Now, if you’re like me, then you know that I get bouts of childhood nostalgia from time to time. Having grown up through three decades (the 90’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s), I was able to experience so many different things and changes in terms of technology, social media, and literature. It’s amazing how the smart phone has evolved within a matter of several years, and how applications are pretty much ubiquitous in this day and age.
With that said, I wanted to share a few aspects of what defined my childhood, from the ages of six to sixteen. Whether or not they’re still around today, here are the things I obsessed over as a kid- and perhaps you did, too! 😀
Things I Obsessed Over as a Kid
1. TV shows. Oh, television…sort of has become rather obsolete today, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain that many people still turn on the TV to watch the news, but it seems like we’re migrating over to the Internet for our daily doses of shows (e.g. Hulu and Netflix). I admit, I barely watch much television anymore, but here were a few defining channels that I enjoyed watching in my childhood:
- PBS (Sesame Street, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Teletubbies, Barney, Dragon Tales, etc).
- Nickelodeon (Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Rocket Power, later iCarly…).
- Disney Channel (Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, Phil of the Future, Hannah Montana, etc).
- Food Network (30-Minute Meals, Good Eats, The Emeril Lagasse Show…)
2. Movies. Yes, Disney was always there when I was a kid, but frankly, I didn’t mind them that great- or rather, I didn’t understand what the hype was about the Disney princesses. But I will say that Mulan will always remain a favorite of mine, and that other films from Pixar and the Disney Channel Original Movies (all of which are owned by Disney, anyway), were pretty good. Here are a few more films that have stayed with me since then:
- The Cheetah Girls
- The Lizzie McGuire Movie
- High School Musical
- The Incredibles
3. YA Novels. Short for “young adult,” I definitely had my fair share of reading tons of these books during my pre-teen and teen years. I started out with Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, then moved onto novels by Judy Blume, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Chris Crutcher, and E. Lockhart. While some people might dismiss these books as fluff and nothing serious, I beg to differ: often filled with complex plots, meaningful life lessons, and lots of heart, YA novels continue to influence a lot of what I think and write today. A list of my favorite ones follows:
- The Ruby Oliver novels (E. Lockhart)
- Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (Chris Crutcher)
- Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher)
- Tiger Eyes (Judy Blume)
- Alice series (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)
- The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
- Gravity (Leanne Lieberman)
- Good Enough (Paula Yoo)
3a. Manga/anime. I can’t also forget that Japanese manga and anime were my total obsessions as a kid. Funny enough, I read a lot more shonen (manga for boys) compared with shojo (for girls), but I guess I was really into the action and adventure aspect of it all. Here are some that I loved:
- YuYu Hakusho.
- Shaman King
- One Piece
4. Magazines. Besides newspapers (yes, I read them, too!), magazines were a great way to keep entertained in the household on a long, summer’s day…they were also great when guests were over, in case they needed to keep themselves occupied. I read them all, from the kid’s stuff to the adult ones. Here are a few that I read:
- Disney Magazine (sadly, out-of-print since 2007)
- Girl’s Life
- Family Circle (even though I wasn’t a mother! Still am not today…). 😛
5. Music. My tastes varied a lot between the ages of eleven and sixteen. From clean-cut Disney Channel pop stars (yes, even their music got to me!) to the hipster/indie scene (thanks in part to a friend back in high school) to rap/hip hop, I listened to them all. Here’s a selection of just what I had listened to:
- The Cheetah Girls
- Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus
- High School Musical
- Death Cab for Cutie
- Belle & Sebastian
…all right, that’s it for me right now! Let me know what you grew up listening to/watching/reading/etc. I would be curious to know! Take care. 🙂
— The Finicky Cynic
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