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Going back to beng a kid for a day: try it out. I did.

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posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:02 AM
Greetings. This might come off as a bit oddball... but then, I'm on the right website if so, right?

Yesterday I decided to conduct a personal psychological self-experiment. Or if you prefer, you might also easily consider it a spiritual experiment. I decided to force myself to behave in ways, think in the manner, and engage in the activities, that I would have when I was much younger. I wanted to see, assuming I was capable of really immersing myself in it, whether or not it would have a positive (or negative) impact on my perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about the world and life in general.

Here are some of the things I tried.

When I was much younger, I used to keep a journal. I still do from time to time in digial form, and I always keep a dream journal to this day, but for this experiment I went back to the tried and true method: a pen and a notebook. No typing in a wordpad file for me on this day. I wrote down my feelings, thoughts, and observations - however inane they might seem to me at this age - because in childhood and adolescence every little emotion or thought seems profound and meaningful; rife with the opportunity for reflection, introspection, and discovery, whether external or internal.

When I was much younger, I wasn't as disillusioned or cynical about my entertainment pursuits. It was much easier to be immersed in, say, a videogame, regardless of graphical fidelity or even interactivity. (I spent many a rainy afternoon or sleepless night in my adolescence and young adulthood playing text adventures with not so much as a sprite on the monochrome screen.) So I decided to seek out what seemed widely regarded as a good game from the last time I can remember being able to enjoy "simpler" games - the late 90s - and settled upon The Longest Journey, an excellent point and click graphical adventure that I somehow managed to overlook back in the day.

When I was much younger, I would sit for hours upon hours by my window, and simply observe life. The cars passing by, people milling about, and in particular - when it was an option - the rain. I've always loved the rain and can't stand sunny weather. The rain has always been like a balm that instantantly soothes all of my Asperger's related anxiety and stimuli overload, evening everything out. As I've gotten older though, while that effect remains, I lost the true appreciation of the rain on the more personal, internal level that I had in my youth somewhere along the way. So I sat and watched the morning rainshowers all morning, letting the sounds and textures fill my senses, closing my eyes and feeling the "magical" spirit of the rain (as I used to call it) I used to back then.

I took a nap around noon which, while studies show is a perfectly normal - and even essential possibly - human behavior, I stopped doing as I got older because you're expected to only sleep during the night as an adult for whatever reason. The nap was extremely refreshing and made me wonder why I had ever dispensed with the habit.

I spent some time posing some old action figures into a battle scene. I played my keyboard, and took care to focus on simplicity and touch sense (ignoring complexity and speed,) which is what I did when I was younger and was just discovering how to play.

Essentially, I spent the day doing and thinking as I would have at the ages of, say, 12 to 18 or so. (I'm going to be 32 soon.) At first it felt strange. Even embarassing. But after a while I got into it and it became first natural, then invigorating, and finally exhilarating.

Some things I noticed about my thoughts and feelings during this process:

  • My emotional response to the news was less like the disillusioned depression I typically experience today, and more like the idealized sadness and perplexity I had when I was younger.

  • Initially, The Longest Journey felt slow paced and boring. But as I stuck with it, and my mind slowed down and began to appreciate subtle details that as an adult I tend to take for granted due to being accustomed to so many less subtle presentational factors, I began to feel something akin to Sebastion sitting by the attic window in Neverding Story and reading his book. This feeling of being transported to another world vicariously - not existing in and playing as a character in another world like most modern games try to make the player feel, but watching a story unfold and affecting it from outside it - is something I hadn't felt since the late 90s. It was like remembering how to play a song I had forgotten, and like coming home. With it came other memories of simpler forms of escapism from my youth that I hadn't contemplated in over a decade.

  • I found myself more acutely aware of subtle details in real life as well. As you grow up, you get too used to your surroundings (and the details and minutia of everyday life) to notice any longer the shape of the shadows under the arm chair. Or the nooks between books on the book shelf that are shaped vaguely like a telephone pole. Or the rainbow colored oil slick under the parked car during the rainstorm that happens to be shaped like a butterfly. For someone who is constantly overwhelmed by granular details and stimuli, I was shocked to discover just how much even I take for granted simply because I've become desensitized by age and experience. (Even if some of that taking for granted is in my case a defense mechanism against aforementioned overwhelming stimuli.)

  • I didn't feel disinclined to exert myself physically to the extent that I typically do. Which was both a good thing and a bad thing
    I have back issues and get winded easily due to asthma so I don't really need to be bouncing around too much. But I couldn't help but feel more of an energetic tendency toward activity while in this state of mind. I walked for several hours as opposed to my usual 45 minutes to an hour. My back is absolutely rebelling against this and punishing me for it today, but it felt good at the time at least.

  • I felt substantially less bored and discovered additional patience. And the journaling really helped me see and understand my thoughts in a way - not necessarily a better way mind you, just a specific way - that I haven't since those years.

All in all, I recommend trying this in whatever fashion would be equivalent for you personally. We all likely did different things during our youth and have changed to greater or lesser extents since then, or in completely different ways. But it was a very refreshing and pleasant experience that I am looking forward to repeating habitually. If not constantly.

Give it a try if you like. Peace.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:23 AM
reply to post by AceWombat04
I go back to being a kid every day! Having a grandkid gives me the opportunity to experience childhood all over again. For instance, yesterday I caught bugs, made "chain" necklaces and crowns out of wild flowers, played hide and seek, colored with crayons, read a Dr, Suess book, pretended to be a dinosaur, made a fort out of sofa cushions and chased the dog with a magic wand (feather duster). Gaining new perspective aside- it's just fun!!!

