Friday, 21 August 2009

Adulthoodery

Growing up has always been a strange concept to me. It is a process of change, at which end we become adults. Becoming an adult has always been an important part of society, even today we have rites of passage in form of high school finals. Matura is called the Adult Test and the fuss about it is at that level. A few months later, it's forgotten so I'm always unsure why we put such a big importance on being an adult and have this strange concept of what an adult is.

When we had a party in primary school, someone spilled a drink on my food and the teacher said I shouldn't worry because it all gets mixed in my stomach anyway. I find that explanation as unreasonable today as I did then.

I still hold true to the ideologies that I had then, ignoring all those voices telling me I was too young/stupid to hold any. In essence, the only thing that changed about me is that I can express myself better and learned new social tricks. There's very little change involved in growing up, most of it is learning the ability to manoeuvre in social environments and a lot of self-discovery. Yet we have this notion of child and adult, two opposing concepts defined by visual perceptions.

We see kids play with toys, they're into games, comics, lego, transformers, anime and all that weird stuff. Seeing kids being into all that we associate it with what a child is, then our obsession with a rite of passage tells us there is a line between an adult and a child, that you can only be one or the other. We end up with situation where if you have a collection of superhero figures on a shelf in your house, you're acting childish. The only way to be an adult in that mindset is to leave those things behind and to offer yourself to work, paying bills and watching the news. It is irrelevant that having that collection doesn't immediately mean a person doesn't do any of those adult things, that the childish replaces the adult.

A child has the connotation of innocence, adult doesn't. So maybe an adult doesn't like people acting like kids because in some subconscious flare of symbolic logic, he wants to drag them into his pit of sin. On the other hand, an adult is responsible, a child isn't. We would like to deal with responsible people, who stick to their word and think before they do or say anything. Yet the world is filled with irresponsible adults who are not into childish things.

"When will you finally grow up?" becomes a strange question. It's hard to reply without seeing misguidance in it. Sure, buying a toy is expensive but I hardly have the same level of expenses as someone who spends his disposable income on alcohol and cigarettes. Is it really better to not spend anything at all and just hole yourself up in work? There's still family that you can turn to instead of work but then, family is a very childish thing. An adult can live alone but a child has real problems doing the same.

I'm going to be a child for as long as I live because I care about you, because passion should not die with age and be replaced by normality, because seeing the wonders of the world and the mind is never boring, because playing with children is more fun than drinking with adults.

Because buying a toy for half price makes me smile for weeks to come...