I remember when breakfast for lunch day at school was THE day I looked forward to because sausage and syrup for lunch is amazing! I remember when I'd stand in the restroom making bubbles with the soap between my hands until my mom came over to ask if I was constipated. I remember when eating Thrifty ice cream at the Laundromat on the weekends with mom and pops was the highlight of my weekend and why I still love doing laundry to this day. I remember when feeding the ducks bread at the park made me laugh with glee until my tummy hurt. I remember when I'd purposely leave a big wad of Elmer's glue on my hand in anticipation of it drying up so I could peel it and revel at the joy of doing so. I remember when I'd wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, run to my mom and pops room, jump on my pops to awaken him so he could go with my downstairs to turn on the VCR to record the Saturday morning cartoon line-up because the restriction to watch TV Monday through Friday was worth it if I got Saturday (plus I had every intention to have it recorded, and rewatch it later in the afternoon). I remember when life was simple. Worry-free. Trouble-free. Stress-free. Adult-free.
And then I recall when things started to change. When a growing anxiety that was not quite graspable started to become more omnipotent. Fears of where the next pimple would manifest itself on my face and how large it would get before the puss found its way in.... struggles with painful braces tightened once a month and head gear at night... and not feeling comfortable in your own skin because all the youth sized pants are too short (no, I am NOT waiting for a flood), but all the teen stuff is too big and leaves me swimming in a sea of clothes (I'm like Goldilocks and nothing is just right).
I call this the yuck teen period. This it time when most girls between 13-15 are either adorable and cute or ugly and awkward. I fell in the latter and as the opportunity provided me ample time to develop and grow an outgoing personality as one of the guys and one of the funny girls, the simplicity noted from being a child was gone.
But even I managed to surpass this time, focusing on school, extracurriculars and learning who I was as a daughter, a sister (unwilling for the first 16 years) and a friend, I was faced with the next period (and where I currently reside) in life that would present its own hardships.
Adulthood. High school and college went by with a flash and then there was this thing called adulthood that basically is the real world and the real world? ... The real world.... SUCKS.
Yes, income is great and no homework or tests and having all that free time is even better.. but realities such as health benefits, car payments, housing situation, IRA contributions, savings for the future (the family you don't even have yet), consideration of a new job when your current one stops providing you challenge and growth, juggling numerous friends in a large city, across the states and the country, attempting to date and find the one, and finding the perfect balance to bring you the happiness that simplicity once did.... is so extremely hard beyond belief. On the bright side, now the ignorance that accompanied the simplicity from childhood is gone and I can better appreciate the simplicity in my life today.
And that's one of the principles of the gospel, although not explicit, that I find so fascinating and reassuring. In Christ, I am not only forgiven of my sins... but by the Commandments of God and living according to His gospel... I am returning to simpler times.
Someone said to me the other day... it's 2009, seriously? Her comment came as a result of discussing modest dress and the slight reluctance I had towards abandoning my cute summer dresses. But in all honesty, I know my cute summer dresses draw unecessary attention to what's on the outside. As cliche as it sounds, the inside matters more. If you can't find a way to look cute in something modest... maybe there are bigger issues at hand.
Simplicity. Happiness. Synonmous.