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Second childhood

Children are curious and courageous. But life compounds and we lose these traits. How do we regain what we lost?

Childhood pulls you in many divergent directions. Sometimes you want to draw on the wall. Or you want to take something apart. Or you want to ask a question about existence. When an adult fails to understand a youthful impulse, they seek to regulate it. Or at worst - extinguish it. 

Why? Our communities have been raised to believe that anything related to art is trivial. Taking things apart is bad. Asking questions about existence is blasphemous. Regressive ideas that thwart any hopes of healthy natural growth of the creative parts of our mind. We know today art along with design plays a fundamental role in our lives. Taking things apart is important to understand how to rebuild them. And asking questions is paramount to understanding. Although our community has outgrown some of these memes, our generation is bound to inherit these learned behaviours if gone unnoticed. 

Coupled with the dangerous idea that all traits of childhood should not exist in adulthood, what was once a burning flame of pure raw energy becomes a docile complacent shell.

  • Artistry becomes artifice
  • Creativity becomes compliance
  • Curiosity becomes complacency

Life compounds and our ability to reclaim what we once were becomes increasingly difficult. Some of us find our way back into reclaiming the feverish impulses, the endless imagination and the rapid intrepidness. This is what I call, a second childhood.

A second childhood is very different from your first childhood. Your first childhood is laced with a complex medley of ideas that cannot all be transferred over to adulthood. There has to be a healthy migration, not a complete erasure of childhood. Your second childhood is an embrace of the “first principles” of childhood: 

  1. Inquisitiveness and curiosity
  2. Courage and ingenuity
  3. Creativity and serendipity 

We are not simply looking at these traits as simple textbook definitions of the word, but rather their visceral experiences. Seek hobbies that will let you actualize and realize what you truly care about. Through that, you will see your second childhood emerge. 

I hope you can find joy, wisdom and fulfillment in seeking your second childhood without shame and guilt, as I have. 

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Ahmed Al-Ismaily

Writing about progress. Designing products. Aspiring investor. Learning Arabic and full-stack development.