My Inner 10 Year-Old and Personalities of Other Ages

It’s a fun thought experiment to break down your personality and likes/dislikes into “ages”. I often find myself acting with the priorities and characteristics I might normally associate to a young boy, or to a grandfather.

Humans are complicated. But why not enjoy the different “personalities” that make up our lives? I have a few, at least:

My inner 10 year-old loves knights, explorers, and other heroes (and he’s a big fan of Game of Thrones fan). He looks up to cool older dudes and wants to be a man’s man. He is full of boundless energy, naive enthusiasm, and trust in the general goodness of others. He is down for any adventure. He is playful and unafraid. He likes the idea of being a superhero.

My inner 18 year-old is still looking up and out into the world. He is full of curiosity and potential and big plans. He enjoys going on solo adventures, listening to mix playlists with the windows down, and being goofy and light-hearted with friends. He trolls the world with positivity. He is radical, liberal, and skeptical, questioning everything and ready to embrace crazy alternatives to the norm. He likes the idea of starting a company and changing the world.

My inner 40 year-old is mature and serious but full of affection and dad humor. He enjoys making breakfast for people, taking responsibility, and being a caring and encouraging leader. He is motivated by duty. He is more conservative, more traditional, and more spiritually rooted. He likes the idea of buying a farm somewhere and raising his kids away from the city

My inner 75 year-old is ready for grandkids. He likes talking and listening to old people, and he waxes philosophical about the circle of life and stuff like that. He likes mentoring and encouraging younger people. He likes the idea of leaving a legacy. He looks to the future after he is gone.

Understanding all these different and seemingly contradictory parts of my self help me to prioritize and navigate my choices better. Paradox does not require contradiction, and I can find ways to balance the good and shun the bad in all of these ages of James.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at