To Hell With Maturity

I used to place a lot of value on the ability to adapt.

To the circumstances, shifts, and changes we all inevitable experience as we go through life. I don’t know how much I believe in that idea of adaptation anymore though. Maybe it’s still there, alive in me on some level. But only in a very minimal sense. I believe in survival. It’s important to me that, whether I feel like shit or things haven’t gone smoothly, or when I need or want to do something that’s generally frowned upon, I survive. So much so that I don’t have very much respect for people that lack the ruthless edge that comes with such a mindset.

So yes, the emphasis on being able to survive and adapt is still in there somewhere, behind the eyes I see when I look in the mirror. The difference now is that I mostly see adaptation and adjustment as unnecessary comprimise. It’s something that I can’t help but associate with personal weakness. I adapt when I need to, when I feel I have no other choice, but it shouldn’t go an inch beyond that. The inspiration for putting that into words was a quote I came across on ‘maturity’:

“What we mean by maturity is a change of perspective. Expectations are reduced, and one judges not by what is desired but by what it is possible to obtain.”
~John Armstrong

It probably doesn’t relate directly to what I’m talking about because it’s so out of context, but it inspired this all the same because in what’s said there (and in more of the excerpt, parts I didn’t feel like including here), the idea of reducing expectations, I was reminded of a quote I shared on twitter a few weeks ago, one that I whole-heartedly believe in:

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”
~Will Smith

The way I look at it, the two ideas oppose each other. It’s a choice. Choose maturity, reduce your expectations and take things as they are. Subjugate your desires for what is possible, obtainable, because that’s more realistic. Or, give reality a big “Fuck You!”, say the same to this stupid idea of ‘maturity’, and surrender yourself to the pain (and the rewards) of your desires and your dreams. Childish? Immature? Maybe. But so what; maybe Peter Pan had the right idea after all. Fantasize and follow your dreams, bring them to life.

If the price of maturity means settling for less, then to hell with it.

Never grow up.

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11 thoughts on “To Hell With Maturity

  1. There are two quotes that I’ve always favored that may reflect what you’re saying here.

    “Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind will not stay in the cradle forever.”–Konstantin Tsiolkovskii

    “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”–Anonymous

    I believe both of these quotes deal with growth of the individual and the need to expand one’s horizons beyond the restraints of “possibility” or “maturity”.

    Envision the impossible and strive to achieve it!!

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  2. I disagree with your definition of maturity. I don’t think it is compromise or acceptance. You don’t see a kid, who people label as mature beyond his/her age, as someone who is compromising on his/her individual self.

    I think maturity includes patience, empathy and awareness.. a sense of accountability of one’s actions.

    I understand from your post, that what you really wish to damn is societal expectations of being a certain way. A rebel, like you see yourself as, can be a mature person.

    Never give up your individualism, but give up your childishness. 😛

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    • Well from the impression I got reading through your posts, we tend to think along similar lines on a lot of things. For example, being a fan of Ayn Rand, I’m guessing you probably value the distinction between being a rebel and being independent (which, to me at least, is an extremely important difference). I *am* a bit contrary by nature, so I get how I can come off as a rebel, but really I’m more interested in independent thought, self-awareness, and decision making. Sometimes it’s against the grain and sometimes I don’t stand out at all, but the one thing that remains about which way I go: it’s *mine*.

      If I’m not to far off in that line of thought, maybe we don’t disagree all that much… but to me, a mature child does in fact comprimise his or herself. He (or she) behaves well, keeps to responsibilties, obligations, and expectations, and in this impresses everyone for being old beyond their age. It’s how people saw me for most of my childhood, and now that I’m in my early twenties I look at the whole thing as a dynamic of shaping oneself to suit the world, and I hate the idea of that.

      I appreciate your comment though; it’s good to be challenged, and you’ve inspired a lot more thought than what I’ve written out here… I’m still trying to sort out all the different directions I might go exploring your perspective though, and I don’t quite have the words for all of it yet. For instance: you associate patience, empathy, awareness, and accountability with maturity, and on the one hand my mind is racing toward what people usually mean when they use those words, and what I would mean, and on the other I’m thinking about how prominent those qualities are in a child… I’d dare say far more than they usually are in adults.

      I might try writing it all out until it coalesces into something clearer, something I can explain more succintly and get across a little more clearly, (maybe post it here). Regardless of if I get around to articulating all of it though, thanks for the disagreement; intentionally or not, it’s provided a lot of food for thought 😀 .

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      • I’m glad! I love discussions. With blogs, you have much more time to reflect and write.

        We really don’t disagree. 🙂 I get what you’re trying to say. I just had to make that comment because I find myself irritated by the negative connotation people put to maturity. Whenever someone calls me mature, I think they’re telling me that I am sad. And that’s not maturity! I hate that “coming of age” means something lost rather than something gained.

        Your pseudonym doesn’t help me guess where you’re from, but in Hindi there are two words (_bachpanna_ and _bachkanna_) that distinguish between childish, innocent fun and childish stupidity respectively. I do not like it when people regress into childish stupidity. So while people can take “Never grow up” as motivating reinforcements, I ask ‘Why? What’s so bad about being an adult?’ Growing up gracefully is optional, ageing is not.

        However, I know that all they really mean is: Don’t let that spark in you die. Don’t let responsibilities take your sense of freedom away from you.

        Instead of ‘don’t grow up, it’s a trap’ and what not, I cheer people by telling them to ‘not lose their idealism and curiosity.’ Clearly, I want them to grow up. 😛

        Please do write and share your thoughts whenever you feel that clarity. 😀 Also, teach me how to analyze words as people see them! I always take things literally, and I struggle with not adding my meaning to words.

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    • That was awesome. I’d recently been thinking about that same shift in perspective, the way it seemed to change as I got older. It’s definitely something I can relate to, even with as young as I am. Thansk for linking that.

      “This post struck a chord, reminding me of a short post I wrote from my perspective.”

      😀 This is ultimately all I could ask for from my writing.
      This is the kind of connection that I think makes all art beautiful. Sometimes suble, negligable, other times it’s mind blowing (Friedrich Nietzsche and Clive Barker are two in a long list of people that have blown my mind, in their own ways). I suspect my blog posts are usually in the former category for now, but I’m glad it struck a chord 🙂 .

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  3. I believe in being truthful to yourself, in spirit or in action, as a moral principle. If our common idea of maturity (“growing up means giving up everything that makes you happy”) goes against that, I won’t follow that at all.

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