It Came From The 90’s

I’ve been trying to only write here when I have something specific to talk about, as I have this tendency to ramble on about nothing for hours on end.  I had thought about this particular subject the very first day I began this blog.  In fact, I thought about making it my first entry, but I held off, as I felt proper introductions were in order.  Anyway……

I was born in the 80’s, but my so called formative years were between 1990-1999.  I didn’t know it then, of course, but those would be the years that defined who I was, who I would be, and how my life was going to play out.  While my memories are scarce, I can recall the important bits well enough to look back on that decade and see how I became what I am today, for better or worse.  I was only nine years old in 1990, but I took the rolling of the odometer from the 80’s to the 90’s to be a big deal.  It meant change, maturity, the opportunity to be a grown up of sorts.  I stepped out of my neighborhood, so to speak, for the first time and started seeing the world that existed beyond my backyard.  The 90’s would be a decade without my father, something that molded me in ways I did not see until just recently.  Based on a lot of what I saw in movies, television, and music, the 90’s was a fatherless decade for many, not just me.

This isn’t to say the 90’s were an unhappy time.  In fact, when I reminisce about the glory days of the 90’s, I find myself smiling as it was mostly a good time in my life.  I made new friends, yet was able to hold on to the old ones.  I went to new schools, but found myself able to adjust relatively easily.  They say the teen-age years are the toughest to get through, and while I can certainly recall my moments of angst, sadness, hurt, and depression, the true pain in my life waited for my 20’s.

This whole topic came to mind recently while talking with some young co-workers of mine, and when I say young, I say most were born after 1990.  We are close enough in age to know of similar trends and popular items that came from that decade, but they can’t really understand why I see the decade from 1990-1999 so much differently than the decade from 2000-2009.  I suppose the only way I can sum it up is that the decade followed the same maturity path of my life.  Now, we all hear the anecdotes from old folks who insist their era was better than the current era and they either had it much better or much worse than today’s generation, and I fear falling into that trap when writing this, so I wonder if it is only natural as we grow to see the world, in terms of years as we view our own growth.  That is to say, the 90’s are only, let’s say happy for example because I was young and happy, and the following decade was dark and dreay because I too was dark and dreary.  I guess that is a real possibility, but I at least have a few examples I can throw out there to challenge that notion.

First off, if you look at the 90’s, we lived in a relative time of peace.  Yes, as is true throughout history, there were wars, but here at home, we were bascially keeping our noses to ourselves.  The economy, that had been so awful in the 80’s, was recovering so strongly that people were beoming millionaires overnight.  Technology was expanding and communication was becoming faster and more accesible to all.  People were getting along, and those of us that weren’t were working on improving our relations.  Hell, even the music was pretty damn good.  It was diverse, it was poetic, it was relaxing.  For the most part, as a society, we were having a pretty good time.  I mean, the biggest political scandal was the President cheating on his wife.  The Yankees won the World Series, the Red Sox continued to fail.  Hair bands went away in favor of Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.  Brittany Spears was still young, hot, and very desirable.  The Matrix was a good movie.  We had Fight Club.

Of course it could be argued that our happiness in the 90’s lead to indifference and that it took events in the early part of the next decade to wake us up to the harsh realities that not everyone in the world was as happy as we were, and in fact that made a lot of people around the world pretty angry.  Ok, to be honest, I don’t want to get into those topics right now.  Those are moments for another entry.  In any case, my point is, the 90’s managed to go pretty smoothly and it is a shame that for me at least, that kind of happiness can never really exist again.  The true fact is that I am not a teen anymore and while I hope there will be other moments of joy in my life and in the life of others, none will compare, for example, to my senior prom.  Someday I may get married, I may have children, and those will be moments that define my adult life.  They will be moments never forgotten, for sure, but nothing will ever compare to the feeling I had on that early afternoon of June 11, 1999, when I tossed my cap in the air and said good-bye to high school and very possibly, to childhood.  I didn’t know it then, how could I, but that day would mark the end of a very special time in my life…..the end of innocence.

What’s my point in writing this?  To promote a forgotten time?  To reminisce about a time I can never have back?  Or just to ramble on to whoever will listen?  Eh, maybe I just needed to get it out of my system.

~ by James on October 1, 2011.

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