Growing Up and Growing Out of Things

Trends, Phases, and Life Stages

We go through phases in our lives. Even the most conservative and rigid people have had different phases; whether physical or mental. Despite this fact, I would like to say a few words on behalf of those of us that become adults, while retaining interests that are perceived by others to be immature.

First let me distinguish between child-ish and child-like. Being childish means a person is acting petty, rude, or un-ethical. Being child-like means a person has traits, characteristics, interests, or habits that exhibit youthful wonderment, innocence, or imagination.

Secondly I must say that not only do various cultures have different definitions of adulthood; but individual families and people in America have many different concepts of growing-up and growing-out-of things. Most of us grow-out-of clothing, as our bodies mature, but growing-out-of habits, trends, or phases is a psychological cultural phenomenon. Growing-out-of a youthful interest is entirely psychological.

We are conditioned by society, individuals, propaganda, and our own psychology to ignore or become interested in something. Then those same factors influence us to either stay interested in a subject, or to lose interest in it; and call it a passing phase. We say “It was something I was into at the time, but not anymore.”

I feel compelled to write on this subject because of the variety of interests I have found to be embraced by adults or shunned by adults, and my differences of opinion with the majority of them. Some popular contemporary beliefs are that it is good for adults to be obsessed with sports; and bad for adults to continue to like childhood shows they once watched with delight. I am of the opposite opinion: I believe that fanatical addiction to commercial sports is ridiculous and juvenile; and studying brilliantly executed performances by actors, artists, and directors is enlightening.


I believe there are important stories, lessons, and artistic techniques embedded in old shows like MASH, GI Joe, He-Man, The A-Team, etc that many adults failed to learn as children, and continue to be ignorant of; for example the anti-authority, and pro-individual aspects of said shows. There is a reason why I liked them as a kid; it was NOT because they are stupid or I was dumb; it is because they are works of art that communicate values that the adults that created them wanted to share.


People I have worked with as an adult usually do not understand my enthusiasm for referencing old tv shows or movies. They often do not seem to get the same enjoyment or satisfaction, I believe because they have a negative association with remembrance of youth; and have been conditioned to not seek meanings in the nostalgic delights of our past, as I do. It is interesting to me, that so many adults have so quickly abandoned their own pasts, despite their inability to do what the actors, directors or artists achieved with those old shows.

“Knowing is half the Battle!” – GI Joe

Nice war we had. Of course every war has its cute things. World War II had it’s songs. The War of the Roses had nice flowers. We’ve got booms, they had blooms. Actually, every war has its ‘ooms. You’ve got doom, gloom, everybody ends in a tomb, the planes go zoom and they bomb your room.
– Franklin Pierce, MASH

I’m sick of hearing about the wounded.
What about all the thousands of wonderful guys
who are fighting this war without any of the credit
or the glory that always goes to those lucky few
who just happen to get shot.

– Frank Burns, MASH

Look, all I know is what they taught
me at command school.
There are certain rules about a war
and rule number one is young men die.
And rule number two
is doctors can’t change rule number one.

– Henry Blake, MASH

“We knew we were telling the story of real people.” – Alan Alda


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