Frozen . . .
Let me run something by ya' and then you maybe let me know what you think. Mmkay? Mmkay.
We both think that people continue to age and we learn various social cues (personal and professional) that can help round us out, make us more interesting and give us one-dem fancy "filters" all the real adults talk and brag about as we meander through life but those are just the proverbial masks of this analogous Halloween.
Some of us are lucky enough to get fatter and balder as we go. Some get healthier and richer (poor bastards). Many will act under different personas and personalities including the naughty librarian, the officer and gentleman and the compassionate Christian, etc. etc. etc. BUT we both think that, ultimately, we are all little more than who we were as children.
Let me clarify - the theory is that our sense of self and our internal voice and mantra come out of a very, very young version of "us". Were we happy? Were we confident? Did we feel listened to? Did we see opportunity in the world? Did we know all our letters and colors? How many friends did we have? How were things with us and the 'rents? When did we first process the notion of "self"? Did it happen in a warm and happy place?
I look at myself - I was a fat kid with a great sense of self, a want to entertain and please people, a relative assurance that people will either like me or not, a low expectation or want for anyone to do anything "for" me, a penchant to read and write, a love of arts and crafts, a musical enthusiast, a pair of loving parents and brothers that were different enough from me that I felt a sense of self and an appreciation for our differences. I had a naive view of what it meant to love and be loved. I wanted very little by way of physical possessions. I wanted it all by way of clout, respect, responsibility, and opportunity.
Fast forward 33 years or so . . . yeah. Theory holds.