Growing up: I always thought that is something that just happens, mentally as well as physically. Physically it did happen but I get the impression mentally it didn’t. Since my childhood I’ve always thought there would be a moment when I start to think like an adult – or at least perceive the world differently. But for some reason I don’t think my perception changed that much.
I’ve always been waiting to toss my toys, lose interest in childish things and stop playing. I don’t know how this is with other adults but I cannot help but see myself as around 12 years old. Mentally that is. My bed is populated with stuffed animals which I treasure as much as my closest friends. They don’t have names – and never had – but something like a non-verbal identity concept and I would mourn the loss of any of them as deeply as if I lost a “real” friend. I take care to not make them unhappy and when I do have to put some in a storage box I try to make it as comfortable as I can.
I also still like toys, childish computer games (not exclusively, though) and I have to really restrain myself from poking interesting things with a stick, touching animals and flowers and run off to chase rabbits in a nearby field. Also, I still differentiate between myself and “adults”. I’m 26 now and I don’t think that will have changed by the time I’m 45. Is it like that for everybody and others are just better “adjusted”? Or does everyone have to convince themselves not to stop and poke an interesting looking plant they found on the footpath or rescue an earthworm from the street in the rain? Do other grown-ups just pretend not to laugh at funny sounding words repeating them to themselves?
I don’t say that I still think like a child but my growing ability to grasp complex connections didn’t change my view of the world as much as I expected it to considering the behaviour of “normal” adults. Sometimes I think they must believe me mentally retarded and if I’m bothered by that I don’t give in to the impulse to introduce myself to every plush animal in the toy department of the local department store. Or stop in a store and stroke a piece of clothing that is made of a funny fabric. Sometimes I don’t care. (There, “funny fabric” has a funny sound to it in itself. “Funny” is a funny word, anyway.)
If grown-ups see the world like I think they do it must be infinitely more boring. And if growing up is something that you have to do instead of something that just happens, I don’t want to do it.
My mother recently told me I already said that when I was eight years old.