Do you ever really truly grow up? You may be wondering what I mean, like, OF COURSE, we grow up as we grow older. What I mean is, do you think you ever actually grow out of your childhood?
Still confused? I mean that I truly believe that parts of your childhood and your childlike behaviors and habits stay with you your entire life. I do not believe that anyone truly loses some of their childness, even at morbid ages.
As I am transitioning into my 20s, I have found that relating to my childhood and engaging in activities I used to enjoy, or do frequently, have become a central interest, or a current hobby. After having what I deemed a quarter-life crisis for about 3 years, I felt a little bit lost and unsure what the concept of “growing up” was, which may sound stupid. I was dealing with the insecurities of not knowing how a grown up acted, did, or behaved. All I knew was that I needed to get a job, start paying for things, become more independent, and party less, emphasis on partying less. I am not going to lie, to me, the idea of growing up slightly irritated me, because it meant that I had less time to do the things that I wanted. But, at the time, I am fairly sure I did not even have enough ideas to fill up my time.
While working full-time and being a full-time student left me to a limited amount of “free time,” even then I wanted to uncover the insecurities behind my quarter-life crisis. The ultimate insecurity behind my quarter-life crisis, which is not quite solved, was not knowing enough about myself to be passionate about, AKA a lack of hobbies. Working and education are great outlets to find your likes and dislikes, but your time cannot be consumed with this, as it will end up being detrimental to your sense of self. While finding the hobbies I truly enjoyed took me years, and I am still figuring it all out, I found that relating to my childhood and what I enjoyed during my childhood to help uncover my hobbies. Instead of killing time with mindless hours of work and school in order to ignore my self-doubt, I began finding out most of my current hobbies were hobbies I kept up as a youth.
Even your interests as a child, or childhood activities you engaged in, play a substantial role in shaping our own current interests. Growing up, I was quite athletic (if I do say so myself), engaging in gymnastics, soccer, karate, aikedo, swim team, tennis, cross country, and yoga. Similarly, my parents emphasized extra curriculars, such as piano, which developed my own passion for the art of music. They also promoted art, which has played a substantial role in my love and envolvement with art-like hobbies, such as crafting, journaling, reading, free-writing and coloring. Finally, growing up with a tech-savvy father, I became very invested in social media and technology, applying his coding techniques to PIMP out my Myspace. When I say PIMPED out, I mean my background for my Myspace was a collage of all my favorite pictures of me and my friends, which took hours of coding. YES, I did play hookey in order to dedicate hours of my life perfecting my social media. My love for fashion came from the technology of YouTube, where I would watch YouTubers do what they called “clothing hauls.” I followed various YouTubers, and while for most of my life fashion was not relevant, I slowly began enjoying the expressionism that fashion allowed. With all these past interests and involvement in these things, I developed hobbies, such as coloring, blogging, photography, and of course, it shaped the reason why I chose my major.
Regardless of hobbies, childhood behaviors and personality traits do stick with you wherever you go, even to your grave. In general I am a pretty outgoing person, but since I was a kid, in a group of new people, I am very quiet and reserved. This is something that I still struggle with. Even as a child, I would use my awkwardness as a sense of humor to try not to be so awkward. This tactic fortunately stuck with my entire life. Similarly, though I do not try to admit it, I AM A NERD AND PERFECTIONIST. Since childhood, I have found myself trying SO hard when it comes to everything in my life, especially when it comes to academics. This has been one of the traits that I still struggle with, as I seem unmotivated sometimes from the anxiety of not being perfect. To everyone’s surprise, my notes are all color-coated, and YES, it does irritate me when I make a mistake when I am writing my notes. Since I was younger, I would rip out the pages of notes, even if it meant that I had to rewrite the notes on the other side of the paper, and begin writing the notes again. This is one of my forcib habits that truly prove not to be time efficient, especially not that I am attending college. Even now though, I find myself scrunching my face whether I make a color-coding mistake, or if I have to cross something out. These things do stick with you, whether you realize it or not.
Enough about me, though.
I truly believe getting in touch with your childhood, and your hobbies, will help develop a handful of ideas for hobbies to help you with your journey of self-discovery. Try to utilize your childness (in this case, childhood behavioral traits, childhood personality traits, and childhood hobbies) to your advantage, as they will always be a part of you. Your childhood shapes the person you are, EVEN TO THE GRAVE, even if you are not asking for it to. Instead of fighting the child in you, channel it towards your present reality, because it may maninfest into something great for you. I would even challenge the idea that you completely change from the person you were as a child, and believe the correct theory is that you develop and evolve from your childlikeness.
Needless to say, relating to my childhood, helped me develop my current pasttimes that were definitely shaped by my childhood interests, and assisted me in realizing that my childlike behavioral and personality traits are something that can still be utilized. In fact, not only am I more satisfied with how I spend my time, I am much more happier about the person that I am and find myself relating the present to my childhood. You can truly uncover a multitude of realizations just from STAYING TRUE TO THE TRUE CHILD IN YOU.
For starters, I still try to enforce nap-time and snack-time in my life, so not much has changed since my birth. Similarly, I do not currently drive and am usually chauffered by either friends, my parents, and strangers from Lyft and Uber, which is equivalent to being driven around by your best friend’s parents who are completely strangers to you. My point is that I never drove as a child and to this day I find myself in the backseat being chauffered around, so truly not much has changed. Last point, as a child, I always wore my hair in half-up buns, half-up ponytails, french braids, fun buns (two buns), pony tails, or buns – THIS STILL IS RELEVANT. I made this discovery recently while my friend was going through my childhood pictures and pointed this out, as I usually wear my hair in one of those styles even to this day. Unconsciously or conconsiously your past does follow you, or maybe it is just the child in you.
Ain’t nobody gunna tell you that you cannot do the monkey bars, or swing on that swing.
Today, I’m thankful for Simple Life’s “I’m Just A Kid” for constantly reminding me that I, Aichan Tewahade, am just a kid (replace “Aichan Tewahade” with your own name, obviously…or don’t).