Sunday, March 16, 2008

I miss my younger me...

I looked down at my hands today and I realized I don't have little kid hands anymore, my hands have signs of work in them, my veins are visible and my fingers are long like my Mother's. I always loved her hands and remember looking at my little girl hands wishing they weren't so small, weren't so stumpy, I wanted elegant hands to put pretty rings on and nails long enough for French manicures. I don't know when it happened but today my hands belonged to a woman, they didn't belong to a little girl anymore and it made me miss being young with my whole body....
It made me miss everything about it; the curiosity, the innocence.

I miss clutching to my Daddy's hands that were so much bigger than mine, that protected and took care of me. I miss swinging all of my body weight on one grip. I miss picking out Easter dresses and patent leather shoes that you could see your reflection in.

I miss licking the all the frosting off the tops of cupcakes, I miss picking dandelions and crushing the yellow petals between my delicate tiny little fingers. I miss thinking a vanilla ice cream cone was the best thing in the whole world, and that chicken noodle soup could really cure anything or a kiss would make anything feel better. I miss running to my parents when they'd come home from work and feeling their warmth and the weight of their heavy winter coats wrapping me up in their arms and the smell of my Mom's perfume.

I miss when I didn't know what it felt like to miss somebody, and I was just excited to see someone I loved at the end of the day. When I didn't know the sound of writing checks, or hearts falling, when I didn't know that not everyone in the world is kind and open. When I assumed "good" was always the outcome and if someone "promised" that was enough of a contract.

I miss sticking my tongue out at strangers, making strange noises and throwing fits in public. I miss being connected to myself enough to cry when I was sad. When being analytical, calculated, and manipulative weren't a means to get what you wanted, but a simple "please" would do. The times when I was conscious of saying my "thank you's" and "excuse me's."

I miss when I was supposed to have a sense of wonder, and people wouldn't warn that soon I would be "hardened" I miss softness. Blankies, and stuffed animals, Granddad's sweater and Nana's temperament. I miss bedtimes and birthday parties, crushed Goldfish and "snack time." Ratty hair and purple nail polish.

When I didn't have to be accountable. When the only fear I knew was that of the dark. When the perfect vacation was one that involved people in costumes with pink cheeks, and parades. When I played house instead of worried about paying for one. When I didn't know how to tell time and just trusted there was always enough of it. "Play dates" over real ones. Before insecurity and awareness, before anxiety and doubt, before I knew anything about my body and I used it as a means to live in; skip, stretch, climb, and ride bikes.

I miss when guilt, lack, regret, or disappointment weren't emotions that existed to me.

I miss when love was really unconditional, when faith just was, and security always meant Mom and Dad.

When I look at my hands I'm proud of them, I like that they look like my Mom's, that they move quickly and have strength, I just wish that they could have stayed young, that I could have stayed young...a little bit longer.

87 comments:

Hope said...

I didn't realize I missed all those things, until I read this.

Lovely post!

theycallmecurlysue said...

Chelsea, you added me as a friend a long time ago and I have been behind in coming by. I loved this post. I just turned 26 a few weeks ago and I too am starting to realize the things I miss. One very significant one, I miss the fact that I used to not know what heartache was from caring for another man. Now I'm just freakin' screwed. Shit.

brandy said...

Maybe it's because I'm tired, or feeling a bit lonely on this Sunday or maybe it's because I just watched "Gilmore Girls".. or maybe it's a mix of all of this or none of it- but this line- "I miss when I didn't know what it felt like to miss somebody"... sigh. That line hit it right on the nail for me.

Lovely.

andrea said...

"I miss when guilt, lack, regret, or disappointment weren't emotions that existed to me."

God, how true. Great post.

thestoryofagirl said...

I loved this so very much.

"When I didn't know how to tell time and just trusted there was always enough of it."
That really struck a chord with me, as I've been struggling of late with not having enough hours in the day.

Thank you.

startsinmynose said...

you have a way with words.....how funny it is that as a young child we used to think 'i cant wait until im older to....'-my 7 year old daughter says it all the time.....if only we didnt take it for granted. *sigh*

heyteach said...

I just came across your blog...oh, my what a powerful post. May I continue to read your thoughts? This really touched me, maybe because I am old now and have young grandkids like you described..so innocent and trusting.

NYCPonderings Chick said...

we spend so much time being little though and wanting to grow older, looking up to older girls and wanting to be them...its funny when your older to want to be little again... :)

Deutlich said...

this reminds me of that song by jewel

Amanda said...

I always wished I appreciated all those types of things when I was younger instead of always wanting to grow up. I guess hindsight is 20/20 :)

just me said...

Remember kindergarten? Naps...free cookies...paste you could eat if you wanted...coloring...crying in public if a boy pissed you off...swinging on swings without getting violently ill...

Yeah. I want to go back too.

Miss Adventurous said...

