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Nostalgic Toys

March 15, 2013

(Note: I originally wrote part of this yesterday and had writer’s block so if it seems wonky and uneven, that’s why. Enjoy this…odd musing)

I was on Amazon recently looking at old toys I used to own (shut up) and wondering if the cost justified dabbling in my personal nostalgia and trying to buy them again. Then I got to talking to my friend, Heather, about them and what kind I was a fan of: TMNT, Ghostbusters, Bravestarr, Centurions, Silverhawks and how I never really got into Transformers or GI Joe like some of the other kids. Batman and Superman were also big with me and my brother as well. I find it interesting that those things are what we gravitated to. Mostly the non-warry but still action-y stuff. I guess I was trying to recapture some of that lost childhood of mine. I think most people wish they could go back to that time where things seemed simpler and your toys were the best toys (I see this attitude in my father a lot) and things just seemed so much better.

And then there’s that age old prayer, “If I knew what I knew now I’d go back and change it,” but I happen to think that even with ‘what you know now’ you’d still make those same foolish or non-foolish decisions. Mostly because while people can and do change, they would be living again through the eyes of that stupid child or teenager that they’ve built in their head and those choices were what made them who they were. So there’s a certain inevitability factor there. I think the collection of experiences we’ve had are mostly what we are and changing that by any facet wouldn’t so much make us not who we are, but it would make us less who we are. And the more you change the less of you that you are.

Of course this whole, “Your experiences made you,” talk also means that your experiences also possibly made you a drug user or a chronic asshole so maybe changing those facets would be great. However, you can do that now without changing the past. Just strive to do better and to be better than you are now. I certainly am trying to be better than I am. And there’s a side of me that keeps telling me it’s a futile endeavor, but I think the fight is worth it. To see yourself as some sort of clay to be molded how you choose can be very powerful or (insert your own metaphor here) however, I don’t think people see it that way and just see themselves as some sort of victim of circumstance and exploited by everyone and everything. Then if it gets too bad there’s religion which tells you that you’ll be persecuted for these things so it’s sort of a feedback loop.

But they’re still making choices and choosing these things to do and instead of seeing personal self-worth their self-worth is tied to an external force which (hopefully) will show them the love and kindness they can’t see in themselves. I know this because I struggle with it every day. It’s a very seductive call to give yourself over to something else higher than you because you can’t take the pressure of living. In the end I choose myself every time, not because I’m selfish, but because if I were going to give myself over to a higher power that’s most likely a myth I’d rather choose something better than what we have now. The Force being a good example and closer to my belief system anyway: it just is there and there’s no code to follow because in the end you’ll end up there anyway and it’s up to you to choose how you want to get there. Why yes, I am discounting the numerous stories where dark side users fade into oblivion due to their evil nature. But even that’s a choice.

Anyway, very powerful thing it is looking up your old toys you still wish you had, but coming to realize that as good as those toys were, you can no longer enjoy them as you did as a child. That the nostalgia tied to them is most likely the rose-tinted glasses of someone going through some really trying times. The way to get past that, for me, is to forge ahead and try to make my future just as good as I see my past, because honestly, I am living in a better time than when I grew up. My hobbies and interests are no longer likely to get me shunned by people, but the people latching onto those interests now I’d love to take a flamethrower to to get them out of my sphere of like.

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