On Peter Pan and Peter Pan Syndrome
I had an argument with my buddy Jae today when he saw this picture of mine when I was a kid. Clearly, I was wearing a Peter Pan costume and NOT a gnome costume. Just inking that fact so it stays uncontested.
Peter Pan has always been my favorite cartoon and fairy tale character. I have played him quite a few times on stage plays when I was a kid. And while I did outgrow the role and the costume, I never did seem to outgrow the syndrome.
According to Wiktionary, Peter Pan syndrome is the supposed psychological phenomenon of immaturity among some men, who, like the fictional character, remain childish and fail to assume adult social roles and responsibilities.
We all know that adulthood is inevitable, and the world is not the Neverland that we imagined as children. As we grow older, we discover that there is pain greater than the cuts that we used to cry about. As adults we know that sometimes pain can be so bad that the only thing that can seem to end it is if we end our very existence. As we grow older we discover that hunger is not just about missing a meal. As adults we see hunger lead to murder and the selling of ones very soul. As we grow older, we discover that love is not this simple, uncomplicated feeling that breaks spells and causes miracles. As adults we see love cause despair and even tear families apart. Finally, we realize that people aren't always what they seem and even the nicest ones are capable of the worst things imaginable. As adults, we learn not to trust, we learn to fight back and we learn to hate.
While I do realize that being an adult is not a choice and that we all, at some point, have to take our place in the real world and face our responsibilities, it is comforting to know that there is always a place in my head where I can retreat to and keep believing that maybe someday... my dreams will still come true.