a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Monday, May 01, 2006
  A blanket and hair-dryer
Some people, lazy day-dreaming types like me, can spend a lifetime capturing a childhood that came and went by. Childhood is probably the only time a person ever experiences pure, unadulterated happiness. An adult, even one experiencing the intoxicating high of falling in love, or a spiritual experience involving a nirvanic connection with God cannot compete with the happiness of a childhood that has never known any real sadness or seen this ugly world for what it is.

When I was really young, perhaps 6 years old, I remember being tucked in by my mother. When she left the room, I remember feeling a burst of happiness as I lay there in bed. My parents had bought a hair-dryer that day and I was looking forward to exploring this fascinating creation tomorrow when I woke up. I was also covered up in a new fuzzy blanket which I also thought was incredibly exciting. I remember kicking my legs under the sheets in happiness and thinking to myself “what more do I need?” My life was complete.

I’ve often tried to recapture what it felt like to be alive at that time in my life. I just wanted to feel that way again. I’ve since learnt that this behavior is called regression and is a defense mechanism. Before I knew what it was called, I knew there was something odd about wanting to go back to the days when I was a child. The world cannot be faced the way it is by a child. You need to be an adult, bitten and stung by life before you can stand a chance of getting by with minimal hassle. Childhood, I suppose is a God-given gift, hopefully to be looked back at fondly; a memory best left in the past.
DrPak ... really, the only reason an adult should not want to go back to the uncomplicated joys of childhood is because true joy in adulthood has more depth, and is seasoned with a poignancy which is not possible for a child who's had a simple, happy life.

But true joy can be found in adulthood too - the difference is what you're looking for in life, and if you can learn to accept the experiences of life in simplicity.

It's difficult, as an adult, to experience unfettered joy, because we relate it to where we've been before, where we're going, where we want to be, past experiences that have colored our views ... and so many things which are not necessary to that moment. We have forgotten how to accept in simplicity the moment we are in, without further expectations - without analyzing what we have - without comparing it to other places, times, and things.

Don't leave off childhood - no matter how old you get. We need a bit of "child" inside in order to find joy.

Now that I'm older, I'm realizing how much I've missed because of having left the innocence and simplicity of not expecting anything but this moment ... my memories, dreams and desires seem to complicate every joy. It doesn't need to be that way.

Keep the heart of a child ... and the depth of your experiences, and bask in them, not expecting more than the moment itself, and you'll find real joy again.
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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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