When I was two months old, my parents and I moved to America for a year. I cannot remember any of the events back then, but as I grew older, I looked at all the pictures that were taken. The older I got, the more I became interested in the fascinating country, were everything seemed to be different from what I knew. Fortunately, my father was transferred back to El Paso, Texas and of course, my family and I went with him. Therefore, by the age of six, I finally experienced living in the U.S. and soon realized that I did not want to ever leave again. Until today, I remember everything I experienced during these three and a half years and I often look back cause these years were definitely some of the best and I’m grateful that I was able to experience, all of it. Life events like this have an impact on your whole life and I feel like it has always had a good one, on me. Early on, I learned about adjustment, different cultures and people and how important it is to meet the world with an open mind and an open heart. And it never hurts to learn another language, at a young age. The English language has stuck with me, ever since, and also had a huge influence on my future, especially when it comes to school and university.
Because of my father’s job, we had to move a couple of times throughout the years and I never really had a place that I called my hometown. But when I got off that plane 22 years ago, I had one. I know this sounds a little bit cheesy, but that was just how it felt. Ok, maybe not exactly during the first few weeks, but very soon it did. After all, we had a pretty house with a huge swimming pool, shops that were open 24/7, and the day care I went to, even had a Nintendo! How could you not fall in love with it? After overcoming my initial shyness and anxiety, cause that’s how I was a child, I felt home.
Ok, I also ran away from day care once because it was too much to handle with everyone talking to me in a language I didn’t speak or understand, but after that I was fine. I learned how to swim and ride my bike, discovered my passion for fast food, hot pockets in particular, got another dog, went on awesome vacations to California where I visited Disneyland, and fell in love with the TV-program, which broadcasted The Mickey Mouse Club and amazing music videos on VH1. This influenced me in early childhood years and gave me my passion for singing, dancing and all kinds of music. My childhood in America gave me everything I needed to be a happy child and just thinking about it now makes me smile.
From the moment we moved back to Germany, I missed living there and I also missed being tan. I thought about my time living abroad very often and definitely saw my future back in the States one day, the place where I was always happiest. I experienced so many wonderful things that I will never forget and I cherish every single memory, until today. Therefore, everything from that time is very important to me and I’m glad that I kept a lot of it, like toys, pictures, cards and so much more. I even have an address sticker from were we lived, not that I need it because I know the address by heart and probably will, for the rest of my life. Even after all these years, I still have a lot of my childhood treasures and whenever I find something I had forgotten about, it fills me with joy and great memories. I also regularly look at some of the items, like my self-made booklet with all the Lisa Frank stickers I collected as a child. It’s nothing big but it’s the little things that matter, right? I mean, how could I get rid of all these fabulous things? After all, I’m a 90s kid and we definitely had the coolest stuff.
Today, all kids seem to play with are computers, mobile phones etc. Children should experience playing with Lego, collecting stickers, dressing their Barbie dolls, reading great stories and so much more. I loved all that so much that I miss the things that I don’t have anymore. Therefore, I often catch myself searching for some things on Ebay and spending my money on toys. I just can’t help myself, letting go is definitely not my superpower. And thinking about it, it’s my mom’s fault anyway, since she gave some toys away. Thanks mom, I could save so much money if I didn’t have to re-buy part of my childhood. You still owe me a couple of Polly Pockets that I never got over losing and have already started to re-collect. Just kidding. Not about the re-buying part, though.
Yeah, I could claim to keep all these things because I want my future kids to have them but that’s just not it. I’m really not into having kids and the stuff is only for me. However, if I ever do end up pregnant, I at least have great toys that the child may or may not be allowed to play with. Fine, I’ll give her baby Tumbles because clearly, I’m having a girl. She’s lucky I didn’t keep all the fancy 90s clothes, although I think they were sooo cool. Kids today would probably not want to be caught dead in them, though. But my brother and me looked adorable in matching neon lycra shorts and all my Disney shirts were super fab.
Anyway, I think it’s important to always keep parts of your childhood with you. The older we get, the more we tend to forget parts of our past, but I really hold on to those fabulous years in the States, even though my plans for moving back have changed, a little. No matter how old you are, never forget the good times and it’s not silly to hang on to things that once meant the world to you. I would fight anyone for my favorite Barbie doll! Being an adult can be sooo boring, so always keep a piece of your childhood soul inside of you.
For all the youngsters asking themselves why these photos have such a bad quality, they’re scans. We didn’t have digital cameras back in the 90s. ;)