The light blinds me before my irises adjust. The walls of the small room are a lime green, speckled with thick stickers of water-color flowers and over-sized sparkles. A T.V with scattered Pokemon games and a cube console sit unrestfully upon a wooden dresser. Everything is quiet as I lay in the center of the room upon a circular rug that resembles a blandly-hued blue and green earth. I’m on top of the world. I’m surrounded by an oasis of childhood belongings and frivolous knick-knacks that fill my little heart with so much nonsensical joy.
The planet underneath me is but a construct of textiles lacking detail and truth. I am above it all. I am but a small being finding that life is something of a wonder— but unbeknownst to me, innocence is what truly comprises such curiosities. The world is great, but foreign; so I imagine there is something grander I must discover. I am flooded by warmth at the thought of possibility. To live will be an adventure to see the world. And to see the world, I must open my door.
And so I do.
And I am blinded by darkness.
I groan and stretch my arms. My phone is blaring, and I can no longer tell whether it’s an alarm for college, work, or a ring for a meeting. I rub my eyes after muting my device and realize I had another dream of me wandering throughout my youth’s subconscious.
Sometimes, I wish I could go back. To the days where living life was an innocent adventure. It was a time where bad things still existed of course— as they always will— but such terrors were overcome by the innocence of forgetting.
Childhood things are something to cherish. For without the joy we experience with the games, do-dads, and the culture, we might as well be as bland as the rug with two colors. Take pride in the characters that taught you life-lessons. Feel bliss in the tune of a theme-song and the nostalgia that follows. Feel relieved for all the messes you barely escaped. Smile at having been a child, because no such innocent time will ever exist again.
It can be a disturbing feeling knowing that things can’t be the same as they were so long ago. It’s even scarier, feeling as if we’ve lost ourselves as time has proceeded. But it’s funny, because as children, we are unaware of functionality, yet we find ways to thrive and be who we are with much ease. As adults, we long to return to such simple times. But we must remember: at the time, we didn’t know it was so simple.
History cannot be relived; yet it can be remembered, which is why it’s so familiar. Times are almost always better when relishing in the past, but it is not impossible to thrive again. When change is the world’s only constant, it seems happiness can also be easily refuted. But that’s wrong.
The past is not a dangerous place, nor is it a time where all of our innocence has been swept away. The past is a masterfully assembled composition of memories of every nature. But more than anything, these memories are lessons. The good ones teach us how to enjoy ourselves and reveal that fun is a plausible continuum. The bad ones teach us of mistakes we can correct and situations we can successfully fail to repeat. And everything in between? They are the stepping stones to which we owe our ultimate growth.
As adults, we crave for the youth to know what we are knowledgable of, but what we know arrived through experience. As children, we learn right and wrong; as burgeoning adults, we live it. Through growth, we understand that innocence is but an uncovered truth. But to a child, innocence is but an undefined word.
But now, in every instance my mind makes me return to the past, I understand a little more of why it does. That green room was a treasure chest of memory, filled with emotions, lessons, and mistakes of how I’ve come to be. It is a reminder to not let go of the little being full of big dreams.
You will always find me submerged in the visceral cognitions of who I was. I am not afraid to look back on the good or the bad. Innocence stopped me from loving who I was; but life taught me to embrace myself for everything I became after.
So let us treasure and hold onto the memories shall we? The ones that makes us laugh until we cry. The ones that make us smile until our cheeks ache. The ones that make you recall your true strength. Because in the end, it is the memories that color our souls and the loss that gets drained of its hue.
So here is to a past that cannot be relived.
And here’s to the future, that will become the past in which we wish we could live again.
-Kiran Bains Sahota