Sunday, September 26, 2010

The 90s Called, They Want Their Girl Back

At least, that's what they're saying in my mind. I was drinving yesterday and an old familiar song came on. It got me thinking on that little decade in time we like to call the 1990s. It was such a huge time for me. I kind of miss it--and the songs from that time are like potent sound capsules that open up my brain and flood it with memories.

I graduated from high school in 1991 (20 year reunion is next summer) and that pretty much sent me flying high through the nineties (in more ways than one). My first years in college was during the birth of grunge music and Dr. Martens combat boots. It was like I had found a place in life--a little slice of identity. Emerging from the carbon copy world of high school, it was a time of total placement. The music scene was blowing up with originality. Fashion did a total flip-flop into flannels and ripped jeans. I was pretty much in heaven.

I remember discovering all the new music and being nestled into the nice little slot my round peg butt fit into. The after high school years were such a special time of revelation--when things started really making sense, and friends were family. It was the first time I'd lived away from my real family. The first time I was in charge of everything involving me. Dang, that felt great!To this day, I hear a song played from that time in my life and I crank it up and bellow the lyrics because it's not only a great song, it's an intense reflection. My kids usually look at me like I'm nuts, but that's okay, because one day they'll be doing it, too.

I got my first (and only) tattoo in 92. Got my nose pierced that same year. It was all about expression... feeling free! Later I let the piercing close up, but my tattoo still reminds me of that time in my life. When people ask me what it means (my tat is a black tribal design on my upper back) I tell them it means "Freedom of Youth." And for me, it means just that.

Not only was Lollapolooza THE concert event of the nineties, House techno was thumping underground clubs for the first time. Kids (me included) were skipping the typical college hangouts with live bands and venturing underground to dark, blacklit dancing dungeons to hear DJs spin records and mix electronic beats that made the walls bounce. It was fantastic. With that freedom of youth, came a blur of nights and weekends with friends, staying out and dancing til dawn.

Music really is the soundtrack to our lives. Eighties music was fun at the time I was growing up, but nineties music was when I really found myself--who I wanted to be. The grunge and underground electronica have a special place in my memory, one my kids will never grasp til they're on their own for the first time, with the freedom to make their own choices and become who they want to be.

Later in the nineties, my self-discovery escapade sent me on a whirlwind of travels through out the U.S. and Europe, a little of Asia. It was sensational... knowing who I was and meeting other new adults from other countries who were learning the same. I have a poetry journal I kept along the way. It's filled with random verse that was totally in the moment. Whatever I was feeling right then, the words just flowed, the metaphors plenty. It's really fun to look back on, actually. And as my new WIP will involve lots of music, I've already been hitting the ol journal up for some verse. ;)

Well thanks for joining me for some nineties nostalgia. It's funny how one song can send you down memory lane. I guess I love that time in my life because it was my time of total freedom. I didn't get married til 2002, and that was closely followed by two pregnancies. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

But from 1991-2001 I hold a special place--when MY place in the world was established. I'm sure everyone has their own little slice of time when everything just made sense. For some it may be their place right now. For me, it was the nineties.

Here's to the 90s! Thanks for rocking my world.

BTW: There's a pretty cool Ebay bid going on called Project Book Babe. You can bid on books signed by the author and the money goes to funding a cure for cancer. How great is that??

Here's the link:


LTM said...

nice one--even though I graduated in '89, I feel this way about the 80s... I think it's b/c I had older siblings, but the late 80s fill me w/the feelings you describe. Sirius Radio's "1st Wave" = Memory lane~ :D

Mary said...

Wow! A fellow 1991 graduate! I understand your feelings completely, although for me it's the music of the 80's that grabs me. Maybe because it's something my husband and I have in common (he's 4 years older than I).

Adina West said...

Without giving too much away, every time I hear Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit" the years roll back and I'm a first year uni. student again. Aaah, those were the days...