Wednesday, March 22, 2017

you aren't wasting your childhood

I'm not 'wasting' my childhood.

Contrary to what people believe, me typing away on my computer, me handwriting plot outlines, me making playlists for my work in progress, me filing draft after draft for this new writing blog I put up -- it's not a 'waste'.

You're not 'wasting' your childhood.

Contrary to what people believe, you investing hours on learning a piece on your cello, you in silent prayer every morning and night, you out on the field soaked through with sweat and your focus on the game, you pointing your camera to a sight you've never seen before, you dancing your heart out in your bedroom in the early hours of morning, you belting out to your favorite musical in the car, is not a 'waste'.

Growing up I'd like to honestly say that I've had support in terms of my hobbies. My family has been incredibly supportive of me with my early endeavors in ballet (which I quit and have little regrets about as it isn't my thing), gymnastics (a one-time free trial in a gymnastics club that I promptly rejected), piano and voice lessons (around three years? To which there was no avail), and of course, my writing.

But I still tend to feel judged.

The better half of me tells me not to mind it. It's their own line of thinking anyway. However, I would love to give my insight on this, and if a problem is just avoided, it doesn't mean it will go away, right?

Contrary to what people believe, the childhood and teenage years is not a single truth.

Childhood does not mean playing with building blocks, tying your shoes then wishing for velcro, and learning how to tell time.

It does not necessarily mean spending hours watching cartoons to reminisce them years later, play hopscotch, wish to visit Disney Land, and dream of being a princess, astronaut, or magician.

My childhood meant scribbling on bond papers and ripped-out pages, obsessing over filling up a new notebook with a collection of stories, and making a promise to myself, that in the future, I would get published.

Yours could mean receiving your very first instrument, learning 'Ode to Joy' and simple strums, and joining kids' recitals with your family videotaping you. It could mean you putting on your size three ballet shoes, or learning how to dribble, or whipping up your very first meal to present to your family: something like greasy bacon and wet eggs. It could also mean falling in love with your hobby, slowly, gradually.

Teenage years does not mean partying, hanging out with your clique, forming social circles, staying up-to-date on the latest TV shows and movies. It does not necessarily equal backstabbing your parents, rebelling, using the latest acronyms and shortcuts in texting, heartbreak, and first loves.

My teenage years are: reading book after book, hiding in my room to churn out my next novel, looking up books and author interviews, and attending book signings to meet people I consider my literary heroes.

Yours could mean: buying paintbrush after paintbrush, visiting art museums to improve your technique and hone your style, and joining art competitions. It could also mean mastering a perfect smash or serve, doodling, creating scrapbooks, finishing yet another piece of embroidery to frame, and packing for another hike you're so excited to take.

I feel like I'm in a gilded cage. Or maybe that's just the choking sensation of peer pressure. The glitz and glamor stuffed inside the cage to make me feel like everything's all right, but it's clearly wrong, because through the bars of this cage I can see it clearly: who I want to be and how I want to spend my years and what I want to do.

Go ahead. Let's pick the lock of this cage and step outside, because we are not wasting our childhood because we are doing what we wholly love.

what is your childhood?


  1. This is an awesome post! I totally needed this. :)

    My childhood would mostly involve playing out in the sunshine with my younger sis, reading book after book (which I still do, perhaps even more so now), and drawing smiley faces all over my school books.

    1. Thank you, Chloe! I'm happy you liked the post :)

      And same on reading!! It's one thing that I have never stopped doing.

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

  2. OKAY WOW BLOWN AWAY. This was incredible and I completely relate to this.

  3. This is an absolutely gorgeous and incredibly important post. <3 I think it's one of my favorites ever posted on this entire site, honestly. One question: did you take the photo? If so, you're insanely talented, holy cow! If not, where did you find it?

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Aaaah thank you Ellie! I'm really glad that you liked it.

      And sorry to disappoint you, but I didn't take it! I'm not a photographer. I found it in Unsplash! It's where I find all of the photos I use for my posts :)

      - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

  4. Ahh, I love this. Every experience we've ever had has made us into who we are today. Nothing is a waste. <3

  5. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. I love this so much.

  6. I hope you did a mic drop after writing this. Because wow---BOMB!

  7. Um, YES!!! I took ballet too... and stuck with it. The childhood hobby became an adolescent passion which became an adult job, so yes. Our creative childhoods are not wasteful.

  8. I love this. So much. I just... Can't even say how much this helped me. Thank you.