Tag Archives: childhood

Please state your given name

I remember a time when my world was something I would have envied, should it not already have been mine.  Sure, I’ve always been prudent, but somehow I’d never questioned who I was or what I liked.  I feel like in a way, I was confident in myself, but never outside of myself.

Life sure was easy as a kid, I definitely don’t deny this.  The further back I look into time, the easier it was for me to connect to people, and to adventure and imagine and create.  I wasn’t struggling with my identity as a medium, I was wielding it as a looking glass.

Some days I’d like to see life through those eyes again.  Maybe I would become inspired… reinvigorated with my sense of self and desire to humour the unfamiliar.

“a positive thinker and a mind of his own                                                                                                    outgoing, adventurous and one who dares to                                                                                             be different and be his own man                                                                                                                  will go the extra mile for a friend, or to                                                                                                        have others say ‘job well done’                                                                                                                      sharp, witty and clever of speech, words                                                                                                     flow from him                                                                                                                                                    loves the challenge of the unknown, testing                                                                                                both his body and soul                                                                                                                                    a lover of life and his freedom”

This quotation has been framed in my bedroom for as long as I can remember.  It is quoted beneath my given name, so I presume it is laid out as my destiny of sorts.  The meaning behind my name; my birthright.

I remember as a boy, I would read this quote often, and somehow it would always reaffirm how I felt about myself.  I would go down the lines and nod in approval, or smile at the idea of something greater designating me of all people to be this charmed, extraordinary person.

I almost find it funny how confident I was in myself back then.  So much as to even think of myself as this princely child who’s cards always fell in line–my karmic destiny a force to be reckoned with.  But I was humble and gracious.  At least that’s how I remember myself!!

Now I read this quote and I couldn’t feel more distant.  This quote does not describe me.  This has not become my destiny.  And yet that is still my name.  I feel betrayed by the universe in many ways.  My identity has escaped me and my confidence has been pilfered by an illness I am reluctant to address.  What is the use in naming it?  It seems to me a name is but a vestige of deceit.

The art of never letting go–

Sailor Moon is literally just everything to me.

I remember watching the show a lot with my brother when we were little.  It only seemed to air at my grandma’s on WB4Kids or something at the time.  I’m sure it aired on YTV at home, but I don’t recall ever finding it.

He grew out of it pretty quickly once Pokémon really hit the school playgrounds.  I used to rent the VHS episodes with my sister in his stead and watch it at home with her.  She was too young to really remember it, but she loved Sailor Venus because she was obsessed with the colour “peach” at the time and refused to believe Venus’ skirt was orange.  (In all honesty though, my brother and I based our favourites on colours as well–his being Sailor Mars for red and mine being Sailor Jupiter for green).

I don’t know why I loved the show or these girls so much, but they really were something special to me back in the day.  Eventually I switched to good ol’ Pokémon as well though.  My brother decidedly began denying he’d ever watched Sailor Moon, my sister forgot it ever existed, and Pokémon had really cool video games, so on I went with my life.

In the fall of 2005 I met my very best friend.  By this point the Pokémon mania had died down as well, and I only continued to play the video games (even to this day!).  I was nearing the end of my obsession with Inuyasha–mostly just because I’d lost track of where I was and missed a bunch of episodes.  My friend was in love with this anime and we briefly bonded over it before going through the emotional middle school roller coaster of friends to enemies to friends all in a weeks worth of time over and over and over again.

In the summer of ’07 I learned of her obsession with Sailor Moon, and at this point it had been almost a decade since I’d even heard of it.  So I decided to watch the first season on Youtube.

So so many memories came flooding back.  The music, the voice actors, the transformations and attacks.  I remember recalling that Jupiter was my favourite as a kid, and anxiously awaited her arrival.  By the time Mars showed up in episode 7 or so, I knew Jupiter had to show up soon!  I didn’t realize Jupiter wouldn’t show up until episode 21, so I started getting this crazy vibe that Molly was Sailor Jupiter around the time Neflite started to believe she was Sailor Moon.  Molly became my absolute favourite side-character as a result of my confusion!!

