One Man Wonders if It’s Immature to Entertain Childhood Fantasies as an Adult

Most of us know that we have to grow up eventually – it’s just part of the package deal of being human.

You get to be a kid for a little while, with other people taking care of you and buying you things and making your dinner every night while you do whatever, and then, you have to do all of that stuff for yourself (and kids of your own, if you so choose).

That said, you don’t necessarily have to leave all the vestiges of youth behind. There are ways to bring your childhood on through, to still get enjoyment out of the whimsy and daydreams – if you do it wisely.

Am I immature to still think about my childhood fantasies ? from NoStupidQuestions

This guy wonders whether or not his continuing to indulge his childhood fantasies means he’s somehow stunted, and these 16 people weigh in.

15. Creativity should be valued.

I think some of the issue is that creativity is made to feel wrong and cheap, think about it. When you go to school if you’re not good at Maths you’re not allowed in the Maths Team but the geeky kids are allowed to be in the school play because “everyone should have a go” people who are rubbish at art are lauded but those who are good are regarded as “nothing special” because again “everyone can draw” we also get this message from X factor and The voice, well anyone can get up and sing, you don’t have to work for it.

Creative jobs don’t pay very well and if you say you’re an artist or a writer or musician unless your work is well known people don’t take you seriously but creative people create, it’s just what we do! It’s as natural as maths to an accountant or the periodic table to a scientist.

So when our minds wander and we start being creative which is natural to us, it looks like daydreaming to others and it’s discouraged and when we share those thoughts we are laughed at and made to feel stupid so we do it alone and in private where others can’t see but there’s nothing wrong with it, we need that outlet, it’s healthy. Keep creating friend. ????

14. We need to reshape who is allowed to be “creative.”

Your post is nice and supportive of many but I’d like to dispute this notion that creativity belongs to the arts.

Many scientific, engineering and mathematical solutions are creative in their nature too. Many people working in these fields are just as much a “creative” as any musician or artist.

13. Creativity is a healthy outlet.

It’s not childish. It’s creative.

Have you tried writing stories or playing Dungeons & Dragons?

12. Daydreaming allowed.

I still have stories and characters floating around in my head that were there since high school ( im almost 40 now ), and sometimes it’s fun to just go for a walk and make movies in my head. Walking, thinking, sometimes humming soundtracks are all things I’ve done since I was young.

It should be no surprise that as an adult, I do creative work for a living and I’m pretty good at it. I went from imagining the things to making the things.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve found these kinds of daydreams can be unproductive, and can sometimes contribute to perfectionism or overthinking ideas. I can sometimes overly fixate on an idea because it feels good to think about, even though there are plenty of other valid solutions and paths to take which can often times be better than the thing I’m holding on to.

The only big change now as an older adult is that I put rules about what I can daydream about. I tend to not daydream or fantasize about projects I’m actually doing, especially the outcomes. I also avoid anything that has to do with me personally as that can negatively impact my mental health.

It really helped my creative work to free myself of the need to document or use my daydreaming productively. Now it’s something I just do for me, for fun. It’s like exercising for your mind to render all this stuff in your head. I’ll probably always be this way until the end of my days.

11. New things to try.

I was writing story only when I was a kid, but I have never done in my adulthood, and unfortunately I’ve never played D&D.

10. That’s how you know it’s a good story.

It’s always when I’m going to sleep as well!

Sometimes it backfires though and I stay awake longer because exciting things happen…

9. Sounds like a good use of time to me.

I used to pretend I was a captain of a merchant ship when I was younger, and I’d write a captain’s log by candlelight in my bedroom.

I had an entire world map that I imagined and drew, myself, on the front page of my journal. Full with cities with imagined names, and different ports.

I even had an old PC game where you had to sail to different ports and trade, and you could out the game disc in a CD player to play the soundtrack from the game.

8. Just one more reason to love going to sleep.

Me too!

I actually look forward to going to sleep because I love creating worlds and stories in my head before sleep and I can’t do it during the day.

