Over spring break, I was reflecting on my cognitive and emotional development. Yes, I’m in college, and I work, and I make my own life decisions. Nevertheless, in some ways, I’m still a child. I like naps. I’m cranky when I’m tired. I like snacks. I’m cranky when I’m hungry. Yes, adults require nourishment and rest—but not as much as I do.
Sometimes I even find myself parenting… myself. I tell myself to put down the book and work. I push myself when necessary but I also know when to step back and take a break. Perhaps that’s what adulthood is—being able to take care of yourself the way your parents took care of you. But is it normal to still display such childlike characteristics?
For example, I’m simple. Hugs and hellos make me happy. Sugar makes me happy too; I’m a sugar fiend. Although I’m cranky when I’m tired, I’m usually brimming with energy. It can be difficult for my friends to keep up. Maybe that’s just me; maybe I’m just a bubbly person. But there’s more.
I have few inhibitions; I am unapologetically myself. I ask lots and lots of questions, and I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. Does that make me childish? Will I grow out of the curiosity and the energy? Honestly, I hope not. I’d rather be a happy, bouncy child than a stressed, overtired adult.
Ideally, the only prerequisites to adulthood would be possessing the maturity to practice adequate self-care and handle necessary responsibility. Let’s forget the rest of the pretense. It’s more important to retain the seemingly childish ability to let loose and enjoy the moment.