How weird: One of my last posts was about my anxiety of getting older. Today, I wonder out loud about how all the things that made me happy as a kid faded away over time, but have somehow come back to make me an even happier grown-up. Perhaps I love and appreciate them more at adulthood.
There are some interests, habits, and activities you have to leave behind. Those things just die, but more often so, you grow up and move on to the next cooler and “mature” thing to love and invest your time, energy, and/or money in. I have to admit that I was a physically lazy but studious child. I haven’t really changed much—my two most treasured ways to spend time was reading and writing. I enjoyed the weekly required trips to the library in elementary school. Sometimes I loved a book so much that I wouldn’t even bother checking out anything else, but borrow a book I had already checked out and read all the way through just about two or three weeks ago. This mostly applied to Louis Sachar‘s Wayside School series. My favorite running gag was that there was no 19th floor at that 30-story school, so chapter 19 would always have one sentence only, or something along those lines. As for the writing, I would seriously make mini-magazines or handwritten newsletters that I wish I had mass-produced. When I was about eight or nine years old, my two biggest loves were Sailor Moon and the Spice Girls. I came up with a genius idea to start a fan club for fans of the anime that was making waves in America and the biggest international pop superstars at the time, but since I had no friends, it was a gutsy single-member club. I sure treated it like there were two, 200, or 2 million members though: I would make pathetic little meatball-headed drawings and create little write-ups IN CURSIVE (My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Chan instilled this on us quite strongly) on sections for news, quizzes, polls…Yeah, it sounds incredibly stupid and that’s not even the nerdiest thing I’ll ever admit about myself, but I guess it helped contribute to where I am now.
TV, toys, technology, the radio, and the movie screens though. They all gave me the things that made my childhood so precious, the things I remember more fondly than anything: Beauty and the Beast. Sitcoms on the TGIF lineup on ABC. Everything ever on Nickelodeon (Even though at the time, Nick at Nite was for oldies). Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. As mentioned earlier, Sailor Moon and other kid-friendly anime. The beat-em-up video games and Puzzle Fighter on the Super Nintendo and Sony PlayStation. WWF/WCW before WWE was formed (Blame my brother for this one). Boy bands, pop princesses, Carson Daly and TRL, and better days of MTV. Going to Hollywood Video with Dad to pick out some VHS tapes and games to keep for the week—and treating it like the library sometimes by checking out the same titles multiple times over a short span. There have been times when I wish I could have them all back and it’s true that some of those things may never resurface again. Something like WWE, I don’t see myself ever getting into again. Something like Hollywood Video, with Redbox and Netflix and the like, even the mom and pop counterparts have much to worry about. Something like TRL wouldn’t have the same magic without the popular music of the late 90s/early 00’s because that’s what made it.
But for the rest of my childhood, thankfully the Internet is an infinite and ever-expanding archive and we’re now even able to exchange goods through it. I can watch entire seasons of Step by Step on YouTube. I can order the entire vintage Battle Arena Toshinden series on eBay to play on my PlayStation 3, or download Tekken 2 in the PlayStation Store. I can see the dudes of my dreams back when I was 10-11—the Backstreet Boys—reunited and in concert. I now know that these things and more from my girlhood never truly left me, and probably never will. It’s not so bad to feel like a child sometimes—the unexpected excitement from rediscovering the past and discovering what you may have overlooked before is one of the freest feelings you can have as a young adult.
What were some of your favorite things as a kid? Do they still have an impact on you today?
(PHOTO CREDITS: Karen Datangel / Karen-On.com)