Freud said that regression, the reversion or retreat to an earlier, more childish manner of thinking or behaving, is a defense mechanism one employs so as to avoid, delay or diminish one's anxiety or the difficulties that confront an adult. Instead of facing grownup problems in a grownup manner, you may, for instance, think or act childishly to push back these worries into the unconscious, keeping them away from you at the present.
Translation: Since it's always easier to be a child, we escape adulthood by becoming one again.
I didn't imagine Mr. Freud could read me so well. At the turn of a new decade in this life, I realized I may have decided upon doing things that do not seem to be concrete steps toward "maturity"--but can one really ever say he or she is "mature"?--but may lead me back to a an age or a place I have been before. While my avowed secrecy and shyness prevent me from detailing these choices and decisions here, I'll mention one thing that signals the onset of this stage, one purchase which made me realize that perhaps I am indeed "regressing." I got myself a Playstation 3.
When I was opening the box yesterday afternoon, having thought that I earned such pleasure after being able to start working on my first day back, memories of childhood flooded my consciousness (see, Freud's really right). All those toys and action figures, radio-controlled cars and bicycles, Xboxs and PSPs all came back to me, as the indescribable anticipation that came with tearing out the gift wrapper or the excitement with which you cut the tape to open the package sweetly became familiar again.
But while the basic emotions were still the same, I figured that things can get a little more complicated for a man-child. Unlike before when it was as simple as plugging the unit in and inserting the game cartridge, I had to figure out HDMI connections and firmware upgrades, settle online product registrations and adjust the television on 1080 to be able to play in hi-def. All in all, it took me around half an hour to get everything set and finally play my first game--an eternity to a boy who waits for his father as he fumbles with toy batteries or deciphers badly written instruction manuals.
But after all that passion, finally, the game. Time stopped, my hunger abated, and I took a leave from all those things that usually force themselves in my mind. Then I asked myself why I ever stopped doing this, playing games that I truly, honestly enjoy not only to retreat from the other, supposedly higher games I play but also for the sheer delight it gives in and of itself, much like the kind of delight children like. When did I lose the way? I asked, and answered, No matter, I'm back on my way.
If Nietzsche said he can only believe in a dancing god, I can only imagine one thumbing on a Dual Shock PS3 wireless controller.