The Best Years

Something I often say is if I were given a choice between death and reliving my childhood, I’d choose death. For the most part, my reason is, to put it simply, my childhood sucked. It sucked enough that I was first suicidal at age ten, spent nearly my whole adolescence fighting against those feelings, and was often wishing I had died in infancy. I have never said I had the worst childhood, but it’s certainly not worth repeating.

However, even if I didn’t have to experience the abuse and dysfunction, I feel like I’d still choose death over childhood. Being totally honest, childhood is much cuter and more fun as an outsider viewing it than as an insider living it. I could write out a list of reasons, but the main one is powerlessness.

As a child, you have no control over your life, and that’s true no matter how amazing your childhood is. Outside of the dysfunctional aspect, one of the things I hated most about my childhood is we moved every year. I hated moving and to this day, I still loathe it, but as a child, what was I to do? I had no choice in where I lived, what school I attended, or where I moved to. I had a choice in absolutely nothing, and knowing you are powerless against something (or someone) feels awful, no matter how supportive those people are.

I couldn’t do that. I could not return to a time where someone had full and total control over my life, even if that person was the most loving in the world (she wasn’t, but that’s not the point). Childhood is essentially a luck of the draw. If you’re lucky, that powerlessness isn’t often a deterrent in you having a happy life until adulthood, and you’ll wish for it back when you are an adult because it was that enjoyable. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll consider yourself lucky for having survived it in the first place.

The only thing I could say I really miss from my childhood are certain cartoons and the familiarity of some locations. Those are nowhere near enough to make me consider my childhood worth anything. I’d burn all of my years before age 17 into oblivion if possible, and the only reason I’m even choosing the age of 17 is it’s how old I was when I met my best friend, who I continually call the only good I got out of high school. Without her, I’d burn every year before meeting my boyfriend, which would start my life at the very beginning of 2015, four months before my 21st birthday.

It’s akin to the expression of how one’s high school years are the best of their life. Without the existence of my best friend, I’d burn them to the ground, and the school along with them. They weren’t the worst years of my life, but I don’t consider them worth anything reliving.

My 20s so far are shaping up to be nice, so perhaps when I reach 30, I’ll call them the best years of my life and consider them well reliving. For now, however, nothing in my life I can remember, besides meeting the two most important people I’ve already mentioned, is worth reliving. Is that really a bad thing? Maybe, or maybe not. Since reliving the past is impossible beyond hallucination, it’s a moot point.

Siblings: Fantasy VS Reality

First, it seems I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog’s anniversaries. After May 22nd, my blog turned five years old. Maybe I should start making a yearly scheduled post for that.

Now, on to the topic at hand.

A stereotype of only children is they are spoiled because of their lack of siblings. Some people think it’s selfish not to give a child a sibling, and some only children do grow up to say they wish they had siblings.

I’ll be honest. Hearing these things makes me cringe, especially the former. Why? Because they’re idealizing having a sibling.

I don’t think people who consider it awful for a child to have no siblings, or who wish they themselves did, realize having a sibling is no guarantee of not being selfish or never being lonely. I don’t believe they realize that sibling could very well be someone they don’t care to have in their life. Having a sibling does not automatically mean you have a built-in playmate/best friend for life.

My mother had two children while my father had one, so I somewhat got to experience being an only child while growing up when I visited him. I much preferred the only child life. Just about every positive reason stated for having siblings never existed for me.

Taught me how to share? My sister and I only shared if forced, and I hogged my things because she continually lost or broke them. My mother forced me to loan her my baby blanket for the kindergarten (I was 8). At the end of the year, she never retrieved it, so it was thrown out. My 8-year-old self was furious because that blanket was one of my favorite possessions. But the reason I argued (and lost) against her borrowing it in the first place is I knew she’d lose it. As an adult, I still hoard things, and part of the reason I tend to buy excessively is that I can finally live without worrying where my stuff will disappear off to.

Playmates and best friends? Again, not unless forced. Otherwise, we either played alone or played with our school friends. My sister and I fought constantly, and the only time we got along on our own was to (figuratively) beat somebody else down, which usually meant drive the adults crazy. I remember people used to say we’d grow up to be best friends. At the ages of 23 (me) and nearly 20, that ship has sailed. Our relationship as sisters borders on dead. My best friend and the person I call my sister are the same person, but she’s not genetically related.

Never being lonely? I don’t even want to talk about this. All I have to say is loneliness due of no people is no better or worse than loneliness because of people.

