The Death Of Fun

At one stage of my life I used to enjoy writing short stories and drawing cartoons. Stories were especially fun because the thrill of thinking up of an interesting story made my spine tingle. It made me think: "Nobody has ever thought of that before! It's completely new!" But the older I grew, the more critical I had become of myself. I had seen other, more complex story writing before and I thought to myself how dumb my stories really looked. They were so childish and totally unbelievable. When it came to drawings I used to love drawing new and weird looking cartoon characters. At one point I loved pokemon so much that I tried inventing my own pokemon. But... kids soon stopped drawing out of pure imagination because... well they didn't want to be kids anymore. Not because they wanted to be more like adults but because they were afraid of what their peers would think. Well... I know that was the case with me. Then at some stage they taught us to draw portraits and encouraged us to draw more realistically. That was the death of drawing for me. I still try to draw to this day but it's more painful to draw than it is to not draw. I take some joy out of accurately drawing something but it's not creativity as I remembered it. My final outlet for my imagination was reading. I always love a good story. But.. at some point I decided fiction was a collosal waste of time. Impractical, I thought.

Soon, I lost my capacity for self-expression. I had become a teenager. I did not feel resentment at society and I did not rebel in the way teenagers do, I just drifted through school like nothing mattered. The internet became the only place where I could be myself, I was heavily insecure without it and it showed. All throughout highschool I had excessive anxiety which eventually turned into depression. My enthusiasm for getting good grades usually began at the start of each semester but eventually faded off until by the time I was a senior I did not care at all, I just scraped by at the end thanks to one compassionate teacher who I have yet to thank. During those final months in highschool I had to choose my future career. In reflection it's easy to see that what I was depressed about was becoming a lifeless soul-sucking adult. In an act of hope I subconsciously chose to relive my childhood - I chose animation as my career. I was only there for two months and I left with a debt of $6000. By then I had no creativity left in me to make anything and the anxiety ruined whatever positive experience I could have had there. I became bitter at the industry. I viewed animation today as cheap trash with no substance. I hated aspiring animators with their desire to create something different for the sake of making something different. The year after I decided to go for something more practical - one of the most life-sucking industries known to man - IT. That was a bust. I spent two years hibernating doing god-knows-what in a depressed slump while berating myself about how useless I am until out of the blue I decide I want to study electronic engineering (again, another practical industry). Those six months I spent there were a grueling mind-bender. I spent so much time in a heightened state of anxiety that I eventually became psychotic. I thought everyone was talking about me, even when I was trying to sleep but I endured it despite the suppressed rage I felt for months on end doing god-knows-what to my brain. Over time, the anti-psychotics did their work and I no longer became paranoid. I could no longer hold onto my rage either. Eventually, I reached a point in which I released years of unexpressed anger.

At that stage I was almost in a state of pure bliss from all the chemicals being released in my brain but I was still in a state of depression. It wasn't until I started setting small goals and allowing myself to feel rewarded for completing those goals did the depression finally end. At that point I knew what it was like to feel pure joy and that joy has never left me. I realised that I don't have to do anything to be happy, I don't have to be anything at all. I'm an example of the kind of suffering kids have to endure today because of stupid adults that don't treasure children for the brilliant beings that they are. Kids should be kids, they should be allowed to express themselves the way nature intended. All of my childhood was spent trying to be some needlessly complicated adult and now that I'm an adult, I just want to be like a child again.
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4 Responses Jan 12, 2013

I feel you.. I know what you feel I've been there. I liked to draw portraits for the sake of just drawing.. then when i got to college it wasn't about drawing anymore it was about drawing good.. Yes I am good at painting and drawing but they bled me dry they made me draw and paint til i was sick of it.

I absolutely hate the way some adults make children feel like being childish is wrong. Crushing their spirits and rewarding conformity is so sad.

Bless you for writing this. I am a creative spirit that is dying inside at 53. At 50 the wall of adult expectations were crashing in on me and now after thousands in medical bills, blood transfusions, physical pain and suffering today i realized that it all stems from trying to grow up at 50. Yes it is the youth of old age but it is a second YOUTH. Today the realization that i cant fit in this world as an adult. I now have to undue all the expectations i have put on myself including trying to fit into church exceptions of how to behave. I believe in God and he is in my live but all the subliminal expectations are sucking the life out of me. Yes i have bills to pay now and yes i have to work but working with corporate types it too suffocating to my spirit. Time to live again and get my health back. Even though by body is mysteriously inflamed and my bone marrow is not working to make red blood cells and the doctors cannot find anything wrong with me, i will fully recover not from drugs but from imagination and fun. Cant wait to get my life back.

These are words from my own mouth. I really hope, I don't buy in the 'growing up' trap either. But I can empathize with what you write so acutely - I feel like all that is good with childhood has been thrown at me too soon too quick and I'm trying to hold on to it but some of it slips through my fingers..I hope my creativity and glass-half-full outlook are some of the things that do stay.
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Good Luck! <3