Now take a deep breath…

… Annnnnnnd regress.

I think we all need something that takes us back. It should be a personal requirement, so you don’t forget that kid you were, and how that kid made you the adult you are.

Even if it’s just one item that does it, one little piece of retro that unlocks a old yet new state of mind (not in a psychedelic fashion, let’s be clear here), it’s important.

Not just because it’ll make you really boring (losing all sense of wonder and easily amusedness will do that to you) but because when things get particularly lousy it can be just the thing to set you upright again.

I’m not kidding here, I do it regularly. My weapom of choice is Batman: The Animated Series Vol 1 on DVD. Whenever I’m going to curl up with this lovely gift from N for a few hours, I say I’m ‘Turning Ten Again’. It puts me right back at the stage of my life where I used to sit fascinated by the greatness of Kevin Conroy’s Batman every time the show graced the screen, and where I also used to practice Mark Hamill’s Joker laugh.

Yes, I was that strange a kid. I did it once, too. Scared the hell out of my mother.

There was Goosebumps also (and Are You Afraid of the Dark, and so on), the show as well as the books, but I can’t work up the same enthusiasm as I could once for the books. And since my cynicism has grown and metastasized itself all over my body, the show definitely doesn’t inspire the same terror that Grasshopper God episode did. (None of them ever scared me except that episode. I had nightmares.) But I still remember well the reverence I had for characters like Slappy. I just grew from wanting to be the next R.L. Stine to wanting to be the next Christopher Golden, and it stuck.

Granted, Batman’s not the only thing that works. You couldn’t not walk out of The Muppets without feeling like a hyperactive six year old. Things like Nightmare Before Christmas or Happy Feet can do their part too.

But whatever it may be that works for you, it’s always good to have a talisman that does the trick. Better to stave off stuffiness and a complete void where your sense of humor once laid its head, than to worry about whether or not you look silly in front of your friends.

Besides, I’m willing to bet at least half of them have their own talismans hidden away somewhere.

If you don’t agree with me, then that’s entirely up to you. But I was never really allowed to be a kid when I was the actual age for it. There were too many problems that needed handling, and could only be handled by a grown up. So I always thought I had to fill that slot, and no one ever thought to put a stop to this kid running around and handling things that were years ahead of her time. Those that thought there was something wrong chose to shake their heads and carry on.

So I always had to be ahead of the game. Granted, I still had my childlike moments, but that was because I was a child. Even if it didn’t always seem like it to those around me.

And it’s because of all that I find it important to remember The Kid That Was, as well as The Kid That Should’ve Been. It’s healthier to me to have them both get a chance to live and live on, before I throw myself back into the responsibility and lifestyle that is being the Adult That Is.

Besides, a lot of people make millions out of their ability to get childish without fear, why shouldn’t that sensibility infect our lives just as much as cynicism has? It might even be just the thing to kill the Beast Formerly Known as Apathy.

And if you don’t agree we could all use a little more of that… I worry about you. When was the last time you smiled? Go hunt down an empty playground with some friends and have a good time, damn it.

Make sure it’s empty though. You don’t want to be creepy.

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~ by Sara on November 27, 2011.

4 Responses to “Now take a deep breath…”

  1. “Batman: The Animated Series Vol 1 ” I LOVE it 🙂
    I used to see it all the time as a kid, and now one of my friends owns vol 1-3, so I can always borrow them from him 🙂

    • I highly recommend it. I’m looking to get the rest as soon as possible, I miss that show. A lot of the newer Batman stuff (day to day cartoons, not the movies) just kill me.

  2. so lighthearted and inspired! Yay to being childlike!

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