I never thought that I would stop playing with dolls, but that was the old me. I thought that I’d be playing barbies with my older sister as long as we lived, and that it would always be like that: fun and games. It did make me sad when SHE stopped playing first, but I still stayed in that childish wonder bubble that I thought would never pop. Middle childhood was, collectively, the best time of my life (I say middle because I don’t remember early childhood so much.) There was never really a day that was bad, and I had an ocean load of imaginative ideas that kept me going. I would wonder how things worked, why certain things happened, always curious. That was a time when I didn’t know much “facts” and when I really didn’t have much boundaries. Rocks would be entertaining to me. The simple things always cheered me up. I was always genuinely happy. I realize that it was a time when I didn’t care about how I looked or what people thought about me. Of course, since I was just a child free from worries.
When I think about it, it’s mostly because the internet wasn’t exploding at that time yet. I couldn’t believe it when a saw a little five year old girl with her own iPad. The early 2000’s gave me a backyard to explore and crumpled newspapers that I play-pretended to be freshly baked bread from my bakery (a.k.a. front porch.) I didn’t have any electronics except for the television, which I watched a lot of cartoons from– but not so much that I didn’t have time to express my spontaneous imagination.
Having experienced two years in a college campus now, I feel that that child part of me is slowly being stripped away. The innocence that provided me genuine happiness from simple items is diminishing. Again,as a younger child, I didn’t think this would happen. I saw many grumpy elders and adults that were so involved and stressed with their jobs. I told myself that I wasn’t going to be like that. I would always hold my barbie in my hand and find time to play. I would be the grown up that didn’t get caught up with insane worries. I would be a child at heart until the day I died…. Yet, I forgot about those thoughts. I’ve been the opposite. I care about stupid things like how I look and how people would judge me.
I just finished watching one of my childhood movies: Spirited Away; that’s why I’m writing this. When the movie ended, a surge of that childhood wonder came back. The magic in the movie itself lifted me up: I was literally “spirited away.” That’s when the thoughts of being my old kiddie-self came back… that breathtaking awe that no other thing can give me. I am still feeling it now. (mostly from the nostalgia)
So to my even-older-future self, I hope that you get to read this. I want you to remember that there is still a child inside of you. Don’t be an old fart, forgetting about beauty in simple things.