Quarantine Depression Diaries: To be a kid again


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Ryder Noah From

It seems like one thing after the other with this quarantine. Protests bringing up discussions about racism, church session cancellations bringing up talk about religious freedom and murder hornets making their way into America (don’t worry though, praying mantises can eat their heads off). All of it makes me think how much easier the past was. 

When the wave of nostalgia hits, it does so in a shimmery way. It’s like aesthetic pictures or videos with background indie music lyrics you’re not really listening to; they’re just the tune accompanying the images with a rosy filter. For me, it’s full of the 2000s with its mismatched fashion, epic Disney shows and the rise of accessible computers and cellphones. 

I reminisce about summer camp when the best pop music of the mid-2000s was playing on the speakers at the water park and I was chilling in the shallow end because I couldn’t swim (and didn’t care to learn). Or I was at the sand box eagerly washing the sand off of me, or at the basketball pool on my tippy-toes so I could just be above the water.

It’s so easy to crave the past when I was singing Hannah Montana and had no clue how the internet worked. When I wasn’t so aware of every atrocity in the world, even those that don’t impact me, and how they came to be and wondering if they’ll ever get resolved. 

But was the past really that dreamy and serene? My mind has the most curious ability to focus on the negative of the present and the future, but has no trouble clinging to the shine of the past. But that’s all it really is, a shiny filter. 

Camp may have been fun when the music was blasting, but I didn’t have friends because of social anxiety drowning me in fear (except for one girl two grades older than me who didn’t treat me too well) and all that feminine Hannah Montana behavior made me get picked on, not to mention being so short during a time when boys only know stereotypical gender roles.        

I have amazing friends now. I’m out and love being me. I can drive anywhere I want to. I’m more educated and wiser. I can swim. I can publish my writing. I have more self-respect and dignity. I may never be able to relive those moments because I’m not the same person I was, but I’m grateful that I’ve grown.             

These times may be only preceded by Jumanji, and yes, I’ve tuned to childhood wonders like Pokémon and Disney+ to fill the days, but if the only option was to travel back in time to when I was a kid, I wouldn’t take it. Sure, the 2000s didn’t have a virus of this magnitude, but it didn’t have the current me either. Because if the world does come to an end because some minuscule being that’s technically not alive decided to inject its DNA into the human genome, that’s all I’ll have left, me.