Never Try So Hard To ‘Adult’ That Your Inner Child Goes Missing

Unsplash / Gabriel Matula

Although many of us still indulge in the occasional Capri Sun and, perchance, prefer our apples sliced, then dipped (or bathed for those intellectuals out there) in peanut butter, it’s easy, still, to become nostalgic about childhood.

To miss the innocence life once afforded to us as small people is a rite of passage.

However, after having thought long and hard about this notion, I found myself channeling Michael Jackson when he once sang “Have You Seen My Childhood,” a solemn but much welcomed adjustment from a 16- year-old me living out the chorus to his song “Keep It In The Closet.”

While I’ve definitely spent many a day, or nine, reminiscing on a life of yester, not until very recently had it dawned on me; this wistful nostalgia was less about my childhood per se and more about the child I lost touch with.

In a way I hadn’t ever before, I realized that through all of the confusion, turmoil, and constraint caused by my haphazard level of adulting, my inner child went missing long ago.

Had I known, I would have sent out an Amber Alert or at least a cute commemorative #tbt. I’ve learned that it isn’t the enchantment of pizza parties nor the innocuous naps during church or at the DMV that I miss.

Well, not entirely. If I’m being honest, as an almost 30-year-old 20-something (sure, typing “29-year-old” would be more direct but I’m 3 seasons deep in the quarter life crisis game, so sue me) my happiness still relies heavily on large amounts of pizza, all to the dismay of my dietician.

It’s also worth mentioning that usually after the routine and fatigue of a long tedious day of NOT being a boundless millionaire sets in, I’m shameless in my pursuit to swipe right on the inside of my eyelids, without the slightest bit of concern for venue.

Here’s a funny story: once upon a time (aka a rough Tuesday afternoon in October 2016), I actually fell asleep in the drive-thru at McDonalds, which I’m only now able divulge comfortably because I’ve snacked on kale chips thrice this week and I’m starting to feel like Gwyneth ‘Master P’ Paltrow, but I digress.

Nope. After thorough analysis, I’ve subsequently arrived at the conclusion that it isn’t the nuances of adolescence or babydom, as I lovingly call it, that I long for.

By no means do I wish to live or dwell in the past. I just miss the little boy who started it all. I can’t help but ponder, when was he recast? And has his replacement made this show any better?

Somewhere betwixt adolescence and preferring Susan Boyle on Spotify I must have, without consciousness, stepped far away from the kid who dreamed of becoming an interior designer, singer, actor, superhero, doctor, and boy Spice Girl (all at the same damn time). Talk about ambition, right?

As humorous as this may sound (hopefully AF), I unearth a deeper poignancy. It’s needless to say that as we mature we change and so too do our interests, goals, and circumstances in life, but should our pseudo-personal evolution be lateral?

I say “pseudo” not just because it sounds super neat, rather to prose a theory: are we as in control of who we become as we think we are? But also because it sounds super neat… Why doth thou Naomi Campbell-walk so far away from thy Destiny’s Child?

For me, connecting to my purest self, in essence, means to rediscover my divinity. Perhaps instead of “growing up” it may have been more beneficial to grow inward.

Perhaps all the questions I have yet to find answers to, as they pertain to my soul purpose in life, lie within a subconscious Mead composition notebook.

While I remain undecided whether or not to focus my next meditation on the metaphorical contents of my 2nd grade cubby, for the sake of not sounding too abstract, I’m simply saying, I wish to revive the me who wasn’t beguiled by peer and societal pressures.

What brought that me authentic fulfillment? How do I cultivate that me into the man I am today, and most importantly, the man I hope to become?

Lest this not flourish into a topic worthy of bemoan. The mere theory is more of a turning point. Now, what comes next is the pivot and swerve. I would find it quite befuddling to be isolated amongst my ePeers in feeling this way.

Being a grown up is expectedly hard work but must it leave one so soulfully defective? Asking for a friend… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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