Drawing Out Childhood

Sometimes after a bad day, I feel like I’m a little kid again.

Here’s my theory. So I’m 24 years old, but I’m also 11 years old. See when you’re 24, you’re also 23 and 22 and 21 and … 12 and 11 and so on. I know, it sounds strange, but bear with me.

When you wake up on your birthday, you never actually feel the new age. Sure, it’s exciting and maybe you can get your license or buy a lottery ticket or even drink a glass of wine legally, but those are just meaningless symbols, markers. It takes a while to really sink in.

Stages of Life

And then some days, random things will happen. You’ll tell a dumb, immature joke to your friends and immediately regret it as it slips out of your mouth, but that’s just the part of you that’s still twelve. One day maybe you’ll come home from school and make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and chocolate milk for dinner, and that’s the part of you that’s still seven. And then sometimes when you have a bad day, you’ll just want to sit and cry or drown in self-pity and do nothing productive, but that’s just the part of you that’s still five.

So as I sit criss cross apple-sauce on my bedroom floor drinking my chocolate milk out of a straw, I very well may be just coming up with excuses for my child-like mood and procrastinating my physics homework, but age is a funny thing.

Of course no one wants to be the forty year old mom still stuck in her high school days or the old guy that cracks jokes like he’s fourteen years old, but too many people take themselves too seriously as they grow up and mature into “adulthood”.

Our society is obsessed with the future. We’re always planning for what’s next. Where am I going to go to college? Graduate school? Law school? When am I going to get married? Job? Kids? Grandkids?

We’ve all heard it a million times — that the moments right now in the present are quick and fleeting and we must grasp on for dear life, but that’s empty advice and much easier said than done. Everyone is so eager to look ahead.

So next time you’re stressed and maybe planning for what will happen in a week, a month, a year, two years, dig for that part of you that’s still seven, when the world was simpler, you hadn’t opened the door into the future yet and your biggest worry was if you’d get to have chocolate milk for dinner.