If you had told me a few years ago that I would spend a whole year in quarantine and in that time regress into my teenage self, I would be livid. I remember a time when the last thing I wanted was my teenage self finding her way back to the surface of my life. In my late teens and early-20s, I was constantly looking for ways to escape my teenage self. I wanted to be a completely different person. Little did I know that the further I distanced myself from my teenage self, the harder it would be to figure out what truly made me happy.
The one thing that I have cherished and held onto tightly this past year is revisiting old interests and freely enjoying what makes me feel happy (even for a moment). This wasn’t easy at first because early last year before the pandemic really hit, I had told myself that holding onto things from my childhood and adolescence was a way I was unhealthily coping and avoiding healing my trauma. When I came to realize that I started regressing, it was very uncomfortable and I started to feel shame for moving backward rather than forward.
By the time summer had come along, I felt something I had never felt before – confidence. I felt confident in the decisions I made and the new things I was willing to explore. The confidence I felt grew from the initial discomfort I had previously felt when I started my regression. This sparked a whole new mindset for me that encouraged me and pushed me to become the person I always wanted to be when I was in high school. For me (and probably many others), high school was an embarrassing time in my life and it was not easy. It was a time where I was severely depressed and my social life was suffering because of it. It’s the age-old millennial tale of not having a social life in high school and exclusively spending one’s time online endlessly browsing the internet.
Recently, I sat down and took inventory of the things that brought me pure joy during that time. The interesting thing is that I found it much easier to pinpoint what made me happy back then amidst the depression and loneliness. I started playing rhythm games again, buying clothes that fit the style I always admired on Tumblr (don’t @ me, you were either on fashion forums or had an inspo blog), getting more piercings, reading more comic books, and listening to old Soundcloud mixes that got me through some really tough times *plays Ta-ku.*
The subconscious decision to walk the path towards becoming the person I always wanted to be has been the best decision I have made this year. In addition to reparenting myself, this feels like a second chance at something I never got to have, and what used to be anxious anticipation is now a more positive outlook towards the future. If you find yourself questioning your existence or simply just wondering if you are running out of time and need to figure your life out now, try looking back (as cringe and painful as it can be sometimes) and revisiting some old interests and just start doing things for the fun of it.