So, I kind of suck at this whole updating my personal blog more than once every month or more. My apologies to those of you who read this; it’s kind of a process I’m learning!
Anyway. I’ve had this idea for a blog post for awhile, and something I read on the internet tonight reminded me why I am writing this post again. (Thank you, bestie, for bringing that awesome article in to my life, by the way. Totally fed into my nostalgic tendencies).
A few months ago, I was watching the 90s movie “Now and Then”. For those of you who haven’t seen it, read the synopsis here (but don’t read spoilers!). Pretty fantastic childish-yet-simultaneously-still-relevant movie.
Basically, to me, that movie served the purpose of causing me to think about my own childhood and compare it to that of the group’s childhood experience, and frankly, it kind of sucked for me.
In the film, the four children lived in the same neighborhood. They grew up riding bikes together throughout town, spending their days outdoors together and getting into miscellaneous adventures. They experienced adolescence together, experienced boys and some adult concepts, and faced the reality of growing up in a non-perfect world. They reunited years later, after they were all adults living their own lives in different locations, not having kept in contact very well over the years. They reconnected, reminisced, and rekindled their friendship. Overall, they realized that they needed each other then, and they still need each other in their lives as adults
Such a beautiful thought.
As I said, the movie caused me to re-examine my own childhood and the impact that growing up in the time period I did had on both my childhood and my adult life.
First of all, all of you will know that I am an only child by now (and if you don’t, then you are clearly a newcomer to my blog – welcome to my ramblings!). I grew up in a household where my parents were very hands-on parents, but I also had to entertain myself. I didn’t have the luxury of a sibling, annoying or normal, growing up under the same roof that I could pester. Sure, my cousins grew up down the street from me – but they were 5 and 6 years old, and the age gap didn’t allow for us to really have a super close relationship. When I was young, I was “too young” and the “annoying girl that followed them around.” Then, when I was reaching my pre-teens and early teens, they were graduating high school and we’re definitely too cool to hang around someone my age. Other than them, though, I didn’t really have neighbors my age that I could play with often.
I think this lack of neighborhood unity, specifically for me, caused me to miss out on the experience of socializing and gaining closeness with the children in my neighborhood. I had friends that lived a few streets over that I could play with, but due to the structure of where I lived, I couldn’t just walk or ride my bike over to their homes. Play dates had to be pre-planned, and playing outside in the street was something NO ONE in my neighborhood could do often.
Pretty unfortunate, if you ask me.
I spent a large chunk of my time reading, playing outside with my parents (no, I’m not embarrassed to admit that), and yes – playing on the computer.
Now, growing up this way wasn’t all bad. No, I wasn’t the typical spoiled only child, but I was showered with attention and affection. I learned how to be alone (kind of), and I was able to entertain myself however I wanted, whenever I wanted – no sharing, yay!
I had the opportunity to grow up in the era of technological growth, while still experiencing some of the aspects of life “before technology.” I learned to appreciate not COMPLETELY relying on technology, while also getting to witness the development of AIM, online games, and the invention of social media.
I would say that is pretty darn unique. And that is something that us 20-somethings take for granted, in my opinion.
As much as I am grateful for witnessing such a integral part of history, I also yearn for the simple pleasures of growing up in the “old days.” Part of me wishes I didn’t use technology so much in my youth; as much as it has been a value in my life, I also know that it has created some negative habits in many of us 20-somethings, myself included.
At times, it’s hard for me to look back on my youth and imagine/remember what it was like prior to relying on technology to do everything for me.
Part of writing this blog for me is my own personal therapy; I know that my childhood is my own experience, and obviously nothing I say or do can ever change that. However, I need to learn to stop comparing my own experiences to those that I see on movies, on television, or even those that I hear from people who grew up in different generations than myself.
It’s somewhat hard, knowing that I missed out on a childhood lifestyle that seemed so much neater than my own.
But I do have to say, growing up in-between a time where technology was a privilege and a time where technology is undervalued, and seeing the transformation? Totally irreplaceable.