As a growing adult, I come to hit my twentieth birthday come this May. As each year passes by, I tend to reflect on the choices and major events that occur with each year since I’ve hit sixteen. The choices I’ve made as an independent adult and how I used my new responsibilities and freedoms go under some overly critical analysis. Breaking old habits and fads, and developing new ones. Seeing old beliefs and views change so quickly.
One of my greatest fears as a growing adult is to make choices that will ultimately define what the rest of my life will follow. To do something so trivial or stupid and never break such a habit. Something like picking up smoking, or becoming an alcoholic. Things that I’ve always said “I’d never do that!” are never written in stone as life will throw curve balls so quickly and suddenly. It almost spooks me with what changes will come.
I’ve recently looked back into an old internet phenomena, Chris Chan. A thirty-two/Thirty-three year old, highly functional autistic man who was a huge target for bullying and online harassment. Who never really learned from his mistakes and continued to feed the fire of harassment with responses that only hindered him in the long run. I’ll include this Link that is a proper documentary made to introduce new folk to this man. I look into this man’s life and what he shared online, and it made me realize what I don’t want to be as an adult.
I intend to grow up. Some of the habits I have now when I’m both alone and with friends will inevitably end. Or at least I would love to change a bit more out of the immaturity I have held onto. I take a look into Chris Chan, and see how habits of the past can become destructive in the future. How obsession can turn any fun thing into nearly an all consuming monster. It was almost pitiful and scary to see what the adult man can become. Regardless of disability or not.
I won’t deny that Chris Chan’s Autism and sheltered life has become the catalyst for much of his issues in life now. But even autistic men and women learn from old mistakes, and can still function in society as ordinary human beings. The example we have here, is someone who never takes responsibility for his own shortcomings and how much of his bullying was easily avoidable if he didn’t fall for the same tactics, over and over again. Unfortunately, there are more people who follow the same path without any sort of mental disability. Just the common human ignorance.
But back on topic, Much of my choices in life affect my self image and how I view myself. With my new job, and how things have been handled lately. I do have some issues, but nothing nearly as serious starting this January. But I still go back to the little things I do. Such as making random noises when I’m alone in my room. Talking out loud to the words on this screen. Even to the more embarrassing things… LARPing in my privacy and speaking out in characters of those little epic scenes in my head.
Some of these things are just so random and strange. It makes me wonder how I will look come ten years from now. Will I still be this strange man as I am now? Who’s head is so stuck in the clouds with imagination and fantasy, will I ever acknowledge the earth beneath and find a healthy medium for all this new change that comes in plentiful amounts. It’s a hard thought since I still dread the idea of growing up as well.
I understand that there is no real definition of “normal”. I have accepted that a long time ago. But I feel there is a point in our lives that we begin to calm down. I want to try and relax this overly excited brain and try to find things to focus directly upon. I don’t want to lose the fantasy and imagination, but I would not want it to consume my life as Chis Chan has let his “Sonichu” overcome his life. I wouldn’t want something I love become my top obsession and sacred relic.
I fear to become something that shows my immaturity never grew up. To become an older adult who thinks, and acts like a child. Who cannot handle the reality of this world with a reasonable and thoughtful mind. Chris Chan stands out as a character that I wouldn’t want anyone to become. And sadly, there are those who do became such. Never owning to their mistakes, nor learn from them.
As I grow up and change each day. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am. But I do want to improve my being. To change and prosper for the better. To be myself, and not the product of some other person or system. I just don’t want to be something seen as a disgrace. Perhaps my overly childlike nature may stick with me through the years. It may bring new things, or just leave me to my own little world.