Oh gosh, now you've got me all wistful and nostalgic again. I miss believing... I really miss when I didn't have to work to believe in my dreams...

Single In The City said...

WOW!! again, you have given us a stellar post! I miss a lot of things now also!! I need to take a trip down memory lane!!!

thanks

1218Blog said...

I say as adults we bring back the whole sticking our tongues out at strangers. :)

It's funny how when we are young, we think we are missing out on being older and when we are older we miss out on being young. Oh the cycle of life.

Thanks for this post, brought up some great childhood memories for me.

That Saddity Chic said...

I so feel you on this. My best friend and I were just talking about this today. When we were kids we couldn't wait to be "grown" now we long for the days where we didn't have a care in the world. Le sigh :(

r.xo said...

Oh, Chelsea! This is breathtaking writing. If I were you, I'd slap on my sexiest pumps and walk to a slam reading asap to share this gift with the world. Powerful.

Mel Heth said...

Part of the reason I want to have kids of my own some day is to recapture all of these things—to live vicariously through some other little soul, look at her stumpy pink hands next to mine, play Barbies with her and watch her delight in making faces at strangers.

mentalTHREESIXTY said...

This was beautiful. I miss my youth too...

Anthony said...

One of the best posts I've read in a long time.

Good job.

Dolce said...

I haven't thought about most of these thing in a really long time. Thanks.

Stephanie said...

This entry really hits home for me, especially now that I just turned 20. I know 20 isn't old or anything, but I can't help but get a little sad knowing that I'll never be an innocent child again

Meghan said...

Time to take a well earned trip down memory lane and try to gain back some wisdom. Thanks Chelsea.
As always your writing is beautiful.

readsalot said...

I was thinking about a similar thing the past couple of days. My grandparents are getting older, one has already died and as much as I love where I am right now, I hate that the important people are slipping away from me. That's what being older feels like right now, losing others.

Tia said...

i feel the same way lots of times. i miss the innocence of youth.

kinda.

but this is fun too.

Chele said...

i miss the ability to entertain myself for hours with dolls, playing outside and imaginary friends.
I miss tiny things that would excite me

Camels & Chocolate said...

God, I feel you, Chels.

At just 25, I already feel like my youth has completely slipped away! And damn am I scared about getting old(er).

Kirby said...

You have just, completely unknowingly, written exactly everything I wanted to say for my birthday. I miss being a kid. I wanted to be one a little bit longer...Nice.

Alya said...

I know i miss my childhood, but now i miss it even more! *SOB*

Beth said...

What an excellent summary of all the beauty and wonders of childhood.
I miss it, too - I think we all do.

Mike said...

For me, it was hair where there was no hair before.

I wish that would stop already!

lspoon said...

Whenever I feel like this, I think of how my mom and dad must feel when they look at me and realize I'm not their baby anymore. And then I smile b/c it means that not too far down the road I will have my own little one with stubby hands to dress in Easter dresses, bonnets and patent leather shoes.

Or I could have a boy, but let's pretend I control the universe and will only have girls :)

JanelleGrace said...

Take a day and do all the things you miss. Go eat the frosting off a cupcake or pick dandelions. No matter how old people get, they can and should always live with sense of wonder.

Do something out of the ordinary and completely childish. And make sure you keep doing something new.

Jess said...

This is a great post. It's a hard tradeoff. Sometimes I think it's better that we can't control these things and can only look back on choices we might have made if we could and be nostalgic.

Caz said...

This was a great post. I miss the younger me too.

But I, like you am glad that my hands look like my Mom's and Grandma's. They always have. You could put all 3 of our hands side by side and you would think they were the same hand 25 years and 50+ years later.

A Lil' Irish Lass said...

Brilliantly touching post, Chelsea. Really, truly wonderful.

Michelle & the City said...

it's funny how when we're younger all we want to do is grow up and be one of the "big kids" and now i'd give anything to be 6 again.

Leslie said...

What the hell are you trying to do? KILL me? Good GOD gimme a valium....
Just kidding!! Fabulous post and suberbly written.

Alexis said...

I think about that too, I sincerely miss it!

ChasingParadise said...

Wonderful post. I miss when riding my bike down a huge hill was the best high I'd ever experienced. I miss anticipating "my first time" and wondering what sex was all about, before I was stressed out enough to avoid it. Hmm.

Katelin said...

Love this post, I miss so much of childhood too, I think we all do.

lifeintheleftlane said...

This was a great post! It makes me miss playing outside on warm spring nights. It also makes me miss the days when everything seemed so much easier, and we had no real cares or worries.

Jenn said...

This morning I stood in front of the mirror and felt like a little girl playing dress up. But then I took off my glasses and noticed the dark circles under my eyes and felt ancient.

nicolle said...

beautiful!!

Exposed said...

