Everyone revisits the music of their childhood at some point.
Every two months, it seems, I have someone that brings a memory of a song to the front of my mind that I used to listen to back in the early 2000’s. Mind you, I chose 2004 because that particular year just jumps out in my memory. First of all, it was the year that my relationship with my highschool sweetheart really started developing (spoiler alert: I married her a few years later.) Second, I got my driver’s license that year, so I was cruising all over the place in my 5-speed Honda Civic. Third, TRL was at the peak of its best years, in my humble opinion. And fourth, and more depressingly, my father passed away in November of that year.
As I write this, I’m listening to the hits of 2004, and it’s an explosion of memories. I remember riding around and listening to these songs, and I remember seeing the videos on TRL in the mornings. (Here’s the playlist I found: click here.) It’s pretty good so far.
I think the craziest thing is how eventful that year was, really, and just how much of that year I remember in vivid detail. I remember during the summer, honing my ability driving that Civic by driving it up and down the drive way. That car was amazing, and I still have it, I just need to get her running again… but it had a pretty good sound system in it, too, of course, so I could listen to rap at obscenely loud volumes. I still like loud music sometimes, but it’s much more rare than it used to be. I also listen to drastically fewer rap artists… but I do like some. We can touch on that later.
It was just a pretty good year for me, there until the end. Some of the memories I can’t really share, but the people I shared them with can reminisce just by reading this. The day I got my license, I ran off to my now-wife’s house, and they let me check her and her siblings out of school, and run off to only God-knows-where. I didn’t get a job until a little bit later, but I remember scraping together change to buy gas to make it places. I think we even pawned some video games at one point, so we could go grab some other stuff. It was a wild and different time, at least from these rose-colored glasses.
I was fortunate enough to have parents that took really good care of me. At the time, I had no idea how hard of a time my parents had, and wouldn’t understand until I was much older. In hindsight, I don’t know how much it would have changed things, but I’m sure it would have.
You know, it’s interesting how we view the world when we do it in reverse. Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and I believe it. I could probably ramble on about this particular year for… hours… a thousand more words. But it would absolutely be rambling.
The music of this year kind of puts the lid on it, though. I can remember every song on the list above, and it all has a memory tied to it. Some are tears, some are passion, but most are laughs. If you had told me then that I would have married my then 15 year old girlfriend, I would have agreed. If my eldest son told me in six years that he would marry his girlfriend, I might laugh at him. I guess that jaded-ness comes with age. Hm. Food for thought.
As a final piece, I can say one thing for certain. It was the last year I would see several people as the way they were before. And, I’ll leave this off all on a quote (but make sure you go back and listen to that playlist and reminisce with me!):
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life.