Teaches eldest siblings to be responsible? First off, I want to hang the person who came up with the notion that oldest siblings should be live-in babysitters. If someone asked me why I want nothing to do with parenthood, the answer of “being forced to babysit my sister” would be in the top three. “Babysit” was essentially the short way of saying “everything your sister does is your fault, no matter where I am in the house”. My sister never got in trouble unless I also did. This didn’t stop until I moved out of the house, which means even at age 13, my sister was deemed “too young to know better” and I was “supposed to set a good example because I was the oldest”. Why was I supposed to enjoy this again? Ironically, babysitting other people’s children as an adult wasn’t an issue for me. Perhaps it being voluntary has to do with it?

I know everyone is entitled to their feelings, but I wish people would stop thinking “siblings = automatic BFFs” because it truly does not. Siblings are essentially hit or miss. If you’re fortunate, the stereotypes are true and you luck out. If you’re not, you get a situation like mine, where your sibling only talks to you to start an argument at four o’clock in the morning.

There have been brief periods of time where we do get along, but they’re sporadic at best. I’ve said before if I wanted to be a parent, I’d be “one and done” because I’d have zero desire to put up with what I went through with my sister. If my hypothetical kid was really so lonely, I’d let them adopt a pet. Really, I did have a cat for a few years while growing up. Much better company.

Spoiled Like A Princess

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I figured I may as well throw it in since I’m posting on the holiday.

For someone who wants no children, I talk about them a lot. Then again, I have a strange knack for talking a lot about things I don’t have, whether I want them or not. Don’t ask. Chalk it up to “I think a lot”.

Yesterday, I saw a video on Facebook about a mother who takes her daughter to Disneyland several times a year because they have annual passes and live about 20 minutes away from the park. She sews costumes for her daughter. My first thought was, “Yeah, this is why I don’t need a daughter.”

I can’t deny it’s because I myself am female, but if I had a daughter, she would undoubtedly be a spoiled princess (or tomboy, if she preferred that)! If I had the finances and lived very close to Disneyland, it’s a safe bet she’d be going everyday. My only regret would be I couldn’t wear the costumes with her. Disneyland forbids guests over age 14 from wearing costumes. I understand the reason for the rule, but it’s one of the reasons I lost my desire to go years ago. Oh, well.

Funnily enough, my boyfriend also agrees. When I showed up him the video and told him the above, he replied we’d both spoil our non-existent daughter if we could. I was a little surprised to hear him say that because he does not like taking care of kids at all. The next thing he said was: “If I had the money, I would be spoiling [his niece].”

To me, it’s genuinely one of the cutest things he’s ever said. His niece is the exception to his dislike of caring for kids. Even I have to admit I love his niece, despite having zero familial relationship to her and only seeing her a handful of times, and she also likes me, to the point she was once screaming she wanted me after seeing me when I hadn’t been around her for some time.

However, it still prefaces why neither of us needs kids. We want the adorable parts of raising a child without the awful parts, but there’s no way to separate the two. It’s the reason I stick to fantasy and Sims games, and he sticks to being devoted to his niece. Children aren’t novelties. Dolls are for dressing up and parading around. There’s so much more to children, and they deserve parents who are willing to take all the awfulness along with the cuteness. I regularly hear raising children is 90% awful and only 10% good, but the 10% makes up for the 90%. I think it’s only worth it if you’re willing to accept those odds from the start, and even some people who are already parents aren’t. Ouch.

Still, I also think it’s ironic and a bit funny two people who do not want their own kids think nothing of spoiling our hypothetical child if she did exist. Or he. The mother from the video also has a son who she lets get in on the fun. I only emphasize “daughter” because the video mainly focuses on the daughter.

Dreams Change

I feel like I may have talked about this already, but I can’t find it in my archives, so maybe I haven’t.

Something I’ve noticed happen to me over the years is many things I used to long for aren’t desires anymore. In fact, most of my long-term desires are very simple. I’m not sure if it’s happened because I’ve become a cynic or if it’s a result of growing up and learning to be more realistic about both my own limits and life in general.

The best example of this is from when I was a child. One of the most common questions children are asked is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was always, “I want to be an animal doctor.” When I learned how to say “veterinarian”, I would answer with that to sound more adult-ish.

Naturally, as a child with a very limited view of the world at the time, I assumed being a veterinarian was little more than checking ears and eyes, and occasionally giving shots to animals just as my doctor did to me, a human. I thought the only difference between playing “doctor” with my stuffed animals and being a doctor of real ones would be the animals are alive.

That childhood dream only lasted until 7th grade, when I finally learned being a veterinarian, and a doctor in general, is much more complicated than it looked in my childish eyes. You have to go to school for a very long time and it’s not cuteness and cuddling the pets most of the day. Of course, nobody told me that before I learned it from science class and the internet. Many people would deem someone cold-hearted, at least, for potentially crushing a child’s dreams. I can’t say if being told earlier what I learned later on would’ve been better, but I’m certain I would’ve recovered from the shock.

