A friend of mine from Belgium, someone I’ve never met but know from following her pictures on flickr, called lamazone had this to say about of one of her pictures:
Dunno why, but I’m thinking about getting older. It’s not a midlife crisis, maybe it’s because my grandpa seems to be one of the last survivors in his family. He buried a good friend of his last week and is not getting any younger himself. He told me about his youth and his years in the US. He doesn’t have any pictures of those years (the twenties) whereas I take pictures of my breakfast. The times they are a-changing.
The line “He doesn’t have any pictures of those years whereas I take pictures of my breakfast.” stopped me in my tracks. Not only does my generation take those same silly pictures and videos too, we do so to share them with the world. I look at the variety and sheer volume of memories Abby and I have already archived for Sawyer and only wish I had the same for me.
Fortunately on my last trip home I had a chance to rekindle some wonderful memories of my youth, and what I lack in volume is more than made up in the singularity of these images. Take this one of me in 1985, just 12 years old, holding David Lee Roth’s Just a Gigilo / I Ain’t Got Nobody in one hand and Run DMC’s King of Rock in the other. I’m pretty sure that was illegal in most states at the time:
I have no idea how I convinced my parents to buy me those albums, for Easter no less, but I guess the precedent was set nearly two years prior when they bought me my first walkman and Def Leopard’s Pyromania for my tenth birthday. Take note of the following: a walkman as big as my head, air-traffic controller headphones, my crossing guard sash with a badge over my heart, and a belt buckle embossed with my name. I am too cool for school:
Lest you think this was some sort of aberration, my friend and I lip-synched a Def Leopard song for music class in fourth grade around the same time. (I just remembered how we made guitars and speakers out of cardboard, painted them with Tempera paints, and connected them with string.) I’m not sure how that was acceptable, but when the guy on the left is dressed as a box of camels I guess anything goes. Ah, public schools:
And yes, that is a bandana around my left leg just above my knee.
The point of sharing this is more for me than you. It’s an affirmation of the role of music in my life, the way it then expanded my horizons and marked my milestones, and the fact that it still does in every way today.
This past month has been a blur, but as I exit April and enter the month of May I do so with a newfound strength and unexpected support from these pictures. Music is most definitely my calling, and the clarity I have around what comes next would be alarming if it weren’t so well-aligned with everything in my past.
So yes, the times they are a-changing, but who I am at the core remains the same. My love for music makes me want to give something meaningful and lasting back, and my passion for the internet and its ability to connect and coalesce gives me the way to do it. I truly have lived my life for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to devote my life to making it happen.