on the video game earthbound and growing up

full text on kinja

Upon your victory, the party's souls happily return to their bodies from the busted robots, and you receive letters from friends and family. You walk Paula home. Everyone seems happy, and everything is...normal. You look at photos with your mom. You talk to your sister, and your dad wishes you a happy early birthday. You visit your old clubhouse, and the only thing that has changed is that you're more mature, that you're older— maybe not in age, but in mind.

And as the credits rolled, that's all I could think about.

I'm 24 years old, but there's a large part of me that remembers all those elements of my childhood, that reaches out to them even as I know I can't return to that state of mind. It's a part of growing up, and everyone does it. That doesn't make it easy.