So watching season 1 turned into watching season 2, and that turned into trying to watch season 3, but I could never find it on Youtube.  So, I bought the entire series.  It arrived and I spent the entire fall-winter season of the 10th grade watching Sailor Moon.

Who am I kidding.  I’ve re-watched it ever year since then as well!

In early 2011, my best friend and I discovered a fan translation of the manga, and we both read that for the first time.

I think later that year, the official English translation was announced and began slowly being released as well.

At this point, the Sailor Moon hype had returned full force and news of an anime revival started flooding in for years until it finally released earlier this month!

Sailor Moon is… eternal.  I feel like these girls and the themes and morals they stand for will be with me forever to help guide me through my days.

Usagi’s fears of pressing forward through fulfilling a role she never had a say in.  Ami’s struggle to discover who she is and what defines her.  Rei’s conflict of emotions from hiding her vulnerabilities behind her confidence.  Mako’s complex between her perceived masculinity and her feminine self.  Minako’s pursuit of being anything but underwhelming.  And even Haruka and Michiru’s gender themes and sexuality, Hotaru’s struggles with her health and goodness in spite of inherent evil, or Setsuna’s loyalties and lonely destiny.

Each of these girls present struggle or a conflict that any person, boy and girl alike, will go through.  And despite all of it, they never fail to be beautiful, wonderful people.

I hope the whole concept of Sailor Moon is reincarnated forever for all young people to be influenced by.  May we all master the art of never letting go, in the name of the moon!

 

Pokemon Eternal

So the remakes for Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire were announced a few days ago.  Honestly, even though I love Pokémon to death, if I had to rank the generations of games, these two would probably be my least favourite overall.  Funny, because this generation is probably the one I invested the most hours into!!

I was the Sapphire to my brother’s Ruby.  We got the games the day they came out, I’m sure, and spent endless nights sneaking into each other’s rooms to play way past our bed times, as we did with every generation before it!

I honestly loved the games just like any other, I just personally hate cave-trolling and surfing more than anything in the world, and this game happened to have a lot of surfing.  Something about not being able to avoid encounters in caves and water drove me absolutely mad, even as a kid.  At least I can say to myself “okay, I’m going into the grass now, shit’s bound to happen”.  And better yet, if I ran through a whole patch of grass and didn’t have even one encounter, I’d almost crap myself with joy.  But in the caves and on the water?  There is no sanctuary!!

Anyways, I’m genuinely excited for these remakes.  I think certain aspects of this region (well, any region really) will benefit tremendously from 3D.  The hidden fortresses and that big ass coliseum like town where you meet Groudon/Kyogre would be amazeballs in 3D, off the top of my head.

I think that Pokémon and reality have made great strides at becoming one in the same in the past ~2 decades.  I hope that someday I can immerse myself virtually into the Pokémon world.  I’ve always wanted to explore Kanto more than anything.  I spent so many years playing Pokémon Blue and my Pokémon Master Trainer board game, I feel like I would know Kanto in it’s entirety more than I know my own city!

Until that day, I hope that Nintendo releases a minimum of one Pokémon game duo per year.  Be it a new generation, or a remake of an old one, I will always, always be satisfied.

Chasing memories…

The very first time I beat Paper Mario, I would have been 9 years old.  In fact, I didn’t beat it at all!  I watched my brother play it through, and saw everything through his eyes.  As a child, and even today, I learn and live and experience things through the eyes of those I look up to.

Rewind a few months and I’m in my best friends basement, being introduced to the game for the first time.  I’d only met him about a year earlier, but we were fast friends.  I spent a lot of time at his house, and he was the first person to interest my brother and I in console gaming.  I remember quite clearly that we were in our sleeping bags behind the couch in his living room, in front of the gaming television.  The lights were out and his dog, Lady, was draped across my legs.  My friend had only come as far as the first three Star Spirits when he introduced the game to me.  I remember, because when I first got my hands on that controller, Lady Bow was his newest partner and she instantly became my eternal favourite.  Presumably bored, or perhaps just taking one of his infamous “cat naps”, my friend dozed off and I spent the night speedy spinning around everywhere I could within the bounds of the Mushroom Kingdom.

