Well hello blog world! Been a fair few months, I know, but as a self-proclaimed faddist, what did you expect?!
As the first day of a new year, indeed a new decade, draws to an end, I thought I should make some kind of contribution to my little area of the internet. And the other half is watching football, so it gives me something to do.
So, Merry New Year and all that jazz! We are still only hours into the start of 2020 and another decade – unless you’re in the Team 1 camp, then you’ve got another 364 days to make a meaningful mark before the next stretch begins!
100 years ago, the western world saw the birth of what would be known as the Roaring Twenties, when many prospered as others became disillusioned with the world, celebrity and wealth were favoured, every major country seemed to become anti-immigration and (thankfully) women started standing up for themselves.
Sounds a little like the last ten years…
Because, let’s be honest, overall the planet has really let itself go in recent times. And when I say the planet, I obviously mean we’ve done a right number on it.
So many atrocious events have taken place since 2010 and unfortunately some are coming along with us into this new phase. We all laughed when across the Pond they put an over-tanned toupee in charge but then we settled on someone in the U.K. who clearly gets his hair styling tips from the same place.
Oh it might be all fun and games when they’re zip-lining through the city like a fun uncle but when you allow the jester on the throne, well don’t say you weren’t warned (*holds head in hands*).
But for every terrible decision or event, we’ve seen many actions to try to counteract them – people are standing up for their rights, passions, beliefs and making others accountable for their behaviours. Because they’ve evolved and become…dare I use the term… ‘woke’?
I think part of my soul threw up when I typed that, but then I am a Gen X with the mindset of a Boomer!
If you’ve no idea what I’m on about, then let me try to enlighten you, as when I look back at the last ten years, it’s things like this, in everyday culture, that fascinates me.
It’s hard to believe that back in 2010 nobody was thinking about editing their photos into a square format or standing on the dining room chair to get the best shot of their dinner. And if you were talking about filters, it was to do with a vacuum cleaner or a hot beverage.
Now, even world leaders and royalty can’t function without an official Instagram account, or every other form of social media that are seen as a necessity to life. And it all occurred within a few short years.
As did the rise of geek culture and the hipster: beards were previously the choice of Santa impersonators and fishermen, yet despite talk of reaching ‘beard saturation point’ they don’t look to be getting shaved off anytime soon (which I’m quite glad about!)
Terms like ‘bespoke’, ‘upcycling’, ‘artisan’, ‘organic’ and ‘repurposed’ became common place, then full-on mainstream to the point that they now have little meaning in some cases.
In culinary matters, people weren’t smashing things on toast, and if they were, in some fit of rage over the marmalade having bits in it, at least the food was pronounceable (it’s ‘keen-wah’…I have to mentally remind myself). Meals weren’t ‘deconstructed’ unless you’d given them to a toddler to eat and the local barista didn’t need to memorise 17 varieties of milk (or indeed, versions of coffee).
On that note, everything wanted to become ‘craft’ or ‘single-origin’: not just coffee but beer, chocolate, gin (which saturated at a rate in line with the beards).
And if your environmentally conscious co-worker suggested giving up all animal produce for the first month of the year, they’d likely be scoffed at by the office bully and told to put their foil hat back on and keep nibbling on their muesli. Yet by the end of the decade, those that scoffed would have to contemplate their deep-seated fear of muesli on a mandatory course they were sent on to atone for their microaggression…
As we entered the 2010s, nobody could have predicted that many of the world’s opinions would be spawned in geeky online forums, later to be unleashed on the masses, as ideas or memes (or meh-mehs, as my mum called them until last year) that could be twisted and mutated until everyone claimed they’d created them. Only to eagerly pull them to pieces, citing fake news, when they realised they might be found out.
In the world of entertainment, nobody would have thought to discuss how their weekend had consisted of Netflix and chilling with a bag of Doritoes and the dog (in fact box sets still required some exercise to watch them, when you needed to change the disc). We knew nothing of Jon Snow et al. and most of the UK county of Suffolk (let alone, the rest of the world), had the foggiest idea who Ed Sheeran was!
YouTube was still just a place to watch cute cat videos, not be influenced, kids weren’t being brainwashed by heinous dance moves such as the Floss or Orange Justice (!!) and blogs were seemingly just for two ends of a vast scale (academics or emo teenagers who wanted to lament about life).
Plus, who would have thought that by the end of the 2010s, this 😂 would be awarded word of the year, that we would be watching large scale sporting events for computer games, crying buckets over the words ‘I love you 3000′ or saying farewell to a saga that spans 40+ years?
If those references were too science fiction for you, let’s not forget the science that became factual reality: smart phones evolved to smart homes, cars were able to drive themselves, parcels were delivered by flying robots, we got a front-seat passenger view of the surface of Mars and someone jumped safely back to Earth…from space!
We also lost so many magnificent people within the last ten years. Those who have changed the world and the lives of many individuals, in a variety of ways. Too many to list here but 2016 was a particularly difficult year which is true on a very personal level.
My last decade was full of change. I returned to teaching after a long hiatus, only to settle on a different, yet equally as rewarding, path within child mental health and well-being. I’ve met, worked with and cared for children who have changed my entire outlook on life and have become a better person because of them.
Sam and I visited so many beautiful places and I realised my dream to visit Iceland and see the Aurora Borealis. We made a home together, I flew a plane, took up the cello (for a bit!), wrote (and sold) a book of very short stories, said goodbye to trusted feline friends and acquired a dragon.
Oh, and I started this blog! A place where I have met some wonderful, incredibly interesting people and made new friends.
Fabulous things have occurred in the last decade, with enough achievements that prove we, as humans, are not yet a lost cause. Hopefully those with good intent will take a leaf out of Greta’s book and continue to roar loud enough to bring about positive change.
We never truly know what the future holds, but we can either let someone else write our story, or seize hold of the pen.
I know what I’d rather do.
IMAGE CREDITS: All my own or previously given credit to in other posts.