Don’t get me wrong; I love summer as much as anyone else. The beach is ~fantastic~, I love seeing friends from home, and I get to be around my family all day every day. But I started to have a minor existential crisis while cleaning out my grandma’s house.
I thumbed through old photo albums of me as a baby at the beach with my dad, and then me in all of my preteen glory, rocking the sickest tankini ever known to man. And then it dawned on me. As much as I love summer now, nothing can compare to what I felt as a kid.
Things were just easier, and maybe that’s how it is with everything, but the sudden wave of realization really rocked me in terms of summer (especially now, as my friends and I try to plan our annual beach weekend around everyone’s schedules and #nocashflow).
1. You didn’t have to plan anything, you just sort of arrived at whatever vacation/party your family was going to.
This was the first thing that crossed my mind because, as I mentioned before, my friends and I are trying to plan a beach weekend and its semi-impossible. I literally have 0 idea what’s going on because 1. I’m stupid 2. I’m lazy and 3. I get very overwhelmed for literally no apparent reason.
SO, I honestly bring nothing to the table in terms of planning these excursions so its not even like I can take the reigns and plan the whole thing in one go. I am literally a cheese wheel with arms and legs. But as a baby cheese wedge with arms and legs, I didn’t have to worry about anything. I just got in the car, ready for a good time, and was whisked away to whatever family function or vacation was occurring. AND I MISS THIS SO MUCH.
I remember not even knowing we were going to Disney UNTIL WE ARRIVED AT DISNEY. And it wasn’t even one of those “surprise your children” things, I was just that oblivious and incompetent. So imagine me now, trying to find hotels and dates that fit everyone’s schedule because tbh I can’t imagine it (mostly because it is simply not occurring woops).
2. You didn’t have to worry about being ~sculpted~ in time for the beach because you were prepubescent and didn’t have anything to sculpt.
THIS IS THE ONE THAT GETS ME. As I stare at my pasty, lumpy self in the mirror, I wish nothing more than to go back to when I was a literal cinnamon stick of a child. I was such a smol girl when I was 10-13 (14-16 are the dark ages, we don’t speak of those). I literally gave 0 at all times while in a bathing suit because nothing hung out, nothing jiggled around. NOTHING. I would give my left toe to be that carefree in a bathing suit again. Now, if I want to attain perfect rippedness, I’d have to start 5 months ago so gbless everyone on the shores of North Carolina and Wildwood, you will see some horrid, horrid things this summer.
3. You didn’t have to worry about work ruining your plans.
OHMYGOD. Work ruins literally everything. My plans? BYE. My will to do things after work? HA, NOPE. Work swoops in at all hours of the day, every day of the week because it knows you need it, but then burns any other plan to the ground in a fiery blaze. And the worst thing is that if you don’t work, you can’t even go through with the plans you’d want to do if you weren’t working.
AND, when you are free, odds are your friends are instead working, and you don’t want to, say, go to the beach by yourself? Or BBQ by yourself (jk, yes I do and I have because I am a sad, sad, woman). But you didn’t have to worry about work as a kid. If you wanted to do something, you just did it because you had all of the time in the world.
Your friends were free at all hours of the day and the things you were doing didn’t require money, and if they did, your parents paid for it, which leads me into my next point.
4. Everything was free because your parents paid for it because you were a baby child and child labor is WRONG.
As I type this, one single tear runs down my face as I remember how amazing it was when my parents just ordered my friends and I pizzas when they came to sleepover. Or when they would just drive us to the movies AND THEN PAY FOR THE MOVIE.
Now, I have 0 motivation to do anything that requires money because I just imagine how many hours it took to earn it. And half the time, I don’t even have money because I either used it to feed myself or I put it towards college. The sadness is so real and so strong right now I’m ending this paragraph early because help.
5. You had more energy to do things instead of being tired and lazy 25/8.
I feel like a middle-aged dad 97% of the time and it concerns me. I don’t know what it is but I think I aged dramatically in the span of 1 year. I remember being on the beach from 8 am to 5 pm, then sprinting home, jumping in the pool from 5:30-8, then sprinting back to the beach to go night crabbing, then staying up until 2 am just because. AND I WOULD REPEAT THIS SCHEDULE EVERY DAY.
I think my soul would leave my body if I tried that now. And this makes me so sad because I want that energy back again. I AM 20 YEARS OLD and willing to bet a demon sucked the life out of me over the course of sophomore year because where has my energy gone.
6. You just had a better outlook on life, everything was more exciting.
This is probably the saddest part of growing up. I was so excited for literally everything. I went all out at every barbecue. I was ready at any time of the day to do the stupidest things with my friends. The smallest, most insignificant things meant the world to me and this realization is probably the most soul-crushing part of growing up.
Ya, things are still exciting for me, but it’s simply not the same. I had more time for little things, like catching fireflies or walking to get ice cream with my family. These small events were monumental to me, and as much as I try and get back to that mindset, I really don’t know how possible it is, especially with actual adulthood creeping closer and closer. But I’ll try, and hopefully something will click. And if it doesn’t, catch me drowning myself in the sand this Fourth of July weekend :-).