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 took 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.

An Angel I See

This past Saturday, my eight-year-old cousin came to visit. I don’t see her often, but I love spending time with her. She’s a sweet, typical kid. Loves cartoons, loves to play games, loves being silly, and she’s fairly quiet, though she seems to be growing out of that. She was quieter when she was younger than she is now. The first time she ever came to visit (I think she was five), the only sound she made was when she cried about simply walking to the back room alone. Now, she has no problem with our house and will respond without trouble if you talk to her.

In my eyes, my cousin is an ideal child. Well-behaved, patient, able to sit quietly and occupy herself, polite. Out of all the times I’ve been with her, she threw a tantrum one time. And she had reason because she was tired and had been abruptly woken up. I couldn’t blame her. Nobody likes being woken up, especially not in such a rush.

Every now and then, I think if it were guaranteed my first child would be like my cousin, I’d consider being a parent. However, experiences like the above knock me back down the Earth. I don’t doubt my cousin is well-behaved most of the time, but in truth, I can only make that judgment based on the small amount of time I spend with her and what my aunt (her grandmother) tells me. At most, I only spend a few hours with my cousin when one of us visits the other. I see the sweet, playful side of her because, unless she ever feels like throwing fits for a day, there’s no reason for her to behave any differently in the few hours I’m with her.

Even if I spent a full 24 hours with her, I may not see much difference in her behavior. She would have people to pay attention to her, she knows she is wanted and loved, she has plenty of things to play with, and she has more than enough to eat if she’s hungry. The only way I’d see anything different from what I know of her is if someone or something agitated her, which, from what I hear, is rare.

It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to be proper 100% of the time, let alone a child who still has a lot of growing and learning to do. Most kids stop throwing tantrums around my cousin’s age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to deal with unpleasant feelings. If I spent a week with my cousin, chances are I’d see fits, some stubbornness, and some sadness or even anger. No matter how angelic I see her as, the fact remains she is human, not a flat character in a TV show. Spending 24/7 with her is much different than a few hours, especially if she spends that time occupying herself and not needing or wanting someone’s attention.

When I was a child, I often got upset at myself for not being perfect. I actually thought something was wrong with me (being asked by an adult what’s wrong with me didn’t help either) because I couldn’t be perfect like everyone else seemed to, or I couldn’t be good like I was the previous day. When I was old enough to seriously think about parenting, I envisioned my child always being happy and loving because they’d have no reason to ever be upset. I hadn’t yet learned that nobody is perfect and it’s okay because perfection does not exist. Children are going to act out from time to time, no matter how well their parents are raising them, because people make mistakes. I wish someone had to told me as a child, “It’s alright you feel this way. You just can’t [whatever I did that was inappropriate].” Honestly, even as an adult, I don’t see the point in punishing a kid because they’re unhappy.

My little cousin reminds me of childhood and what it was like to be so young, innocent, and joyful. And while I know it can’t last forever, I do hope, unlike me, she is able to grow and mature at her own pace instead of having to be hurried into it.

Mundane Monday: The Eds

While Winx Club is my most favorite cartoon right now, my favorite show of all time would probably have to be:

Edward, Eddward, and Eddward

This show never failed to make laugh until my sides hurt. Edd was my favorite, but every kid in the show was hilarious. I prefer the early episodes that took place in the neighborhood of their cul-de-sac to the later ones  that take place in their school, but I love just about every episode. With the exception of Eddy’s brother, who was a one-shot for the movie, I like every character too. To me, this show had a perfect run. 1999-2009 and ended spectacularly.

Return to the Past

On April 6th, I rejoined one of my favorite websites: neopets.com. I’ve been a fan of the site since I was ten years old, when I first discovered it. Over those nine years, I’ve been through many accounts. I still remember the name of my very first account and it still hasn’t been purged. It’s merely frozen. Not that it really matters because I can’t access it since I’ve completely forgotten the password. Some of my other accounts are frozen and some aren’t. They just sit there with the status of “Last seen: A long, long time ago”. And of course, the designs for the user profiles don’t look right because the coding is outdated due to site updates.

The site has changed a lot since I first signed up for it. For better or worse is variable, but overall, I’m still pleased with the site.

In my own mind, I never actually quit the site. I would simply lose interest, forget to return, remember one day, create a new account because I forgot the password to my old one, play for a few months and it’d repeat. The site is in no way boring. It was more that I really didn’t try to get anything done. This time, however, I’m determined to stay on the site and work because I really don’t want to leave again. I want to be more active in the site, especially regarding their newspaper. Years ago, I had an article published and I’d love to do that again. When I’m able, I also want to use their premium service again. I enjoyed having it.

There’s a variety of things that attract me to this site, despite that it’s a “children’s site” and I really hope to get most, if not all, of the things I want there.