Adulthood, a period in a human being’s life which for most people, is a long-winding road of unachievable goals and overbearing responsibilities. The feeling of suppression and stupor because our career path, children, spouse or parents, often wears you down with infectious indolence and lethargy. Getting out of bed feeling extremely fatigued on days deemed special like an anniversary, or a birthday or just simply a weekend has become the norm. And we yearn to breathe the air of freedom from these mental blocks that have settled in our mind.
BEING AN ADULT IS HARD WORK!
As adults, we are extremely serious. We plan and lead our lives by bearing the weight of the world on our shoulders. Everything becomes our ‘problem’ to solve. We put at ransom our own time and energy for others who will reap the real riches. And we leave little to no room to nurture our own needs. We inexplicably marry past with misgivings and wonder, regularly worrying and sometimes obsessing about what the forthcoming future will hold. We bring agony to our mental doorsteps when things don’t go as planned.
Similarly, adulthood is the first place for multi-faceted transformation. There is an unseen expectation of us from the society that we should follow the traditional patterns set out by our forefathers. Perhaps, our lives are designed for us in a way that we will always be held accountable for ‘being an adult.’ We will carry our age as a sash across our chests. It means that we have to live up to the eyes of expectations of the peripheral world, relentlessly checking our standards. We are expected to always be in motion and to do the correct things, to at no time fail; to always be accountable for your actions. Over time, we become ever more ‘adulted’ and our bodies attract more wear and tear; we look in the mirror and we start to fear, that our life is under attack like a chasing lion on the trail of a deer.
SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION TO “ADULTING”?
Yet, a solution is always available to prick the eyes of trials and tribulation. My friends, I doubt we have to look far or wide to find the answer; let us just shake the hands of the child within us. Let us bring the child outside!
HERE ARE THE KEYS TO BRINGING OUT YOUR INNER CHILD:
First, forget about the problems of the world for a while. The bills, the problems and the queries will always be there to be solved. Why lose yourself in snags and the difficulties of this world, when you already know that its design is just to double your troubles?
RELIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD
Remember how time paused when you had fun as a child? Think back to the days when you were at peace with the decisions made and the consequences because you knew you could fix them. Think back to the days when you were a child.
Observe how fearless a child’s behaviour is. Observe their curiosity. Make a point to understand the way children ask questions, and how they investigate things. Do you realise how unbothered they are by results, and how interested they are in the process of how things work?
Why did we terminate these attributes that once made us happy? Are we too much of an adult to rebrand ourselves?
Let the child that is in you come out as more of an inquirer and less of a person who knows it all. The child in you is smart because he intended to learn more than cared to teach; hence, his life was less complicated. The child in you was a smooth operator at all times because he was under no pressure to make a point. The innocence in you also helped you to stay pure, untainted and relaxed. You were thrilled to be wrong because you knew that you have all the time in the world to get right. Where is the child in you?
THINK LIKE A CHILD!
By the same token, have some fun for the fun of it! Let down your hair and be free like the child you used to be. It is not trivial to go to the playground and just play! Bring out the child in you; go on the slides, monkey bars, and swings. They helped you to develop skills when you were younger; they are still everyone’s favourite features at any playground.
Bring yourself to the table of childish fun and turn your mind around to the more innovative features found in modern playgrounds. There is no doubt that you will find things at the park that will keep you busy and entertained. Additionally, children’s parks will take you back to the days when you stayed out frolicking with your friends until sunset. Bring out that child in you!
Likewise, when can you say that you and a few friends sat down and played some games? Children are masters of competition, yet they don’t take a loss to heart. Game nights are always the best nights to reel in the earlier years, especially with board games. From Monopoly to Twister, game nights are intended to keep you energetic and dynamic while indoors.
The important concept about board games or other games alike is that they convey a message of unity amongst people. Children are masters at involving others in their fun. They understand the value of inclusion and having a great time when engaging in social activity. This inclusion adds to the creative and critical thinking skills of both children and adults alike. So it is time to bring the board games back!
BRING THE TOYS OUT!
Have you ever reflected on some of your favourite toys as a child? If yes, then there can be no greater time to get your toy collection back up — and yes, play with them! Invite your childhood friends over, play dollhouse and make your mud pie. True liberty comes from the fact that the child in you is alive. Get your puzzles out, challenge your friends to put them together faster than you can. Be competitive with it.
Furthermore, make a giant toy box and start recollecting some of your favourite appliances, puzzles, dolls or action figures. You might even realise that a new toy with new capabilities can be worth your while. Go ahead browse a few stores that you find interesting. Or get the latest Avengers toy! This activity will improve your mood. It will make you feel liberated and free. Toys are fun no matter how old you are. Get them toys out! Finally, the world is a stressful stage that can wear you down when you least expect it. There is a time to be an adult and a time to be a kid. But most importantly, we must never take the child in us for granted.
Remember, we were never born as adults; we grow up into the role. The child in us must come out to expand the quality of our lives. Do not shelf the days when we were not to be afraid to make mistakes. We must reteach ourselves to learn from them instead of beating ourselves up.
The child in us must help us to be curious, playful, sociable, revived and be able to accept that we have limits as human beings, but our horizons are limitless. The child in you must be a learning machine, hungry for growth and development. The child in us must still dream of a happier tomorrow. Hence, we must stifle the oppression that comes from the world of adulthood and reopen the door of our childhood self and unmask the child in us. Bring the child outside!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerome Douglas is a 26-year old trained teacher, poet and writer from the beautiful island of Jamaica. His philosophy is “If it is for me to be, then it is up to me.” He attended the Catholic College of Mandeville in Jamaica. Additionally, he is a community builder and humanitarian who volunteers his time to help with the academic and social wellbeing of people in his central Jamaica community and surrounding areas.