“Youthful at heart” doesn’t mean “childish”.
It means having ambition, fire, and desires. Debating the values of an oxford comma as loudly as the relevance of organized religion. Standing on top of the tallest building to scream your love of someone – or you complete disgust. It’s looking life in the face and demanding it either fall in line, or get the hell out of your way. It’s knowing that death is real, and not giving a damn.
There are times where this quality can be hybridized with wizened experience. It’s looking at a bad situation, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of what got you there, and dropping everything else. It’s not having to learn from prior experience, because you’re not ashamed to learn from someone else’s life. It’s hearing the music, and trying to play it back- and not giving a damn if you hit a few wrong notes.
Youthfulness is not blind optimism- it’s selectively seeing the good in life. Knowing that laughter can make any situation bearable, if not better. Understanding when even a man should cry – whether it’s a funeral, the end of Titanic, or your fridge is lacking beer. Finding as much solace in a warm, furry pet, as a plush animal, or as the touch of soft skin from a loved one under your hands.
Your heart can take honesty- and deal it out equally. Integrity, determination, and accountability are all the strengths of the young. The desire to be unique, bold, and easily defined in a world that needs glasses are all humors of the youthful. Leading a distinct life free of labels, sub-classifications, and titles are all in the same domain.
Being youthful at heart doesn’t mean being childish. It means learning to live with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, and the calm maturity of a Buddhist monk. It is more a state of balance- equilibrium between the concepts of springing hormones, and crushing intellect.
A youthful heart knows how to live better than those that have done so for decades. And it means not being afraid to do so.