Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is…
If you had to live forever as either a child, an adolescent, or an adult, which would you choose — and why?
As usual with these prompt posts, I’m not going to actually pick an answer because it’s so hard to choose. I’m also a little confused about the “live forever” part of it. Does that mean that you are at that particular stage of life until you would normally die, or should I take “forever” to literally mean “forever”? So if I chose, I could be an immortal child? But would I still have the child’s mentality forever? Or would I maintain a child’s youthful body while my mind grows older and older? This is getting too complicated, so I’m going to assume that “forever” isn’t literal because I wouldn’t want to live forever in any life stage.
It would be nice to be a child because you don’t have many responsibilities. Your mind is somewhat of a blank slate. You can enjoy “childish” things like My Little Pony and Pokémon without feeling guilty. Your head isn’t filled up with annoying lustful feelings because you haven’t reached puberty yet. But what I wouldn’t like about being a child is that you are constantly being watched by others. You don’t have a lot of autonomy. I also remember that when I was a child, I used to have a lot of horrible nightmares, and there was a time when I had really bad insomnia, so I don’t want to go back to that again. Also, when you’re a child, you pick up tons of germs at school and get sick all the time. Really. Schools (or anywhere with high concentrations of children) are Petri dishes.
“Adolescent” would be the last on my list if I had to rank the life stages. As fun as it was being a teenager, I would never want to go back because most of what I remember from my teenage years was being confused, constantly questioning my own choices, and worrying about whether what I was doing was what I “should” be doing. I’d never want to return to the drama-filled halls of my high school or talk to any of my old friends or hold the hand of any of my old boyfriends. I’d never want to go through driver’s ed again or take the SAT/ACT again or have to do the “senior project” again. Adolescence is a kind of flaming hoop you have to jump through to reach adulthood, and if you don’t come out with burns, then you must be lucky.
I think all adults say that they want to be children again, so they won’t have to pay bills or taxes, or even teenagers, so they can have their perfect 18-year-old body back. But I don’t think being an adult is all that bad. Sure, you’ve got tons of responsibility, but you also have more freedom. You can do pretty much what you like without having to answer to anyone. You get confused, but your mind isn’t in a hormonal sandstorm (well, for women it depends on the time of the month), so you are better able to figure things out. But on the negative side, you have to make harder decisions, and the consequences of those decisions likely matter more. You might become responsible for children.
So all the life stages have their pros and cons… but I did notice that being a “senior citizen” or an “older adult” was not on the list. So perhaps the prompt writer assumed that no one would want to be in that stage forever? 🙂