Are we all, as adults, just extensions of our childhood? We can remember our childhood – the lucky ones can remember a lot – for specific details and events that shape who we are today. We might remember a song we loved as kids, and if we heard it so many years later would remember every word. Do we actually ever grow up?
I guess it depends on how you look at it. With this list, I hope to share reasons that might prove I grown up. I no longer adhere to the lessons my parents set forth or the ideas that conformed my adolescence to a “right” way of living.
1. Wash fruits and vegetables before I eat them – People do it all the time, sneaking quick bites of grapes before they are charged by the pound at the checkout counter (I once saw someone take a few bites out of apples before buying them). My dad used to scold me for not washing my favorite strawberries or green apples. He used to say that you would instantly die from poison if you didn’t wash them. Maybe it was adolescent spite that made me refuse to wash them. Maybe it was forgetfulness. Maybe I wanted to die.
2. Fear God – How can one fear God if one does not believe that God exists?
3. Feel ashamed during masturbation – In religion classes, masturbation was taught to me as something sinful. Only married people can have sex and masturbation was like having sex outside of marriage. It was something God did not like. Well dammit, I like it!
4. Abuse my sister – I once slammed my sister’s head into the wall when she blamed me for leaving the toilet seat up in the house. I swear it wasn’t me.
5. Fear death – The fact that I don’t wash fruits and vegetables before I eat them tells you that I don’t fear the possible effects that fertilizers and pesticides have on me. The fact that I don’t fear God tells you that I am dead inside to the idea that my spiritual Father will always have love in His heart for me. The fact that I don’t feel ashamed while masturbating tells you that I am one care-free dude who could be on the verge of spiritual awakenings brought on by alcohol bingeing and drug overdosing. The fact that I abused my sister as we grew up tells you that I am an angry individual with so much pent-up rage that an outburst is simmering on the surface and waiting to be unleashed.
Some of these things deal directly or indirectly to religious teachings. I went to to a parochial school for both grade school and high school. Somewhere in high school, I gave up on those many years of Christian teachings and abandoned my devotion to God. This rejection, though I will say it is more directed toward organized religion than God, has given me great relief during my pubescent years. I had freedom to explore myself in many ways.
Maybe we are born into this world as a specific person with a set group of unchangeable ideas and talents. As children, we learn a different set. As adults, we learn another. In total, we have three sets, part of us always wanting to be a kid and another part of us always wanting to grow up.
Honorable mentions: love my dad, think optimistically, respect the president, think I had superpowers, believe that the Earth was flat…