I got the game for Christmas that year.  My insistence paid off!  My brother and I were exploring under the tree and he was tearing the corners off of every present to see what was inside when we slowly uncovered that papered “P” in the upper left side of the box cover and I became silly with excitement!

My only downfall as a young gamer was lacking far too much in skill and always relying on my brother to play all my games for me as I watched.  Not that I ever minded.  I got to experience the game first hand without ever feeling the stress of losing to a boss or having a game over, and listening to my brother’s sideways humour throughout the story only made the game that much more charming.  And when he beat it?  A part of me changed forever.

He said that night that–after beating the game, watching the parade, and staring at the fireworks above Princess Peach’s castle as soft orgel music chimed throughout the room–that he could listen to that music for forever.  That he wanted to never shut the Nintendo off, and to fall asleep to the peaceful melody.  And ever since that day I’ve been chasing that memory.  Maybe for him, maybe for myself, I don’t know.  But I would replay this game 6 or 7 times throughout the years since then, every time recalling the very moment he said those words.

Tonight I beat the game once again.  And I realize that, this isn’t the only memory I’ve been chasing.  Things I’ve experienced since that day many years ago that have left the same imprint on my heart have all been things I’ve desperately sought after in the years to follow.  And it sucks that those memories will never be recreated exactly as they were, but a part of me thinks that, in the back of my mind, this is why I’ve wanted children of my own for so long.

Someday I picture myself huddled in a mess of blankets on the floor with little versions of my brother and sister and I.  We’ll be playing my vintage N64, giggling and being loud…  We’ll be chasing memories, and I’ll know that “forever” kind of feeling once again.

Shutter Bugged

Awkwardly placed ribbons.

Sailor Moon–“Shutter Bugged”.  The only episode I vividly remember from my childhood.  Really, the only episode I even vaguely remember.

I don’t know why it stands out so much for me.  But I remember the first time I rewatched the series since I was a child, I waited in anticipation for Serena to appear with her awkward swimsuit, cute yellow ribbons strewn purposefully about.  It turns out she forgot to put moth balls in her drawer, so she had to use ribbons to cover the holes in her swimsuit!

I started thinking recently, however.  Why is it that out of a whole series, some 160 episodes released in the english language, that I only remember this one episode?  Was it special?  Was it especially memorable?  Not really.  Everything else just came to pass I guess.

Maybe my ex will just come to pass too.  Maybe someday I’ll look back and only vaguely remember the way he used to smile at me.  Maybe this will make it easier to move on, or maybe it will make it easier to forget what he’s done to me and want him in my life again someday.

I guess today, in this moment, it doesn’t reallly matter.  I’m still at a loss for words, and he’s still not in my life by his own volition.

Someday I will find a greater peace within myself.  I still hope to realize a place where, though this person was of great importance to me, my fading memories will have finally released me.  A place where I can rediscover what it means to know someone who cares.  But for now, I’m content rediscovering my favourite childhood hero–only 5 more episodes until Sailor Jupiter comes thundering in!

Those whom children bond with.

I feel a child is both the most naive and intelligent of all people.  A child’s trust is not hard to earn, but it is also not hard to lose.  Children will look at your soul.  They will see all your actions and praises and misgivings deliberately.  When you are a child, you don’t weigh the stresses and emotions that play into a person’s demeanour, you just see it for what it is.

Those whom children bond with are those who provide sustenance in life, love, and learning more so than any other.  They are someone who has witnessed you at every stage of life and every turn of fortune.  They know you, and they know you on a deeper level than that which you can even contemplate sharing.

I feel like I don’t have anyone like that.  I feel like I am detached from most people in my life, because no one really understands me the way a childhood companion would.  Who do I look back towards fondly?  Who do I relate my experiences with?  I haven’t grown next to anyone.  I’m always branching further away in my own direction.

Children are lucky.  They get to network and learn and thrive.  They get to make mistakes, take chances, and fail.  They get to grow into a world that’s devastatingly hard to handle, but they get to share that burden intimately with a safety net of people familiar to their cause.

As good a childhood as I experienced, there’s a part of me that lends myself to the notion that a childhood is what I never had.