Hello, 30.

It seems like just yesterday that slap bracelets and Teddy Ruxpin and my favorite fictitious rock star Jem were the things about which I cared the most. Was that really the 80s and early 90s?

Then there was flannel and grunge and American Eagle ripped jeans. And the 90s felt as safe and comfy as one of those flannel shirts or pairs of well-worn jeans. We were all so unscathed.

I went to high school before Macbooks and iPods and iPhones – when AOL was cool, and we’d stay up late instant messaging each other from our sparkly new screen names. One by one, we started getting our first cell phones. Back then, they were a handy tool that made us feel safe. We still talked to one another – really talked to one another; we still lived for the moments we were face to face. Our lives weren’t consumed by technology.

I graduated from high school in 2001, the first class of the new millennium (despite those graduates from 2000 trying to steal our thunder.) And while I was in college, that September, everything changed. Our world was rocked. As we walked around campus in a daze, we all grow up so quickly.

I love that I knew a world before that terrible September. When people trusted one another just a little bit more. I love that I knew a world where making plans was essential, because we didn’t have cell phones glued to our bodies. I love that I knew a world with Teddy Ruxpin and slap bracelets.

I’m so thankful for this crazy life. Even the parts that aren’t so shiny. These have been an incredible 30 years.

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