I’ve decided that I’ve lost a lot of ability to have fun recently. Now some of my life’s circumstances make that relatively understandable, but looking deeper at the reoccurring wellspring of my dour nature, which I would say has been trespassing over here at IP, I’m wonder when exactly I’ve lost “it.”
I say it and I mean fun. I’m back to listening to my podcasts at work and Escape Pod‘s Stephen Eley had a comment on the nature of having fun and what that means in the science fiction society. He spoke to the passion that sci-fi enthusiasts in general tend to have and how they find a way of having fun without giving a damn to the consequential negativity that may arise from society due to their nonconformity. I thought, ‘When was the last time I said: I don’t give a damn, I’m going to do this anyway because it’s fun for me?’
Should just blame grad school like I usually do?
I can’t. It’s not school that’s driven away my fun at life; it’s the step into the conformity that the adult life inevitably holds. Now before I should think that I’m clamoring for a return to my fifteen-year-old (who had it pretty good in hindsight but who also recognized it in her present), I don’t think there is a difference in the struggles against conformity in teenage years which any John Hughes movie or common sense will tell you. The idea is that one might think then that becoming adult holds all these riches in freedom. (‘And well sure,’ says the over wise teen, ‘There are bills in the future.’) We just hold this dumb belief that there will be so much more fun to be had.
So you let go of your youth’s passion thinking that something else will come along to fill it: a career, or marriage, or kids, or homeownership. But did anyone really ever debate with ourselves that picking matching china and figuring out how to wield diapers was going to be more fun that driving around town aimlessly with your best friend? Or spending time doing cartwheels or jumping-jacks without debating health benefits? I mean, there are the trade-off’s that you would have to address, but what about the unfiltered fun that we used to engage in that was seemingly pointless?
But I haven’t lost her yet, the doe-eyed child inside me. She’s bored a lot. She does what she used to – sitting by herself and letting her mind amuse her more than any external stimulation. She waits for me. She doesn’t complain because her time is eternal. She’ll know that I’ll come back down and sit with her. Listen to her jokes and laugh, remember that dirt on my hands is a great thing, and that if having tousled hair means you don’t make friends with the Important People, it really doesn’t matter a damn.