Being a Better Kid In Your Thirties Than When You Were a Kid

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.

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Was just at Harry Potter world at Universal Studios during an awesome family vacation a little over a week ago

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.

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My brother possibly about to be attacked at Universal Studios two weeks ago

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My mom and I at the Harry Potter midnight book release last weekend..we’ve made wands

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The Lorax, who is awesome

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.

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I don’t know what I was looking for here exactly. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Does Getting Older Make You Like Romantic Comedies Less?

I saw Notting Hill a few days ago for the first time and I didn’t like it. To be fair, I was working on something on my computer at the same time so wasn’t giving it my absolute undivided attention, but I figured with a romantic comedy like Notting Hill, I probably wouldn’t need to. But maybe I actually did need to.

When I went through the online lists of everyone’s favorite romantic comedies, Notting Hill was on every list. I used to love romantic comedies but hadn’t watched many in awhile so I thought I’d get caught up this summer. Yet, everything about Notting Hill bothered me.

In a nutshell, Notting Hill is about an extremely famous actress played by Julia Roberts who walks into a bookstore in -gasp!- in Notting Hill and ends up meeting the owner of the store- a shy, very bookish (of course) and very single beta male played by Hugh Grant. They would have had a brief encounter and then would have never met again except that Hugh Grant’s character- by insane coincidence- literally runs into Julia’s character the next day and spills orange juice on her blouse, forcing her to go to his apt to change shirts. Thus begins their love story, with a first surprise kiss at his apt.

I don’t know why I found this whole tale so hard to swallow, or at least why it annoyed me so much. Many things about the movie bothered me that I don’t think would’ve bothered me in the past. The biggest issue I had was this:

Julia Roberts’ famous actress character pursued Hugh Grant’ character almost THE ENTIRE TIME. That’s why I called Hugh Grant’s character a beta male earlier- he never really took initiative to pursue her until the absolute very end. First of all, I don’t really believe this- the famous actress goes completely out of her way to pursue the bookish bookstore owner who doesn’t seem that into her? Also, I just can’t see this working in real life- is Julia going to mainly pursue him the entire relationship? Is Hugh ever going to take action? Especially if he couldn’t even take action most of the movie when a famous and funny and beautiful actress makes it ridiculously clear how into him she is. She even says one of the most famous lines in movie history to him:

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“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”…Swoon…

But Hugh still rejects Julia! To be fair, he’s hot. Maybe you get a pass if you’re hot. I guess he can meet anyone he wants even though he doesn’t seem to want to date and seems to prefer reading books to getting on Tinder. And it’s 1999 so he doesn’t have access to Tinder, to be fair.

But Julia is hot too. And famous. She can also presumably have anyone she wants. Maybe she only wants what she can’t have? Okay I guess I can understand that. Dammit, the ultimate quandary of women everywhere- wanting what we can’t have. Don’t we all, Julia. Don’t we all.

Also, another annoying moment occurs where Hugh’s sister suddenly announces to her family and friends that she’s getting married- even though she’s single and hasn’t been dating anybody. Everyone is shocked and no one can figure out what’s going on. But then the sister leans over and whispers to Hugh’s roommate (who has otherwise been shown in the movie as an annoying drunk nutcase who wanders outside in his underwear) that she has picked him to marry. He bravely says okay. This could be cute if it didn’t seem like the relationship would end so badly in the long run. It would start off as another case of the woman taking complete initiative and then would more than likely be that way the entire marriage…which might not last that long at that rate. Because in this case the future groom doesn’t have the ability to take care of himself never mind the ability to be in a long term relationship with another person.

Could my analysis of this movie be way too harsh? Am I just more into fairness in relationships now that I’m older? Am I cynical because of all my past relationships? Am I too aware of red flags..so now seeing them, even in romantic comedies, causes me to squirm? (and not in a good way)? Could these be the main issues I’m having with Notting Hill? …None of this actually being the fault of the movie?

Come to think of it, while I was writing this blogpost, I actually felt tempted to rewatch Notting Hill, even though I just saw it a few days ago. I remember some of the funnier moments now that most of my annoyance and cynicism is out of my system. Notting Hill has been growing on me with time and a bit of distance- and I think some distance and possibly a healthy love of escapism are what’s needed for movies like this to work. You see, I really do like romantic comedies.

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Le sigh

 

 

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