Most people long for the days of their childhood- those carefree days when life was simple and lovely- but I actually hated being a kid.
I hated not having control over my life, I hated having to get up early, I hated homework, I hated the other kids who made fun of me and laughed at me, I hated feeling ugly, I hated feeling confused, I hated feeling like the oddball, I hated feeling stupid. I really hated school. I even hated elementary school. I even hated kindergarten. I think I was okay in nursery school, but after that school was an uphill battle. Well, maybe high school was a little better, but grade school was the absolute worst.
And now life is just so much better and I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been barring some occasional PTSD I still get from those old days.
Things started getting better in high school and wayyyyy better in college. And life has steadily gotten even better. Most of the issues I had as a kid are gone- no more homework, no more school, no more being bullied, no more mean musical theater program people, more understanding of the world around me, more control over my life, more peace, more downtime, more freedom, more loving thoughts about myself. And I would never wish being a kid on anyone ever. Except for the people who miss being a kid.
Because childhood is supposed to be great. Some people apparently were a lot happier being a kid than me. However, I think I’m charmed with a backwards life: my childhood happiness is now. Instead of being a happy child for 15-18 years and then being a less happy adult, I got a less happy childhood for 15-18 years and then a staggeringly happier, blissful-by-comparison adulthood. And I can say for certain that I like it much better this way.
Because I can appreciate wholeheartedly every moment I have as an adult. Every bit of free time I have now, I love that much more. Every kindness someone does for me touches me to the root of my soul because I know the depths of pain I felt from people in my past. Every moment I can choose my own work to do is staggering to me because I appreciate the beautiful freedom I have. Everything I learn now is so much more valuable because I’ve chosen to learn it. Every lovely truth seems clearer when compared to the gray confusion of my childhood.
I also feel like I’m a better child now than I ever was when I was a child. Small things delight me. I’m so appreciative of time I get to spend with my family. I love and enjoy fun desserts more. I’m in shock at how much fun I have at Disney World and Universal Studios….as an adult. I love my car trips with my family. Because as an adult, I really appreciate time I get to spend with my family.
The appreciation I have for not being an actual child anymore leaves me free to embrace my inner child as an adult. I don’t feel jaded or cynical much because I appreciate each new moment. I don’t want to fight with people I love because I’m so grateful to have them in my life. I think a lot of these traits stem from me not being as happy as a child. I’m looking to feel good now. I’m looking to play. I’m looking for ease. I want to feel the happiness of childhood as an adult and I believe that those feelings can be there when you look for them.