What is one thing we lose touch with as we grow older? Some people may say it is their childhood friends. Others may say it is their childhood dreams because circumstances change which can deter us from pursuing certain paths in life. What I find changes the most between childhood and adulthood is our ability to be ourselves. Do you remember being a child and just freely exploring the world around you, asking questions to strangers and befriending everyone? Just being natural? That child did not know anything about putting up a pretense or trying to please everyone or working hard to meet society’s expectations of her. Did you ever get the feeling as you grew older, your world became more boxed in?
Unfortunately, there are too many who find themselves trapped in a state where they cannot be themselves. Whether you call it an adult syndrome or something else, this is an affliction which could be aggravated depending on one’s life circumstances. Some people try for years to please their parents to be the perfect daughter or son. They try hard to be the perfect student, the perfect employee or the perfect spouse. But little do they realize that they are living in a fictitious world. This is because they are losing the ability to be just their natural selves or who they really are. Life could be much more stressful when you are living in a fictitious world than when you are being true to yourself. It could be painful when the world you thought you were living in comes crashing down.
To be true to yourself is not synonymous with not trying to do your best. To stay true to yourself is to give everything your 100%. However, it does not mean you will have to be a different person to achieve life’s goals. You may find that you will never be half of the person that your “high-achieving” brother is and to pretend otherwise is delusional. But it does not mean that you will not be high-achieving in a different direction from the path your brother has taken with the natural talents you have been blessed with. As we grow older, we need to take a page from our childhood and reflect on what it is like to be a child again. So natural and carefree. Very much at peace with the world.
In response to the daily word prompt – Natural