I’ve had several other dreams and desires change or fall away entirely due to learning the realism of them: owning a house, having a huge career, having children (yes, I did want children at one point; before I hit 12), certain jobs, and even having a garden, which I previously wrote was my biggest dream.

Some people may say it’s lazy or lacking motivation to change or not go after your dreams for reasons like not wanting to continue school, but I think it’s smart. Let’s face it. Everyone is not cut out for everything. It’s not so much I no longer want these things as it is I now know what I’m capable of handling and what I’m not. To use the veterinarian example again, I’m sick of school. Absolutely sick of it. Graduating high school felt like being released from a 14-year long prison sentence. I was so fed up with school, my family had to put constant pressure on me to attend college and while I did go, it didn’t work out since I had no clue what I wanted to study nor did I want to be there. It would make no sense to put myself through 8+ more years of schooling when I’m so fed up with school, having the debt I’ve obtained is preferable. Add to that I’m very squeamish, sensitive, and get disgusted at the sight of fictional blood and waste, and it wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever to pursue any kind of career in medicine, let alone one as a veterinarian. Let’s also not forget schooling is very expensive. I’d wring myself out like a towel if I went through even one year of medical school and realized I wasn’t cut out for it.

Does that mean I’m not willing to work, and work hard, for anything? Absolutely not. There are some things I still want, despite knowing what it’ll take to get them, and am very much willing to work toward. In fact, I have one of those things. At some point, I decided I was ready for and wanted a relationship, and after two years of bad dating and a little bit of luck, I found a very happy one with a wonderful person. Considering the stories I’ve heard, it seems I got off easy with that, but I sure don’t feel that way, especially since my naïveté led to me having the worst sexual experience of my life.

It only means I know myself better and I’ve discarded dreams that are not reality as I believed they were. I know the difference between the fantasies in my head and what I’ll need to do in reality, and have decided the reality isn’t worth it. If whatever path I go down leads to some of those discarded dreams returning, I’ll reconsider them and for that reason, I stay open to the possibilities. For now, however, they are not active desires, and the desires and dreams I do have remain much more simplistic and generic.

The Age Game

Apologies I continue bringing this up, but this isn’t solely about Winx Club. I promise!

A thought that just came to my mind is the person who told lies about me once said something along the lines of “Enchantix is younger than new viewers”, referring to children today who may like Winx Club. I saw the post because one of my friends reblogged it, so it appeared on my dashboard. Apparently, Enchantix, which came out in 2006, being younger than today’s generation is a reason it should be forgotten.

Maybe I was some kind of oddball child, but when I was a kid, I watched shows and movies that were older than me. In fact, my most favorite cartoon of all time is:

That’s right! Tom & Jerry! I grew up watching this hilarious show, but – get this – I was born in 1994! Tom & Jerry first premiered on February 10, 1940 and the classic collection ended in 1967, 27 years before I was born. How could this wonderful show have been a part of my childhood, the majority of which took place during the 00s decade, if it ended nearly 30 years before I was born? I certainly didn’t have a computer, let alone internet, when I was five years old, but I was so often laughing my little butt off at this show. And no, it wasn’t the new era of the show I was watching. Nope. I saw the classic series on Cartoon Network as a kid. That was the one I watched as I grew up and I still watch it. It runs on Boomerang every night from 12 to 1:30.

Let’s get into movies. My most favorite animation company is Disney. Right now, my most favorite film of theirs is Frozen, but before Queen Elsa and Princess Anna came along, I was obsessed with and adored a certain mermaid. What’s her name? Hmm. What’s the name of that gorgeous, redheaded mermaid with the most beautiful voice Disney created? Oh, right. Her name is…

…Ariel! The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, five years before I was born. I first saw it at the age of 12, when it came out on DVD in 2006, 17 years after its premiere. I watched this film so many times, it’s a wonder the DVD still works. Frozen was released in 2013, 7 years later. Now, how could this lovely mermaid-turned-human have been my favorite princess for 7 years when her film is older than me?

Now that I think about it, how could I have loved the Disney Princess franchise at all? Sure, the franchise didn’t start until 2000, but before 2009, all except two of the princesses’ films were older than me and the two that weren’t came out in 1995 and 1998. I was 1 in 1995 and 3 in 1998, and I had never watched any Disney Princess film until I saw The Little Mermaid in 2006. How would I even know the Disney Princess franchise exists? Ariel alone isn’t proof of that and I sure didn’t beg for everything else Disney simply because I liked Ariel. However, I did have a computer with internet access in 2006. So, can you guess what I did? I went online – gasp! – searched The Little Mermaid, and that search led me to the rest of the princess films and, consequentially, Disney. Voila! Films that are older than me. Watched every one of them online before I got them on DVD because my mother would’ve had my head on a platter if she bought something for me I asked for and I turned out not to like it. Luckily, I did like them and thus began my collection. Isn’t technology great?

