The Sunday Sessions: 6.3.18 Edition
Sunday is traditionally a day in which we slow down, take time for reflection, and recharge. Every Sunday, I will share a poem, excerpt, or thought that will make us think, wonder, or even laugh as we prepare ourselves for the upcoming week.
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I finished reading Wild: From Lost to Found to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed yesterday, so of course, I had to watch the movie last night. Afterward, my husband and I talked into the wee hours about life and death and everything in between.
One comment I made in our conversation was that I miss the ’90s. Reese Witherspoon wearing Doc Martens and a scowl in the flashback scenes reminded me of that time when it was culturally acceptable, even cool, to freely express your inner drama. Angst was in, and Gen X had it in spades. While I was too young to truly participate in all that moodiness (I think I’m technically called a Xennial now – a cross between a Gen Xer and a Millenial), I appreciated that the inner turmoil I was feeling while going through puberty was being expressed in the broader culture.
This got me thinking about another era I am nostalgic for, one in which I didn’t even live. My mom came of age in the ’60s and we listened to nothing but oldies while I was growing up. Then in 1995 and 1996, Beatlemania swept the nation once again with the band’s documentary and retrospective 6 CD set Anthology. My interest in the decade piqued, and I began to learn more about the music and the culture of my mom’s generation. My mom was too much of a goody-goody and her sisters were too young to participate in freedom rides or the Summer of Love, but I still have nostalgia for a time when you could stick it to the man and drive off in a VW van. (I guess you can still do that now, but it’s not as rebellious as it was when the hippies first did it. It’s called #vanlife and people are making a killing posting their tricked out Vanagons and bohemian lifestyles on Instagram.) The funny thing is, my grandma had nostalgia for the era, too. She told me one time that she wished she had been born later and I had born earlier so we could live on a commune together in the ’60s.
All this thinking about nostalgia made me realize that the reasons we miss the eras we are nostalgic for tells us a lot about ourselves and the barriers we perceive to be in our lives. I miss the ’90s because I feel like it’s only socially acceptable to present myself to others in a positive way, both on social media and in real life. I miss the ’60s because I feel burdened by my responsibilities (and apparently have since I was 13 years old when my nostalgia for the decade first took root). My grandma missed the ’60s for the same reason. As the eldest of eight kids, she was first responsible for helping her mother take care of her brothers and sisters, then she was responsible for mothering her own four children. She never truly had a time in her life when she could be alone and free.
Question of the Week
What era are you nostalgic for and why?