Though this is only my second week , I’ve already discovered I’m a weekly writing challenge enthusiast. This week, the writing challenge comes from Andrea Badgley, who happens to be a very inspiring woman and author of theButterfly Mind blog. Along with developing my writing skills further, these challenges introduce me to wonderful writers and new sources of inspiration, which I find invaluable. If you haven’t participated in a weekly writing challenge yet, I highly recommend just giving it a shot. This week, Andrea suggests we focus on a single object and expand upon it. Surprisingly, my object came very quickly. Here it goes!
Everyone has their childhood superhero. Ever since kindergarten, mine just happened to be Sailor Moon. For those of you unfamiliar with the teenage galaxy warrior, I’ll give you a brief introduction. Though, to give the full effect, I’ll allow my fiver-year-old self to give you the run-down:
Sailor Moon, also known as Serena, is the head of the Sailor Scouts who fight crime to protect our galaxy against the forces of Evil. The other members of the Sailor Scouts are Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus. While Sailor Moon is my favorite, given her agility in fighting evil with her tiara magic, I secretly admire Sailor Mars because she can do some serious damage with her fire. Anyway, Luna is the guardian cat who advises Serena. Let’s not forget Tuxedo Mask, the handsomely dreamy man who helps Serena and drops roses around.
And that was a glimpse into the mind of five-year-old Adelie. I know what you’re thinking. Yes. As a matter of fact, I did have pretty impressive diction for a kindergartener.
*If you want a more detailed and objective description, there are several fan sites and resources out there. I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I believe Sailor Moon is now a part of the Anime world. A complete outsider to all things Manga, Anime, Comic-con, Cosplay, and the like, that’s about as much insight I can provide on the matter.* Alright, back to the point…
Let me explain, I was more than just an avid watcher of Sailor Moon. Every recess consisted of my best friend and me fighting the intergalactic villains lurking around the playground. She was usually Sailor Jupiter, and I was always throwing my magical tiara around. Reflecting on it now, I can still envision the unsuspecting and confused faces of my classmates as I accused them of plotting against our planet. Though at the time, I never noticed how baffled they looked when I’d run around them and launch invisible tiaras, which they probably assumed were fancy Frisbees.
The thing is, I wasn’t pretending to be Sailor Moon. Without a doubt, I was Sailor Moon. It wasn’t until middle school that a classmate reminded me that I wore a skirt literally (and I mean literally) every day until second grade. The rain, snow sleet, and wind never fazed me because, after all, I was a warrior. Though not identical to her sailor costume, my variety of plaid skirts gave me the same powers and made fighting crime very comfortable. I wonder how many kids saw my underwear when I did my awesome jumps, kicks, and cartwheels. Maybe I owe them an apology?
It goes without saying that Sailor Moon had quite an impact on me growing up. While some descriptions of the show mention her crying a lot, I can remember shaking my head at that part of each episode. Being a crybaby was not an option for me. My mother’s signature phrase was always, “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!”
I love my mom. She was an awesome parent, but she scared the hell out of me sometimes.
Back to the point I’m trying to make, Sailor Moon showed me that women can take charge and that kicking ass isn’t just for Batman and Robin. Perhaps this helped shape me into the into the self-sufficient lass I am today. 🙂 Here’s something I just noticed that’s quite amusing.
Observe this picture of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask:
Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask
And now a photo from my wedding:
There’s a resemblance, right? Tell me I’m not the only one who sees this!
By now, you’re probably wondering how the saga of my childhood alter ago fits into the weekly writing prompt. Well I had to lay the groundwork so you could truly appreciate the story I’m about to tell you.
I was six, and my family went to a restaurant in Chesaning called Heritage House. It was this beautiful and historical restaurant that we only visited once a year, on my mother’s birthday.
On that particular year, we had our delicious dinner and made a quick stop to Meijer on our way home. Somehow, I ended up in the doll aisle and behold….
I’m sure I was squealing and jumping around. After all, I had never seen a doll of me, Sailor Moon, before! I showed my parents, who calmed me down somewhat. Then, they explained I had to earn the doll. After one year of chores on the farm, we would go back on my mom’s birthday, and they would buy me the doll. Back then, I certainly didn’t appreciate them instilling the values of hard work and dedication. Looking back on it now, I know their hearts were in the right place. Now, I think you can guess what happened next….