Okay, I demand that WE go out for a day of cupcake icing and Central Park flower picking, and relish the joy of doing so without parental guidance!

Childhood was wonderful, but twenty years from writing this post you'll be wishing for now, so let's enjoy it. :)

Ashley said...

This post really hit home for me.

I miss soo soo soo much from being young. I had the best times with my family when I was young and I would do anything to rewind time.

I guess we can't do that so we just have to enjoy each day, one day those hands will be those of a mommy, grandma, and among so many other things a hero!

Gosh, I need to take better care of mine.

wishcake said...

I've been thinking about this same thing for a while. I've really been craving the simplicity of childhood. (I actually even wrote a blog about it a few days ago!)

The way you wrote this is just so lovely.

my favorite line:

I miss when I was supposed to have a sense of wonder, and people wouldn't warn that soon I would be "hardened".

I couldn't agree more...

Kiera said...

I love to reflect on my childhood, it bringa back a bit of bliss amongst sometime choaticness of adult life. I only wish that when I was a kid, I hadn't wished so much to be a grown up.

Lauren said...

I think your post personifies what it's like to be in your twenties. A mixture of confusion, nostalgia, and loss. You're stuck between growing up and wanting to grow up, while yearning for days that are easier and more free.

And somehow we all get past it. How is that exactly?

Great post--beautifully written and wonderfully relatable. And I adore your last line.

Beth said...

What a great post. I so miss the days when I had no real responsibility except to clean my room. When we're young, we just want to grow up. When we grow up, we just want to be a kid again.

DJSassafrass said...

I miss my younger me so much! But by that, I mean the me of a few years ago who made the most of everything!

Tina Vaziri said...

Beautiful, I miss those kinds of things too.

brookem said...

it's funny how when we're young, all we want is to be grown up. then we get here, and we realize how quick it all went by. i wish we could get some of those years back too.

ps- this was very beautifully written.

Carrie said...

Lovely. And me too. Especially loved that Across the Universe played while I read.

I miss the me I used to be...so sure of everything. It seems the older we get and the more we know about the world the safer we should feel. But the more I know the more afraid I become. There's just too..much. Of everything. I wish I were five again.

Pippi said...

My hands are STILL tiny and look like little kids hands . . . but i grew up about the other stuff a long time ago i guess, my hands just never caught up.

So@24 said...

There's only one way to cure this.

I'm building a time machine. Take my stubby hand to the promised land.

Marcheline said...

I miss when the girl on your header used to be out from behind the words....


*sigh*...

- M

Nachi said...

I love this post. It made me think of times when I was younger. Thanks!

Design Addict said...

Chelsea, I just recently started reading your blog and while it doesn't happen with every post, you have a knack for reaching into the very soul of me. As I was reading this post, visions of all the things you talked about came dancing through my head and I began to miss it all. Which is ironic, because when I was little all I wanted to be was a grownup. I don't necessarily want to be a kid again but it would be nice to take a vacation there.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Thank you guys so much for all of the sweet words, I'm happy that I could take you down "memory lane", if you will at bring back some childhood thoughts that get lost in our busy days and to-do lists..

Cheers to all of you....
with glasses of Big Red or Welchs Grape soda to our inner children.

christine said...

so true...I miss when time lasted forever and staying up til 10 was SOO late. *sigh*

ashley said...

You made me realize all the things that I miss. I wish we didn't have to grow up.

Kali said...

Goddamn it I want to be young again. SO UNFAIR how time keeps speeding up the older I get! Uncool!!

Lauren Kilberg said...

You read my mind, I feel like these are the thoughts/concerns/emotions of so many 20somethings. Can we say quarter life crisis? I get so sad sometimes realizing what never will be again. sigh.

alyndabear said...

I know what you mean - I miss when looking at my hands didn't make me ache for something more...

ana said...

lovely post like always. I miss those things too.

Nico said...

I don't care if I'm blending in with the flurry of comments - this post really got to me.

May your hands build many memories.

A Wanderer's Heart said...

Two things:

One, isn't it funny how these are the things that make us feel warm inside, that make us realize that the small things are what this journey is all about?

Two, you have a great talent with expression and I'm glad that you're using it and I'm getting to reap the benefits. :)

Mia said...

I noticed the SAME thing about my hands the other day!

glamorous152 said...

i totally agree with all those!

Jessie Cacciola said...

i just had an hour long conversation on the phone with my mom last night. I had called because it was her birthday, and we ended up talking about when I was little...you described my thoughts at that moment exactly. The world is a completely different place.
- Jessie -

Starlet aka Minutestar said...

"being an adult is totally overrated"

This post kicked my butt and I ended up flipping my dusty photo album where me sticking my tongue to my sister is a sweet memorabilia.

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LiLu said...

"...if someone "promised" that was enough of a contract."

That, especially.

No one crosses their hearts and hopes to die anymore.

I say we bring it back.

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