Forever Children

I’ve been really caught up with the concept of “maturity” for the longest time because of this gut feeling that I haven’t been maturing normally as could be expected with someone my age. I just chalk it up to abnormal hormonal levels and processes (since I am premature), which I also partly blame for the failure of my voice box to develop, and so therefore, my irritatingly high-pitched voice so unattractive to ladies.

But things that happened very recently made me reconsider what it is to be “mature,” what it is to be an “adult.” Of course the roughest measuring stick for that is our biological age, but we all think of something else when we say “We are already mature” or when a woman says, “I like a mature man.” It’s got something to do with reasoned thinking, stability of the mind, direction, purpose, solidity of personal plans and relationship with yourself.

Or so we’d like to think of it that way. It came to me last night that maturity, in a nutshell, is just our perceived success with our personal goal of filling in someone else’s shoes. I say “perceived success” because I think we always fail. And the most amusing part is that we never really become older in the process — we remain to be directionless infants needing guidance.

Maturity is a myth. It’s Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy and the Loch Ness Monster. No one in the history of all mankind has become an adult. But it is a fact that we are all purposeless cry-babies wanting someone strong and wise and powerful to lead us to where we should go. And in our effort to be like our father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, teacher, fictional heroic character — we fashion ourselves as ascending to a new level of wisdom and personal worth called “maturity” or “adulthood.” But there’s no such thing. We are, as it were, doomed to follow the steps of our own mature hero, scurry in his gigantic sheltering shadow while believing in the lie that we absolutely know what we are doing; that we are now capable and equipped with a newfound wisdom and sense of purpose. The world, as it seems to me, is one immense game of tag where all of us try our best to catch our heroes and be like them. But all along, our heroes are also snotty children themselves seeking comfort for they cannot ever catch their own heroes, their true maturity slipping away into the unreachable horizon.

I think of all this because now I’m done with this whole issue of “growing up.” I’m ready to live like a child all my life with all honesty. Perhaps that path is more fun.

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Inspired by a friend

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