Have you ever been in an argument and you go all batshit crazy on the person, acting like a kid. And then the other person yells, “Oh come on, grow up!”
What if I tell you amongst all the insults a person could throw at me, the words “Grow Up” terrify me the most. The only thing that keeps me up at night.
I associate my creativity with a lot of things and the key ingredient of that being – my childlike vision of the world, everyone has those they just grow out of it as they grow up. You see, everyone is born naive, gullible and innocent. You will never find a kid who acts like an adult unless life has hit him like a sledgehammer which it does to everyone occasionally. For most people especially Indians it is the years between 9th to 12th standard when the vision of progress and future in the world hits a child. (I’m not explaining, everyone knows why!)
This childlike enthusiasm is what drives a person to become what he does. When I was a kid, I wanted to build bridges to space, fly to the moon without a spacesuit like Superman (who after growing up I realised also needs oxygen in space) or beat up a bully at school because he was doing something bad. But soon life gets in the way.
You develop a conscience, your kiddish mentality and wild ideas are counteracted by a practical and worldly approached elderly persona. It’s mostly you older and wiser that takes away all the glow of your creative spirit because it has to, for a child can be played around by the adults and end up losing everything.
Do you ever feel like dancing in the middle of a street? Or yelling at random strangers on the road? Or shoplifting? Or spitting and seeing how far or fast it goes? Well, that’s the inner kid in you talking. When you were a kid, you could do that and you wouldn’t care but now if you do, you will feel there’s a part of your conscience that is rebelling against it. That, my friend, is Adulthood.
Everyone has an adult conscience and should have that because if they don’t there are a few places those people end up – a mental asylum or a dejected state where everyone hates them for being too outward and expressive.
I don’t worry that I have too much of the adult conscience in me but what I do fear is that with time, there will be only the adult part of me talking and none of the child there to speak at all.
Have you ever seen a kid, your younger sibling – whose like around 5 or a cousin or a friend of the same age doing something mischievous? Like breaks, a dish or writes on the wall or does anything the elders don’t like. He/she gets a slap and begins shedding tears like a tsunami and accompanies it with a wild horn of a cry that an injustice has been put down on him/her. And after half an hour of crying or so (some even earlier) they eventually wind up in the arms of the other parent or sometimes the same parent.
You see that is how long a child stays angry or keeps a grudge for. Now, don’t backfire on me a question of a 5th standard girl who had a fight with her friend and never spoke to her again but you do get what I am talking about. An adult, on the other hand, would keep a grudge, speak a very nice tune on the face and plant a knife in the back. The concept of mercy and forgiveness have a diminished virtue in a world where adults are professionals and worldly – wise.
I am grateful to have the parents that I do. I get the restless mind, technological awareness from my dad and the creativity from my mother. And I attribute every inch of a breakthrough whether it be psychological or scientific to their way of upbringing. But I fear that the child in me sooner or later will die. My parents always felt I wasn’t living up to my potential, they did believe back then and do believe still that all their kids can be, “ A Jack of all trades and Master of all”. It put a lot of pressure on me but did manage to get me a long way through. Hence, to be a master you need to have extra long hands to grab the books and even a longer grasp of understanding to attain a diverse set of skills.
Back in my first days of college, my mother would call me every day. I got angry at her and yelled at her for bothering me, “ What could she possibly want? I spoke to her yesterday, what could happen to me in less than 24 hours? “
Now, a few days back my sister goes off to meet a friend and comes home late and even though I never told her, I was worried. “She should have been back home by now, where is she? Has something happened?” So, the kid who thought “Why the tension?” grew up and now knows how a bit of how an adult thinks.
What happens when one day I think of something ground shattering and chuck it under the rug to chance and move on. Thinking, ”Why hasn’t anyone thought of it before me?”. I have had the thoughts now as well but the kid in me always advises me to take the risk stating and making me believe, “What’s the worse that can happen?” and has had a lot of success with it so far. This blog is one of those and my research papers some of the others.
I fear that someday I will grow up and become yet another cog in a machine that is run by someone or a group of them somewhere who share no common interest to me. Do you ever meet your boss who has a long list of accomplishments and he greets you. And in response to that, you are so shocked as to how a man that big knows someone as small as you? I get it all the time no matter how small that accomplishment is. That is my inner child talking. Even though he gets me in trouble sometimes I fear he will be gone sooner than later. That’s what life does to all of us sooner or later, I have felt it doing it all this while and I can still feel it continue its course now.