You know, when people talk about staying “young at heart”, I’m pretty sure this is not what they’re talking about.
The more understanding I get of what it means to act like a 40 year old and the older I get, the more stupidly young heartedness just crops up in my heart. I’ve had friends describe me as seeming super mature and then super young at the same time, and bros, those extremes have only grown with age. Not sure why and I can still function as an adult, but still.
What with being depressed for so long in high school and some of college, I would have thought all of these late in life immaturities would pass me by, but thank God they havent. I think the idea that some of us recieve or have taken from us childhood is great in certain conversations, but can we not just admit that the only thing that stops us from acting like a kid is the desire? It’s not how much stuff you have to do. It’s not a greater inclination for mischief (although that certainly helps). Sometimes, it’s whether or not we think people will still take us seriously if we let our guards down. And often, it has to do with the past.
But whatever! I’m starting to realize I’m never going to be able to outgrow the mischief. We can call it pretty things. We can wrap it up with a bow, or better yet, just say crap like, “That’s just Haley. That’s just how she is. *Eye roll*”. But you see, even all of that is missing the point. It boils down to the question of how much you can get away with, and whether or not you’d attempt to call straight up wrong things “mischief”.
So let me break this down. Forgery, stealing, lying, adultery, cheating, impersonating someone for financial or social gain, embellishing your ideas in the form of plaigiarism, lying about your age, and a bunch of other things like tax fraud are definitely bullcrap. Those aren’t mischief. Those are breaking the law, and pretending to be an idiot because it’s convenient, or you think you can get away with it. Clearly they aren’t all illegal, but you still will hurt people. Mischief isn’t mischief if it’s a thin cover on being a jerk.
Human nature just likes to pretend things are more ambiguous than they actually are. That being said, if you have good intentions, you can usually get away with a good amount of mischief. Part of it is having a good sense of humor. Part of it is taking minor risks #yolo. And part of it is just kind of improvising your own entertainment, based on the fact that nobody will do it for you. After that point, you see how much you can get away with. And then because you’re just gonna do it anyways, dance across that line.
The thing that I don’t think we all realize is that mischief is a gift that is here to stay. It’s funny how many formerly cantankerous people just kind of gravitate to it, because it breaks them out of the monotany that they enjoy at least six days of a good seven weekly. You’d be surprised at how many people take minor offenses to social conduct, and lose their entire minds. It’s kind of funny to watch, because it’s a full scale tantrum based solely upon missing the point. “Are y’all serious? Calm down.”
Mischief goes hand and hand with “manipulation”. Not sure what “manipulation” in most people’s contexts is, but I’ve known being nice to people and caring for them to be called “manipulation” as soon as you need something. That’s often because people miss the point. I don’t care what I get in return. Why do we presume that the only reason people are nice to one another is because they want something?? I don’t get it. I know it’s a case by case thing, but can we just acknowledge that if you think mischief is exclusively bad, you’ll also often overly condemn genuine compassion? How can everyone so broadly not get it?
Have a good Thursday!