One year later, I could barely contain myself as we walked into the Meijer. I was always a meek, well-behaved child, so it took everything I had to not sprint to the dolls. My parents perused the grocery aisles first, no doubt to torture me further. Then, we finally arrived at the magical aisle lined with dolls in pink and purple boxes. I walked down both sides of the aisle. Confused, I scanned the shelves a few more times, assuming that I must have just overlooked her iconic golden pigtails. Sensing my panic, my parents walked up and down the aisle with me a few more times.
“There must be some in the back,” my dad assured me, as he went to find an associate. Finally, a woman in a red vest, carrying a Telxon (hand-held inventory computer) approached. After clicking a few buttons on the device, she routinely stated that they no longer carry Sailor Moon dolls. Remember how I told you I cried only on the rarest occasions? Well, I wiped a few tears from my cheeks before my parents could catch me, and didn’t say anything for the rest of the night. Just thinking about it now breaks my heart.
Now I’m unsure exactly what happened, but the dolls were discontinued for a few years and then brought back several years later for a period of time. Nowadays, with Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and the infinite resources on the internet, you can track down a special edition tube of lipstick from three years ago. Back then, when something was discontinued, that was typically the end of the line.
Fast forward twenty years to last November. One dreary day at work, I was staring at a blank screen with a lack of motivation and inspiration. Then, I decided just to write. I started typing away without any topic, theme, or plot in mind. (I’ve found this technique to be rather therapeutic). And on this particular day, this Sailor Moon doll memory just popped up, after being hidden in the depths of my mind for two decades. As soon as I finished my writing, I called my husband. I felt really silly, being a grown woman, telling my husband that I absolutely needed to find a Sailor Moon doll. He was very understanding though, probably because it wasn’t the most peculiar subject I have brought to him. Anyway, I told him that someday, some way, I was going to find myself a Sailor Moon doll. I glanced online to find that the few dolls that were still in mint condition were definitely out of our price range. Some day though, I was going to have that doll.
That day just happened to be Christmas.
Opening it, I squealed just like I would’ve twenty years ago. I asked my husband if I could take it out of the box, thus, ruining its mint-condition state. Surprisingly, he smiled and said “Of course. I know you’re not going to try and sell it someday.” I took her out of the box, brushed her hair, and placed her on the bookshelf in front of my vision board. Sure, when family has come over to tour our house since then and noticed a doll on a shelf in our bedroom, the thought of hiding her has crossed my mind. Though, she’s never been moved or put back in her box. While some might find it juvenile to have an action figure prominently displayed in my bedroom, I keep it as a reminder that if I truly want something, I’ll find a way of getting it…even if it takes twenty years!
So here’s the artful adventure for today:
-Make your inner child happy!
Is there something you enjoyed doing as a child that hasn’t carried into your daily adult life? Maybe you liked to draw, dance, or look at star constellations? Is there something you wish you could have done as a kid? Whatever it is, make time today to return to those moments where your only responsibilities were to have fun, do your homework, and brush your teeth. You could adapt these activities into your adult life by taking ballroom dance lessons or finding a ceramics class at a nearby college, or….
You could go back to the basics! Yup, I’m talking about buying a coloring book and crayons, making some snow angels, watching your favorite childhood movies, or blowing the dust off some long forgotten board games! Whatever it is, give yourself a time-out from taking yourself too seriously. You may feel silly at first, but that’s what it’s all about!
Better yet, collect evidence from this event! Tape your new masterpiece to the fridge, collect a unique looking stone from your hike, or have someone take a picture of you and your friends living it up at the karaoke bar! Place this evidence somewhere you’ll see it daily to remind you how alive you felt once you just let go and had fun. And then, make a commitment to express your inner child every day, week, or month.
Whenever I’m asked about my dream vacation, the first thing that comes to mind is going back to when I was five. Sure, I had my chores, but the days seemed so much longer back then. I never ran out of steam, never cared about looking fat in a particular outfit I was wearing, and I spent nearly every waking hour outdoors. No taxes, bills, counting calories, insurance claims, periods, or car maintenance to worry about. Just curiosity and boundless energy. While I can’t pack up and go to Tahiti today, I can take a few minutes to dance in front of the mirror, paint a portrait using only my fingers, or simply watch the shapes of the clouds overhead. I’m hoping you’ll go on your own vacation today!
From my vacation home to yours,