November 2, 2011

What Mike Seaver from Growing Pains Taught Me about Life ~ Traci Wallace

Photo: Jimmy Tyler

There are a few distinct moments in life that for some strange reason we remember.

They can be super random. For instance, when I was about six years old the lady at the dentist’s office told me that if I don’t brush my back teeth, they will fall out.

To this day that lady’s voice sometimes still pops in my head when I brush my teeth (and I have always brushed my back teeth since that day). Or more meaningful examples like something a teacher once said or something that one of your parents said that you always think about, maybe even daily.  For some reason that moment stuck with you and instantly changed you in a very small or extremely meaningful way. Kind of cool when you think about the power of a moment.

I have another one that is so completely random. I remember watching an episode of Growing Pains when I was about nine years old, and Mike Seaver (a.k.a Kirk Cameron, who I had the biggest crush on, 2nd of course to Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons) had a realization that has always stuck with me.

If you have ever watched the show, you probably remember that he was pretty self-centered in the sense that his family and world revolved around him. Something we all can relate to and probably still experience quite frequently until someone kindly reminds us of the obvious “the world does not revolve around you”. “Oh yeah, thanks”.

In this particular episode Mike was sick or something and wasn’t able to watch television.  His realization went something like this. “Oh my God, I realized that even if I don’t watch t.v. the shows still keep playing, the episodes keep moving on”. Basically he realized, and was shocked actually, that whether or not he was actually involved in it, the world kept moving on with or without him.

As funny as this may sound, that was the day I realized the same thing. The world and everything it has to offer is always there for me to experience. It’s always there for me to jump in and out of, add to or take from, but it doesn’t revolve around me. Yes, that’s a lot for a nine-year-old to take in. But I am happy that throughout my life, on days when I felt like the world was caving in around me, or that everything is about me (good or bad), it’s actually not. Then I laugh that this realization was born from a Growing Pains episode.

Is there some random moment that instantly changed you? For example, my friend just told me about a time when she was about 10 years old. Some New Yorker (she assumed via his accent) at a gas station in Pittsburgh yelled at her to stop biting her nails. Even though she had this habit for ten years, she instantly stopped at that moment, after she cried of course and vowed never to go to New York because people from New York are mean. If there is, I would love to hear it.

 Random related bonus:



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