If there is one show that sums up my childhood, it’s Sailor Moon. I was raised on sparkly, super-powered, kick-ass girls, and then wondered why other shows lacked pizzazz. I needed strong women and amazing friendships! Oh, and epic love stories, good fighting against evil, and, of course, the encouragement to believe in oneself.
I was obsessed with this show. To the point where my parents considered therapy. Fast forward a good twenty years, and I’m a functioning adult who still loves that stupid show (and manga, and remake, and pretty much anything related to it).
As a six year old, I identified with the whiny crybaby Usagi, who’s alter ego was powerful, dedicated, and invincible. I believed there was a part of myself that was strong, too. I’d been told I was too sensitive, too emotional, and was constantly referred to as the “annoying little sister,” but if Usagi could become Sailor Moon, then I could become more.
In my adult life I maintain a balance of childlike wonder, but tempered with the lessons of life I’ve learned. Secretly, I worry I’m losing touch with my inner child, so on the occasion of my 30th birthday, I binge watched the new Sailor Moon Crystal to reconnect with the girl I once was.
Is it weird to feel like I both haven’t changed, and yet have become someone completely new at the same time?
Like Usagi, I’ve honed my full depth of character. I’m there for my friends and bring them together to make sure they know how amazing they are. I spend my time ignoring adult “responsibilities” (who really needs a clean house anyway?) and instead follow the dreams that bring me hope and happiness.
Yet I’m still as flawed, as hopeless, and as insecure as the woman I looked up to for my entire childhood.
Sometimes there are stories that touch us so intimately we wonder how we ever survived without them. Is it too much to hope that I might write a story influencing someone as strongly as Sailor Moon influenced me? To show them that they, too, can be more than pesky expectations?
There is a magic embedded in stories that gripped me when I was a child and refused to let go. Yet, like the food critique in Ratatouille, I rejected any books, TV, and tales that didn’t do justice to the complexity of hope and humanity I craved. I think it had to do with that first, most beloved story of my youth. Nothing could hold a candle to the lives of those fictional women.
So I’ll write and give readers my all, because anyone out there like me deserves every ounce of authentic storytelling I can manage.
In a completely unrelated note, I’m totally in love with Haruka.