That Escalated Quickly

Just when you thought you were an adult….

I consider myself a mature adult. My soul might be a generation or two ahead of me, but nonetheless, a quiet, mature, twenty-something with a Peter Pan complex is how I identify myself. I live on my own and hold down a steady job. All the normal grown-up things most of us do in our day to day lives. This morning I came home from work to continue the day indoors, making best of the weather. Decided to see what was on everyone’s favorite online TV programming Netflix and to my luck came across a title I recognized right away.

We’re back: a Dinosaur Story is an animated film from my childhood years that tells the story of one man who wishes to make the wishes of children come true with these elaborate inventions, one of which he gets living dinosaurs to rapidly evolve and become intelligent beings with advanced emotions, human speech, and problem-solving abilities (pretty much humanizing dinosaurs.) I won’t go much further in the plot since that isn’t the point of the story. The point is I successfully made it ten minutes into the movie when a significant time in my childhood was revealed and all at once, a flood of emotions capsized and floored me.

There were a lot of tears. Tears I welcomed for a few minutes while basking in the nostalgia of an extroverted David who wore his emotions on his sleeve and found a state of bliss through animated movies and all the normal responsibilities of someone in their single digits. Then after that I realized that the sounds and sights of the film kept the nostalgia on with full force. I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out with no restrain. A few things crossed my mind at this point.

  • Am I going to cry through this entire movie?
  • What does this say about how happy I once was as a child and where I am now?

“So I did what I imagine most adults would do at a time like this. I turned it off and continued to internalize my emotions.”

Mind you, this is not a particularly sad story. More of a feel good piece for children to consider what it would be like to live and have a conversation with dinosaurs and consider what your wishes were. It was becoming increasingly clear that I was not going to make it to the end of this movie without a box of tissue and a serious tolerance for tears. So I did what I imagine most adults would do at a time like this. I turned it off and continued to internalize my emotions. Now onto thought number two.

The reason I decided to not buckle down and cry it out for the next hour or so of the movie was because this experience sparked some sincere concern on my emotional well-being. Two things I couldn’t get out of my head were, this makes me so happy, and, why don’t I feel this heightened sense of happiness in any other aspect of life right now? This movie gave me such a strong sense of comfort and enjoyment (which still obviously still does to this day) that it got me reevaluating my life. The weight of the world had been lifted after I had begun watching the movie. All of a sudden, I had abandoned the thoughts of adulthood and quickly entered a world where finances, personal image, and making productive steps towards one’s future were secondary. All of these strong emotions combined with the short amount of time it took to trigger such a response begins to explain why this ended up happening.

Perhaps this buckled with the fact that my childhood is over and will never return left me feeling sad and kept the flood gates open. I still don’t know what to make of this. I’d like to explore this emotional reaction in more detail, but know it’s going to take some time. I’ve always kept some distance between things I have identified strongly with as a kid in fear of triggering reactions like this or falling into a hole of repeated behaviors to try and get that feeling to return much like the addict trying to recreate the first hit all over again. Something tell me there will be a time and a place to explore this chapter in my life. I got to look in and see what a strong reaction like this feels like and admitting was caught off guard and unprepared. Today is my day off and much when I reach a physical or emotional state of significant progress, I like to reward myself. I’ll be keeping things mellow but will continue to try and trigger similar (hopefully less intense) reactions and make the best of this less than perfect weather.

Until next time….



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