My Childhood Will Never Be Erased No Matter The Time Span

My Childhood Will Never Be Erased No Matter How Many Years Have Passed

Adulthood will never eclipse my younger days, but it will be inspired by it.

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Who said growing up means forgetting your childhood completely?

I have always been one to say that our childhood is our most important development period. We learn valuable life lessons from not just our family and friends, but also from our TV shows, toys, even old chapter books. I sure as hell don't see myself ever forgetting my childhood as I grow older. Almost 21, I feel as though I've taken more inspiration from my younger days to showcase my true personality in the world I want to live in.

You may see me as the stereotypically fat, pro wrestling fan who eats cheeseburgers all the time, but it's a work in progress.

It's a high hill to climb, especially when it comes to commitment. I give up easily (I'm surprised I've gotten this far with writing this), but I know one person who has inspired me to give it 110%:

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"Macho Man" Randy Savage was the earliest memory of pro wrestling I ever had when he showed up in Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire. His energy in the ring and on the microphone made me a fan years later, so whenever Randy Savage comes on the screen, I remember the scene in which he has Peter Parker for "three minutes of playtime."

A huge part of my childhood was knowing the difference between adults and children. Adults provided children with love, care, and support while children learned lessons about morality and respect.

And toys. Holy sh*t, the toys.

Let's be honest: toys were what we remember the most, right? Action figures, dolls, Hot Wheels, Tech Decks, and so much more. My favorites were Power Rangers, WWE action figures, and Lego. Wait, they still are. Sad, I know, don't remind me, dad. That's the thing I don't think parents get: they might throw them out or bash our hobbies later on, but the memories don't fade. We grow so attached to these toys because they entertained us in a way that we never really forget. I have countless flashbacks of tossing a Rey Mysterio figure off my bedpost onto a few other figures or building an entire Lego fort from scratch or the time I decided to declare war on the kids in the neighborhood by buying an arsenal of Nerf guns. That's what I remember the most.

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Ah, the OG Scooby-Doo series from the 1970s. That show was my favorite when Cartoon Network would air them or my local Blockbuster had VHS copies of special episodes from the old series. "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School" is probably the best animated movie ever made, don't @ me. Scooby-Doo holds a special place in my heart because of the easily-scared dog's charm in the show. He showed me that you can overcome something you fear, and I think that's very important for younger kids to understand. I can also lowkey do a Scoob impression that can easily replace Frank Welker once he retires.

The biggest thing from my childhood I'll remember will be my family's trials and tribulations.

Imagine the house you grew up in, the one your dad built with his hands, had an eviction sign thrown on it; those same toys being thrown into packing boxes as your mom tries to console you with "everything's going to be alright." Imagine living in a hotel for a month with no connection to other kids in middle school because they have homes and you don't. Imagine the joy on your family's faces when you find a new home and can finally stop ordering room service.

That's the toughest thing I'll remember. Forget falling down and getting a boo-boo, that entire ordeal hurt. Physically, emotionally, even spiritually.

My childhood died the day my family went through that hell.

But I never gave up, and I know that's the best part: memories can help heal the wounds as you begin anew. I can build a Lego project and remember all the times I walked into the Lego store in Natick. Hell, I can't even watch an old cartoon without remembering the time I had a Scooby-Doo themed birthday party.

I can't relive my childhood, I can only remember it. That's what truly matters.

The first song I remember singing from my favorite soul group.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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