The other day I read an article about a guy trying to explain to his son exactly what a Sony Walkman was. He described the look of shock on his son’s face when he learned that at one point in the not so distant past, people listened to music on things called cassette tapes that were carried around in small (or what we considered small at the time) portable cassette tape players. I laughed at first, then sighed as I realized that I’m now at that age – some would call it middle age – the age where we begin starting sentences with “I remember when…,” or “When I was your age…,” and end them with “…things just aren’t like they used to be.”
As much as I fight the urge to utter those words sometimes to avoid sounding old, I do remember when you couldn’t talk to adults anyway you felt like it. And when I was their age I could never have left the house with my shirt that tight, or my skirt that short. Some things aren’t like they used to be and that’s sad. But in some ways, that’s actually a good thing.
Twenty years ago when I first started working, things that would set off sexual harassment alarms today went largely unnoticed. Women CEO’s, while still not represented in large numbers today, were virtually unheard of. And well, the thought of a president in the White House named Barack Obama was barely just that – a thought. The thing with change is that although we’re sometimes weary of it, without it we would simply stop. We’d stop growing. Stop learning. Stop existing.
As I head towards forty, there are so many things I feel nostalgic for, things I wish I could do and feel again and again – like singing The Hukilau Song to my grandmother as she belly laughed every time, signing yearbooks on the last day of high school, and the innocence of having my first crush. But then I think about my experiences since those times, the friends I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned, and although I miss the old days, I’m thankful that I’ve been here to experience the changes.
I remember my Sony Walkman (although knowing me, it was probably a cheap knockoff – Phony Walkman), and my first portable CD player. They were fun while I had them, but these days I’m partial to my Ipod with it’s 1,000 song catalog. No, things aren’t like they used to be, but maybe sometimes, that’s a good thing.
What are you nostalgic for and what are you glad has changed? Share your thoughts in the comment section, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.