A turn goes by

First published

2010 is over.

For me, there wasn’t a lot of fanfare associated with its passing — I spent midnight on New Year’s in the shower. I haven’t collated a retrospective or made any resolutions, either. The most I’ve done to bid the old year good-bye is continue to write it in dates, instead of giving 2011 its proper place as our new annual overlord. It’s a subconscious way of keeping the old year alive, I suppose, though I’d hate to be remembered as the number that ends up having to be erased and written over with the correct one.

Most of the memories I associate with 2010 have nothing to do with what actually happened in it; they were made about fifteen years beforehand, when I was just starting elementary school. Back then, I had a vague obsession: whenever I had to make up a date, as kindergarteners were constantly required to do, it would always be in 2010, and probably my birthday. Much like the majority of decisions I made at that age, this selection was arbitrary. Maybe it was because 2010 could represent the future for me in an abstract way. It was too late for 2000 to take that mystical place in my mind: Y2K was a looming reality, and television anchors in Atlanta for the Olympics kept talking about looking forward to Sydney. So I pushed my fascination back by a decade. I remember making a fake newspaper at that age, a consequence of my awe at the family computer’s possession of a word processor that could make columns just like the ones in real papers. The articles that I wrote (with substantial parental contributions) are lost to the sands of time, but I clearly recall putting the date Friday, March 5, 2010 in the masthead.

My memory has a weird sense of priorities.

I caught myself thinking about this part of five-year-old me over New Year’s weekend, and I wondered if I could do something like that again, this time with the year 2025 across the top banner. What sorts of headlines would go into this new edition? Much to my chagrin, I found the answers that I came up with to be uniformly pessimistic, stripped of any of the cheerful innocence of my younger self. Global warming. An economy still on the rocks. Political division. War. A continuation of the worst parts of the status quo. And, really, would print newspapers still be anything more than niche media outlets in a decade and a half? No longer fifty cents an issue on weekdays; maybe a few dollars and relegated to weekly circulation or worse.

2010 is over, but I find myself missing 1995 more.