Other shows I enjoyed as a kid that are older than me would be Rugrats (began in 1991), Captain Planet (1990), Doug (which started and ended before I was born!), and All That (4/16/94, eleven days before my birth). And yes, I did see the first episode of all of these shows on television. Not when they first premiered, obviously, but on TV.

In regards to Winx Club and today’s children being younger than Enchantix, guess what? Season 3, and Enchantix, is currently showing on the Nick Jr block. At the moment, it’s in the latter half of the season. Sure, it’s Nickelodeon’s dub, but it’s still season 3 with Enchantix. So, today’s kids, if they watch Winx Club, will see Enchantix.

Now, how is that possible if Enchantix first came around in 2006? How could I have seen the first episode of shows that began before I was born if I didn’t have the internet as a kid? Gee, I wonder…

They’re called reruns, people! 😆

To My Younger Self

Every so often when I browse Facebook or Tumblr, I see a post that goes along of the lines of “If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?”

I think if I went back in time to meet my younger self, even by as few as three years or so, she’d slap me back into my current age. I wouldn’t blame her. As little as one year ago, if someone told me I’d be doing the things I do now, I would’ve assumed they were out of their minds.

However, when I see that question, it’s myself as a child I think of. I usually picture myself back around age 7 or 10. There are a lot of things I would go back and tell my child self because I very much needed to hear them, but no one ever told me. Hearing them probably wouldn’t have made life back then any easier, but in the moments I needed it, it probably would’ve helped. Had I any artistic skill, I’d create a comic about it.

I want to keep this list fairly short, so I’ll stick to what I think are the most important things.

  • You’re going to be happy to be alive. The very first time I thought about suicide, I was ten years old. Before that, my thoughts were often of running away from home and not returning. When things got especially bad and I was crying myself to sleep, I spent the time until I finally wore out hoping someone would break into my house and snatch me away. If I could go back and speak to my child self, I’d tell her she’ll be happy those thoughts were never a reality. She probably wouldn’t believe me and, again, I wouldn’t blame her. But I’d still say it.
  • Love does not hurt. Well, not the way I learned it did as a child. To be totally honest, this is something I’m struggling with as an adult. I prefer to just be grateful and not dwell, but in the back of my mind, I question why someone loves me or why they care to help me or why they want to know me. This is something I’d probably say over and over to my child self until I was certain she understood. No, your loved ones are not supposed to hurt you and no, being family does not justify them doing so.
  • You’re the cutest child ever, but that’s not what matters. No, I don’t think I was the cutest child ever when I look back at my childhood pictures, but “ugly” was the most common insult I heard growing up. It wasn’t only by the school bullies. My family’s vanity and obsession with looks also pushed me to believe I looked horrid when, in actuality, nothing was wrong with me. I spent my entire childhood hating how I look because I believed my looks weren’t good enough and that was all anyone cared about. I would tell my child self she is an adorable person, but it’s not the most important thing about her and most people really don’t care.
  • Friendships aren’t like the cartoons. I’m certain this one speaks for itself. I had trouble keeping friends because of how often I moved and my mother didn’t like friends visiting or letting me visit them. I would tell her it’s not completely abnormal and she’ll not only find her own friends in due time, but learn who’s a friend and who’s not.
  • 2010 will be the worst year of your life. As awful as it sounds, I’d tell her this as a warning. 2010 is the year everything began to crash and burn. My life was ripped apart from the inside out and this is the year my suicidal emotions were at their worst. The only thing that kept me from acting on those emotions was the cowardice to cause myself pain, and I regularly kicked myself for that. I’d tell her she, unfortunately, doesn’t have a choice and she’ll get through it, but it’s going to be painful. Very painful.
  • Your family will fall apart, but you won’t. This is the final one and arguably the most important after love doesn’t hurt. My family indeed has fallen apart. It’s ripped up more than I could’ve ever imagined as a kid. I’d tell my child self this is going to happen and she can’t stop it, but it’s not her job to stop it in the first place. I won’t lie and pretend it doesn’t hurt. It hurts a lot! However, what hurts more is when you’re trying as hard as you can to keep it together and your efforts are failing. I’d tell her she’s not a failure for being unable to hold her family together and it really is alright for her to worry about keeping herself together first and foremost. I’d tell her it’s their choices and their actions that are making them fall apart, and she’s not at fault for what they do.