Has your life improved on a whole since childhood?

I know I’ve started an unusual number of threads lately. I hope that hasn’t bothered anyone.

So I’m currently reading Schopenhauer for a class. His whole theory is that the purpose of life is suffering. The specific part that made me decide to make this poll was a passage that says whenever two friends meet again after many years, they’ll fell really sad because they’re reminiscing for a time when everything was wonderful and they had tons of aspirations which they never actually carried out.

I’m also a pretty big fan of the Manic Street Preachers, whose Richey Edwards often noted that he felt like all his troubles started when childhood ended, and that his childhood was something of an idyllic state.

This doesn’t resonate with me at all! Childhood for me was a time when I couldn’t understand myself or the world around me, I had few friends, I had lots of rules that I now no longer have to follow because I’m an adult, I was entirely dependent upon others for my very survival, etc, etc. Not really ideal.

I’m wondering if I’m just really weird, because it seems like nostalgia for childhood is something really prominent in our culture.

I voted pretty much the same. I had a pretty free childhood, doing my own thing and hanging out on my own. The biggest difference is living by myself as opposed to with my parents. But I still do the same things and enjoythe same quality of life.

I wouldn’t say I have nostalgia for childhood. My parents never should have had kids–nor should their parents have had kids–thus they never learned how to parent well or consistently. However, I do miss how much easier it was to make friends back then.

Other than friends and band, though, my life now is vastly better. If only because I’m in control of it instead of inconsistent, abusive weirdos.

Some things are better – I have more and better entertainment options (e.g. TV shows and video games) to choose from.

Some things are worse – I’d rather go to school than work, personally.

So are nearly all adults, when you think about it.

Something else.

It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. I find it hard to compare the two.

My life has improved from the standpoint that I got from there to here. I had no health problems as a kid, little free money, plenty of friends and a good education. The biggest satisfaction is that I got to this point. As I look back I could have done things better, but I escaped many perils. Now I have the luxury of the knowledge from childhood and beyond. I am in charge of my life and can decide on my own happiness. Happiness does not come from friends, money or even health. It comes from within and we can control that.

When I was a kid, I lay in bed most nights dreaming of what it would be like to be an adult. I had fun, but I wanted out. And I got out as soon as I could.

Yes. As an adult I have a fantastic husband, and two wonderful girls. I have work that I love, and time for art.

As a child I had abusive parents.

I have the occasional flash of nostalgia for bits of my childhood. I had a lot of fun on occasion and was given a lot of relative freedom early ( latchkey kid ), which though had its downsides was still more good than bad. Loads of free time is always nice.

But on the whole my life has been much more enjoyable as an adult, despite the drudgery of having to work for a living and the inevitable little negatives associated with an aging body.

I am much happier as an adult. Anything would be better than living in my dad’s house, so adulthood doesn’t even have to be a picnic to be considerably better than that.

What she said.

Better. More sex. :stuck_out_tongue:

My life as a kid was pretty good, but I have to say my life now is better than most of it. Money is not an issue, which it was for my parents until I was in high school. The only negative is less time, but that will improve in about five years. On the other hand, I’m an optimist, so life is always pretty good. (And I’m lucky.) My brother liked his childhood a lot less than I liked mine.

I think that’s probably only accurate if both parties had idyllic childhoods. Those of us from abusive homes will probably not be sad and reminisce for a time when we were beaten, humiliated, confused, neglected, raped, or whatever else “abuse” means.

Whenever I meet an old friend after many years, I’m usually happy and they are happy that I’ve come so far in healing from such a shitty childhood. Recently, my BFF from middle school (with whom I’m still friends) pointed out that, if my mother hadn’t done such a great job fucking up my childhood, we might not have ever met and become friends. So I view reunions with old friends like that as a great way to touch base with the only safe place I had to land back in the day. Often, even if I couldn’t live there, I could at least go over to a friend’s house for a few hours to give myself a break from the hell that was living with my parents. I am still grateful to several different friends’ parents for taking pity on me and treating me like one of their own when I was in their houses. I really needed loving nurturing and got it from parents who weren’t my own.

My childhood was pretty awful so I found that most of my troubles evaporated when I was finally able to control my own choices.

I don’t know if you’re really weird, but nostalgia for childhood is something that doesn’t compute in my little brain. Make no sense to me. It seems weird to me that someone would pine for their long-gone childhood.

When I was a senior in high school, I got pretty depressed looking at my prospects for the future. I wasn’t in control of my own choices, mostly, and I wasn’t too sure I could be successful doing what I wanted to do on my own without any parental support. My French teacher told me to basically suck it up because “these are the best years of your life.” I burst into tears. And ran down to the classroom of another teacher who had a bit more sensitivity and compassion. She told me, “Mrs. Beatty is a bitter old hag – don’t listen to her for one minute. Soon you will be able to go out on your own and be in control of your own choices. You might have to go into debt up to your armpits to get a college degree, but you can get a job afterward and pay that off. You might make mistakes. Bad things might happen. But I promise you one thing: These are not the best years of your life. Things WILL get better. I mean it. I promise. Okay? Don’t go kill yourself and call me at home if you feel like you want to. Please believe me. It. Will. Get. Better.

She was right. Everything got better. Even the bad stuff and the mistakes weren’t as horrible and painful as everything that was inflicted on me in childhood. And yes, I thanked her later, many times, for teaching me that my French teacher was a bitter old hag and that life after high school is much, much, much better (by several orders of magnitude) than life in high school (and before). Thank you, Mrs. Kay!

Parents don’t have to be abusive in this equation. Living on your own is always better than living under others’ rule. Also getting paid to work is better than being enslaved by school.

cf “It’s Better Than That”, by Trout Fishing in America. It must be on YouTube or something, but I can’t search right now.

Yessiree. My parents were awesome, but now that I’m an actual grown up (of sorts), I can do whatever I please, can stay up past my bed time every night, spend all my money on candy and booze if I want to, and have sex with whoever I want. Shit yes! I don’t understand these people who lecture you about how tough the real world is going to be when you grow up. No it isn’t. It’s going to be awesome!

I’m convinced the only people who think this come from a certain type of background: they had boring middle class parents in the suburbs who let them run wild, and when they grow up, have to work their own stifling middle class job and exist under the iron rule of their equally boring white-bread wife and have boring children, and their life will never be as good as it was when they were 15.

My folks were great, which didn’t stop godawful things happening to me as a kid.

The worst thing my mother ever said to me was; “These are the best years of your life”. No they really, really weren’t.

Give me adult responsibility over childhood helplessness any day.

I voted for the fluctuating option. Overall I had a good childhood but no inducement would prompt me to relive it, even the good bits. I don’t think nostalgia and reminiscence necessarily indicate a sadness or a desire to regress, it’s just a healthy way of remembering good times.

Surely not that many folks would wish away their autonomy. If you’re short on cash don’t you just wish for more money? You don’t think, “God, I wish I was 11 again, that would be great.”

I was a straight A student and I screwed around more than anything else but school was nearly terminally boring the first time through, I sure as shit wouldn’t do it again.

Yes, but in a bad way… I guess it’s all for the best though. I’ve learned ALOT over the past couple years.



Come on, almost nobody gets to do this when they grow up.