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What Was Life Like in the ’10s?

Years from now, our kids will ask us, “What was life like in the ‘10s?”

They might be planning for a theme party and need to search through our closets for skinny jeans or infinity scarves.

Or they could be doing a report and need to know the price of a gallon of milk, or why we put pound symbols in front of everything.

It could be a general musing or a conversation starter around the dinner table that leads to a discussion of politics, religion, and a time when we drove our own cars.

If they ask about the popular music of the decade, I’ll talk about country music going mainstream, Ed Sheeran, Drake, and the time I had to Google “popular music of the decade” to write this paragraph.

I imagine I’ll talk about equality, and how we still did not have it for all. At work, in the home, or walking down the street. I hope they will gape at me in wonder of how that could be.


As I type this on an iPhone that is probably already obsolete to those more technologically advanced than I, I think about how far this decade took us, and far we have yet to go.

But mostly I think about how this decade created the person I am today.

Pregnant woman in infinity scarf, cardigan, and jeans walking with toddler boy

I married the love of my life in the ‘10s, lost babies in the ‘10s, and brought babies home in the ‘10s. It was a decade I changed my name, and the decade I forgot to change my name on my passport.

It was the decade we decided we were ready to start a family, and the decade we decided our family was complete so we should probably take some pictures together that weren’t arm stretched selfies.

The house we live in was purchased in the ‘10s, as was the SUV currently covered in Goldfish cracker crumbs. I can’t count the number of Goldfish crackers I bought in the ‘10s, but I do recall it as the decade I started getting groceries delivered because with two kids, a full-time job, and the many projects I began exploring on the side, something had to give.

In the ‘10s I completed my Master’s degree, walking across a stage into new opportunities for my career. On an unrelated “didn’t need a Master’s for that” note, this was also the decade I started getting paid to write jokes. That will be $10 for the line about Googling popular music, PayPal is fine.


The ‘10s were filled with some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life to date. Looking around to my fellow 30 somethings, I think it was that way for many of us.

We will soon forget about the emojis we used, or the shoes we wore, or the way our eyebrows looked. We will have to pull up pictures on some kind of hologram device to remember the popular hairstyles of the day or the black leggings we finally convinced the world were pants.

But we won’t forget how this decade made us feel. The raw emotions of pain, elation, and exhaustion. The tears of loss, the tears of joy. The worry that we hadn’t done enough coupled with the realization that we spent this decade building the cornerstones of our lives.

As the ‘10s come to a close and we roar into the ‘20s I can only hope will put all the lessons we learned to good use in the next decade. I also hope that leggings remain pants in this decade. But most of all I hope that we spend this next decade remembering the good, moving forward from the bad, and looking ahead with hope.

It’s been real ‘10s. Super real. Thank you for it all.



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