I miss childhood sometimes (well, not all the time because childhood sucked for me, like it sucks for everybody in some ways. This could be a topic of another blog, you know!) Looking back, I fondly recall how nonchalant days those were. How great school used to be, how I used to be shit scared before exams, how I used to love drawing classes (and hence, was always involuntarily the one selected to participate in every random inter-school drawing competition :P). Kids fainting in the school assembly used to be a daily feat and the school canteen (with its Rs 5 oil-laden burgers with microscopic patty) was what today’s Social Offline looks like (no, I would still pick my school canteen, if given a choice).
We can’t go back to school, neither can the glorious days of childhood come back, hence we can see that a lot of adults try to live their childhood through their kids. Adulting is never easy. For most of us, it comes as a slap on the face! When you wake up to the importance of money and bills, work and passion, skills and their worth, existential questions and yes, relationships. All this is why adulting sucks as it literally sucks the life out of you! So there are certain ways through which I try to go back and become a kid again. Yes, so that I can survive adulthood better. Here are some ways I do it, while some are the ones I am willing to try myself.
- Draw/paint/sketch: No matter how much your drawings resembled those made by a stoned orangutan, you still drew those hilly landscapes, a picnic scene, or a cartoon in your art class, didn’t you? Pick up the pencil and draw something again. Believe me, it’s a phenomenal stress buster as you create something with your own hands. Even if you suck at it, you’ve got a caricature to laugh at!
- Play a kiddie game with kids: Play gully cricket, a game of catch or even hide and seek with your own kids, or the neighbourhood bunch. It’s fun and also a reminder of good times from your own childhood.
- Visit the public library: I terribly miss my school library. It used to be amazing, with rows upon rows of ancient books passing between generations of students (my school was, at that time, ~75 YEARS OLD!). Plus, school libraries have an old world charm which you only realize after school is over. Going to a public library, although not the same, can be just one of the ways to get lost in the magical world of books like a teenager newly discovering literature. If adulting has left you weary eyed and robbed you of your love for reading, then this is one way to rediscover your love for books.
- Go to the museum or the national science centre or any other place you visited for a school project: Do you remember how we had to visit museums and science centers as part of summer holiday homework? Well, at that time you probably understood very little of the things that were shown there. So, now that you are (hopefully) smarter and of course, not burdened by exams, why not revisit those places and learn something taught in school, but with a fresh perspective? It can be fun to look at nuclear energy and dinosaur extinction now that you understand their implications better.
- Buy stationery: I’m a culprit here. I love buying crayons and funky looking pencils! Just because they are so pretty to look at, and frankly, we never had such swanky stuff back in our times. And who knows, probably the cute color pencils awaken the artist in you, or that gorgeous set of pens makes you write your first story!
- Go to an amusement park: Nothing awakens the kid inside all the adults like a visit to the amusement park. The scary (or not so scary) rides make it hard to distinguish whether it was a 10 year old kid who screamed his lungs out or a 42 year old dad of 2.
- Collect random things like stamps, unusual looking stones, leaves: An Indian kid from the 90s can fondly remember collecting tazos that came in packet of chips and yes, those WWE cards! Adulting can help you collect better things though. How about collecting some beautiful flowers and pressing them in newspapers? Or you could go about creating a collection of stones from every new city or country you visit! Wouldn’t that be a priceless collection to boast of years down the line?
- Read a kiddy book like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys or Famous Five: I remember reading my first Nancy Drew when I was 11. And now, reading these books make me time travel to my childhood without fail! These stories, especially the older ones, have a certain ageless charm and leave a happy feeling inside you every time you go back to these books.
- Write a letter or make a greeting card for someone you love: You know your childhood is over when you are buying someone a gift online and not making them something with your own hands (well, I don’t even know whether kids these days ever do that…). For the next birthday, make your Mom a simple handmade birthday card, or write your boyfriend a loving note with your own hands. In the present era dominated by Whatsapp, these are rare, precious things and leave a feel-good emotion in both, the giver and the receiver.
The inspiring scientist and thinker Neil deGrass Tyson said, “Adult scientists are just kids who never grew up.” It is quite true that adult life compels us to kill this child and become soul-less bodies with no capacity to experience wonder and appreciate the little miracles of life. So for me, it is important to keep the kid inside me alive in order to be able to fully experience life itself! I hope you try some of it to re-emerge as a kid at heart!