me that he was surprised at how much I had changed and at the fact that I was living with my partner. He concluded the entire conversation by telling me how glad he was that I finally stopped being a child and how I had finally grown up.
I have the believe that the way we — society and media in general — portray adulthood is nothing short of backwards: Adults are supposed to be these humorless, bored, pessimistic, and very often miserable creatures who do nothing but work, eat pizza, and watch television. As children we often wonder how we are going to end up, and as teenagers we either wish to already be there or never be there. After adolescence is done one day we realize that everything passed by in the blink of an eye and that adulthood has been reached.
Since I was a teenager I have been criticized for having a rather childish sense of humor and being generally silly, which is something I actively aim for. This carried on to the later years of my life, and as of lately has only ever been labeled as weird. Weird or not, it is something I am glad to be, and something I desire no one to lack.
Luckily I work and hang around with people who are very like-minded and have quite a lot of their childish-self within them — perhaps not in their more work or achievement-related parts of their life but more in the way they react to situations or interact with people. I myself like to keep myself not too serious as I tend to be pessimistic and very harsh about everything.
All in all, I like to strive for the opposite of what my friend was thinking I had become. In his mind it was a good thing that I had grown old and given up my childish ways, but in reality I am only growing… larger? And being the same person I have always being (plus a few improvements I suppose). I am not a child anymore, but I would rather not lose the bits childish-ness that are left in me.
Is there something about growing up that I missed? At the very least I am glad I missed the memo that told me to grow up.