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:43 AM
reply to post by littled16

That sounds delightful.
It's also nice to know kids do still play. Kids I interact with tend to be immersed in their iPhone and texting lol.


posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 07:46 AM
Thanks for a thread so full of refreshment, on a Sunday morning (here, anyway).

Your descriptors and writing talents are most excellent - thanks for that... had me "there" with ya, checkin' out the oil-butterfly.

Developing an imagination when you're a kid will serve a person throughout.
It won't be developed say, staring into a phone.

Your thread made me think back - as I'm sure anyone who reads it will.
The memory that stands out this morning is taking in the surroundings while on car trips.

The engagement of others in the vehicle: "I spy with my little eye, something that begins with..."
The passing scenery could also serve as a movie screen - eg driving through any badlands had me looking for cowboys and other adventures from western movies.

And the trip - the car trips at night. If it was a clear night, noses were glued to the skies.
Aah those skies - opened the mind at a young age.

Naps are highly under-rated!! I hope you continue that one, too.
Great thread.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 08:49 AM
When you were a kid you were more selfish, aggressive, emotional, violent, injudicious in speech and behaviour and a good deal less well toilet-trained.

Strictly in the interests of scientific accuracy, I hope you included these aspects of childhood in your experiment.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 10:57 AM

Originally posted by Astyanax
When you were a kid you were more selfish, aggressive, emotional, violent, injudicious in speech and behaviour and a good deal less well toilet-trained.

I was?

Perhaps on the poop placement point.

You only speak for yourself and your perception of those in your immediate environment.
edit on 7-4-2013 by ErgoTheConclusion because: Place poop purposefully.

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I wasn't shooting for quite that young. Early adolescence into just-before-adulthood. I'd have to go a little further back than that to relive those presently undesirable traits.


posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 02:11 PM
Great post. We keep glass bowls of crayons and markers on our dining room table for impromptu any age kid time (better yet, we have a roll of paper that we can tape on top of the table). Taking a time out, observing the world around you--such good things to do, mentally. I think that a lot of what we all suffer from today is information overload. Doing these kind of things basically gives us a much needed break from it all. Don't know why but your post made me think of my favorite song in the 6th grade so going to share it:

P.S. I didn't look at the vid and just listened to the song. Looks like it's probably one of those images vids put to the music so not sure what's actually being shown because I never watch those, lol.
edit on 7/4/13 by WhiteAlice because: added the ps

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 04:09 PM
My cousin, best friend, and I recently did this!! We were walking outside talking, and it hit us that if we were kids, we'd have found something better to do than talk about current events. We picked up sticks and had an impromptu baseball game. (well it was stick ball... with no ball, so it was really throwing sticks at each other and hitting them with bigger sticks)

Everytime I'm riding in a car now, I'm staring out the window like I did when I was little. SO much better than watching the traffic, worrying if something's gonna go wrong. This was a trust thing for me at first, as I'm normally the guy stomping away at a passenger break pedal that doesn't exist. Riding is so much more enjoyable now!

Awesome read OP
Keep at it! Seeing through the eyes of a child is a wonderful way to view a world so full of negativity. SnF

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 05:11 PM

Originally posted by Astyanax
When you were a kid you were more selfish, aggressive, emotional, violent, injudicious in speech and behaviour and a good deal less well toilet-trained.

LOL. Well played sir, and good point. When I was a kid I was always looking for something to set on fire, always in fights, and probably spent more time in the principal's office than I did in class. I think my childhood is best left in the past

edit on 7-4-2013 by Xaphan because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 06:12 PM
I would be much happier if people tried acting like an Adult once and awhile, there seems to be a general lack of Adult behavior in general around the world...

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 08:03 PM
reply to post by benrl

Joking aside though, if what you mean is that you advocate civility, reasoned discourse and action, responsibility, honesty, integrity, and maturity... I wholeheartedly agree. (As long as I don't have to eat my lima beans.)


posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 09:05 PM
Interesting, I never lost a lot of these traits. If you develop them instead of losing them, it can help you become a successful leader in society or even simply a happy person - they can integrate into adult life, as well, and a lot of people really like it.

Just don't care what people think - or ever let fear dictate what you do - honestly, not only will you be happier, but people around you will respect you more.

And seriously, don't ever let fear dictate what you do. Fear is just there to keep the weak-minded from getting anywhere. I would recommend using critical thinking to make decisions instead. Also, girls like guys who don't let fear dictate their lives, in case you were wondering.
edit on 7-4-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-4-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 7 2013 @ 10:20 PM
Great thread Ace! I always nurture the child within.

posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 09:53 AM
I always embrace my inner child. I'm in my 40's, but I still enjoy theme parks, dressing up in costumes, playing paintball, water parks, and playing video games. Our home is like Nerdvana (if you've ever seen the show King of the Nerds, you'll know what I mean). My wife and I are big kids at heart.

Granted, we're adults, so we work hard all day, but on the weekends, we try to indulge our inner child....

posted on Apr, 9 2013 @ 04:59 PM
Sounds like a very fun day, thanks for sharing!

I'm a mom so I experience being a kid "sort of" quite often. From pretend tea time with my daughter, to watergun pretend fights with my son to sitting down and watching and actually enjoying some cartoons with my kids.
and luckily they are Goonies too!
Having kids is awesome because they help to keep those memories of your own childhood right there at the forefront of your mind.

Sometimes though it's still not enough and I find myself walking around the Toys r us or the toy isle of whatever store im in and imagining what I would have begged my mom for when I was kid. I still have several of my toys
and dolls from my childhood but sadly not my prized Rainbow Brite

Though our bodies will outwardly age no matter what we can still until our very last breaths stay young at heart.


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