7. Fantasy worlds aren’t childish.

Every good story has to start with some fantasizing!

Being an adult doesn’t mean you can’t continue, it just means you have more freedom to pursue it. Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, Witcher, and lots more huge fantasy worlds were thought up of and worked on by adults like yourself.

You should keep writing! ????

6. I want to know more, too!

I find it fascinating. Would love to know how these worlds changed/evolved over the years (as your maturity level and understanding of things changed). It’s too bad we don’t have a “third eye” that is actually a projector to project our ideas/memories.

And I don’t think that means you’re immature at all. I’ve actually read numerous studies that show that this ability to imagine/create/fantasize usually diminishes by the age of 16. Researchers found their only conclusion was our society causes us to stop imagining from fear of still acting like a child, as is your worry.

But…if we kept this ability past the age of 16 we would see Alzheimer’s and dementia rates reduce drastically. I wish I kept a link to the story, but I don’t think it’s childish at all. You’re keeping your mind fresh.

5. Make sure you write it down.

Sit down and just write something. Don’t worry about it being perfect. The important part is that you write. It can be hard to start, but if you just put your fingers on the keys and move them around a bit, just writing any old thing, you’ll get going.

Don’t edit on the fly. Just shit out whatever you’ve got, and when you’re done, then edit.

Write whatever stories come to you easiest first. Don’t worry about big narratives or anything. You don’t even have to start at the beginning; you can just start anywhere and plug that chunk in somewhere else at a later time.

Volume is what’s important at first. That’s the chunk of wood you’re gonna practice on and whittle down into something usable.

Another thing you could do is to get into oral-tradition storytelling, and whenever any kids are around, you tell em one of your stories. They like that.

Or just enjoy thinking about em at night. No harm in that.

4. I’m fascinated by these people’s brains!

I’ve had bedtime fantasies ever since I was small. I don’t make up my own worlds though, I insert my self into what ever fantasy world I happen to be into at the moment by shaping the story round me. Over time I’ve become better at this; before I use to just drop in my avatar in the interesting bits with no background and the other characters would just roll with it. But now my stories have gotten more sophisticated and I find a way to organically introduce my avatar into the story and take part in all the fun. I live in a very rural area and don’t have any day to day friends so my imagination is very active. I want to be friends with these characters in these story’s and this how I do it.

So I design a avatar, with a nice complicated back story. This person evolves over time to fit the each new story. She is usually around sixteen, long hair some times natural colors, sometimes not, shares my general personality. She is always some kind of fighter (wish I was), maybe trained to be an assassin. Parents are always out of the picture, either dead or have no factor in the story at all. I want to separate it from my real life as much as possible, so no parents, (also because parents are a limitation) no younger sister, and a different name and at least a slightly different look.

I am crazy about fantasy so she she is usually a magical being of some kind, winged elves are a favorite. It gets very complicated and I have to make up histories and explanations to fit is it in and smooth it over and it’s time consuming. But I think it is good practice for if I ever want to write a story (probably not). It’s so much fun and I can just sit in a chair day dreaming until mum tells at me to stop saying vacant at the floor. I hope I never stop.

3. Childish and immature aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Oh it is absolutely childish… but that’s a thing to be proud of!

It’s not immature.

Man, “childish” has a very bad meaning among people just because children are often “not good enough”. Sadly, this is the only word that some people will find meaningful, since “immature” sounds too grown up to be a serious offense.

2. That’s a take.

People who do this are real players. People who just fall asleep without thinking about anything or claim to have no internal monologue are NPC’s and are just there to flesh out the simulation.

Think of them as advanced AI.

1. Just a mind exercise.

Oh gods it’s so lovely to know I’m not alone!

That’s how I get to sleep. I don’t know how people just close their eyes and drift off into slumber.

You might not be able to go back to being a kid, but you can keep dreaming. It’s preferable even.

At least, that’s what I think – weigh in with your own comments down below!

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