the inner child

March 31st, 2006

Hm, that sounds like a line out of a psychology book, now you have the impression that I know what I'm talking about, how about "the child in you"?

Well, the premise of this theme is that growing up is a very split and incoherent process. In fact, I would say that there is probably noone alive fully "grown up", we all mature in certain aspects, while we remain child-like in others. But today I'm not out to establish some grand theorem, this is a simple and possibly identifiable entry. The essay question follows. In what way(s) are you still a child? The answer is probably in more ways than I realize.

But to start off with something that [literally] craves attention.. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but when I was a kid, I was really desperate for attention. "Look mom, I can climb this tree." "Look mom, I can do a trick." And so on and so forth, it would never end. Parents are not easily impressed by what kids do, anything else would be strange. But kids look up to parents and they want to establish some authority of their own, they want recognition. Most of all, I wanted someone to willingly watch stuff that I did that I thought was really impressive. Well, times have changed a bit, I no longer try to impress all the time, but I do still have that instinct of seeking attention for something that to me merits attention. If something happens to me, good or bad, I want to tell someone about it. If I hear a good story, I want to repeat it to someone. I don't like repeating myself, so I would like to tell one person and that's it, but I enjoy the notion of having something exciting to tell. It often just gets piled on whomever is in the line of fire, whether I'm with someone or I meet someone.. then there's always im/email to fall back on. It isn't just telling stories though, I'm the same way with sharing something I think is really cool, be it a book, music, comedy, software, whatever. I get excited about introducing someone to something new, something really great.

I got my first bike when I was six and I adored riding my bike. For many years after that I was still very excited about having a bike, using it all the time. It was pretty much around the time when I realized I had seen just about every inch of Trondheim that I lost interest in my bike. There was nothing else to see, it was all the same. But when I do ride my bike, I ride in pretty much the same way I did when I was 10 or 12. Well, the last 10 years or so I used to be more reckless, I rode down steep hills with unreliable brakes, I rode in traffic without thinking twice about it and so on. Then a few years ago I had an accident, slid on ice and hit my head on the ground, and that made me slow down a bit ever since. There's no way I could have seen it coming though, I thought all the ice had melted, it was under a layer of sand. So I'm excitable, but a bit cautious now. The contrast in Utrecht is noticeable, here *everyone* is on a bike, you have streams of bikes where in Norway you would have a couple of them. But just as I would back home, I stick out when I ride here. I ride over bumps, onto the sidewalk, off the sidewalk, I ride on the pedestrian sidewalk, on the roadway, I ignore traffic lights (but I do pay close attention to traffic), I constantly overtake people, I ride with enthusiasm. It's about having some fun, not merely logistics.

That's two I can think of, what are yours?

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6 Responses to "the inner child"

  1. erik says:

    I'm pretty much a child, full stop. It's occasionally being drowned out by depression but that's it. My whole thought process is pretty much the same as when I was 8 years old. So far I haven't met anyone my age who gets excited over the same things I do; like seeing a Disney movie in the TV guide or whatever.

  2. numerodix says:

    Disney movies, really?

  3. erik says:

    I watched Lizzie MacGuire last night and I was all happy

  4. numerodix says:

    Haha, I watched Tin Cup Talk about overdramatizing golf

  5. erik says:

    You're saying you did research so you can kick my arse when we go try out golf some time? Hmm :D

  6. numerodix says:

    I'm not so confident at kicking anyone's ass at golf, it looks quite tricky..

    Btw I don't consider killing an evening by watching a crap movie "research", I'm not that desperate. yet.