It’s interesting how adulthood completely changes a person. The change in attitude and perspective is astonishing. Children are filled with wonder. Everything new brings about excitement and curiosity. The need to poke, prod, examine and question compels their senses at every moment, as learning is vital to their growth. Every new sensation and every lesson learned is an adventure.
On the other hand, adults are ruled by what I consider to be the opposite of curiosity: fear. Adults trust nothing and are largely hesitant when it comes to discovery. It takes the brave to embrace discovery as an adult, to face the danger of the unknown. One who walks into the dark without a torch is the man who finds the adventure, while those who dwell on the potential dangers never find those new sensations.
There is so much trust lost with the experience gained from the passage of time. The love for adventure disappears and the lust for life gains weaker. “Every day brings us closer to death,” could not be more true, for when one loses their love for life, they lose life. This is when people stop living and start simply existing. People begging for sensation, but far too afraid of the risks involved to receive it. Some are totally satisfied in this lifestyle and there’s nothing wrong with that, I simply crave more.
This comes to mind because of the recent passing of Mardi Gras. This holiday is not the same as it was when I was a child. I have never been a fan of crowds or noise, but being up on my father’s shoulders catching worthless trinkets was exhilarating. There were so many people out there to do the same thing. Yelling “throw me something,” as hard plastic beads flew to your face at supersonic speeds was something truly special. It was also a time to see family and friends that I would only normally see during that time of year.
The family part is still true, in fact I was able to see a cousin I very rarely see anymore. The thing that is different, is the fun of the crowd. Now I am the one who puts children on my shoulders. It isn’t as bad as one might think, but my dislike of crowds and noise has grown and I know know how dangerous parades can be for children. They still hold some charm, but all the children see is the wonder and excitement. They don’t see the drunken and unruly adults trying to knock each other and even the children over for the same worthless junk that they’re going to throw away in less than a month. This is a behavior I don’t truly understand, those trinkets mean the world to children that don’t understand value, yet some people still fight them for it.
Is it responsibility that burdens the adult mind and kills that sense of wonder? When I went from oblivious trinket catcher to protective guardian at the parades, did I lose something? I don’t think so. I think my sense of wonder is still very powerful, as I still lust for the unknown. I am still interested in the things I loved as a child, but with more trepidation. I think the issue is simply that not as much is new to me. There are infinite things to discover, yet my corner of the world is mapped and marked and remapped. This is the time for adventure. I must regain my love for life.