My first concert

The year was 1994. I was sixteen years old and had been immersing myself in music – cassettes at the time were the big thing. CDs were around but hadn’t yet caught on enough to knock out tapes. We all owned portable tape decks. The sporty yellow ones were really cool at the time.

Today, I was transported back to that time period because Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, died suddenly at the young age of 46.

She was my very first concert ever, where she was lead singer and guitarist for The Cranberries and they had just released their album No Need To Argue.

I’d venture to bet most people remember their first live music concert.

Mine was magical. The band played at a venue in Los Angeles that wasn’t incredibly large so there weren’t many “bad seats.”

The night was dark – it may have even rained earlier – and a friend and I had parked my Toyota Tercel in the over-priced parking lot before heading inside.

I vividly recall the energy of the room. I have no memory who opened for them but I do remember when The Cranberries took the stage, the crowd jumped to their feet and the room was captivated. The walls pulsed from the original rock music we all were witnessing. Dolores and band did not fail to deliver.

In hindsight, I realize why I liked her so much. She wasn’t like everyone else. She sang about the voices in our heads and looked the way she wanted to. She was so cool to me.

It’s incredible how music can transport us back in time.

Perhaps the power of memory is magnified when music is involved because there is definitely something about it that can stir the soul deep down, getting to a place not much else can.

As I watched the clip below of The Cranberries performing on Dave Letterman’s show, only a few months after I saw them live in 1994, I found myself not only taken back in time but also profoundly moved. Dolores’s voice had helped me through dark teenage times and was a source of enjoyment during a time period I didn’t much enjoy. (I didn’t care for highschool…)

Thank you, Dolores, and The Cranberries, for being a large part of the happiness of my youth. You’ve since remained a classic album among my favorites of favorites.

May you RIP.

The Cranberries on Letterman 1994

#thecranberries #doloresoriordan

Why Generation Y has been given a special gift

While there are differing opinions on what age group Generation Y actually consists of, I’ve decided to go with those born in the later-1970s to early-1990s.

I was born in 1977 and feel like I am right on the cusp of that generation. Too young to be included in Generation X, too old to be anywhere near Generation Z, so I go with Generation Y.

Now that’s out-of-the-way, I want to take a minute to speak to Generation Y and explain how I think we’ve been given a very special gift.

We had an analog childhood with a digital adulthood.

We got a taste of both worlds and the transition came right as we transitioned from childhood into adulthood, making it rather seamless for us.

Think about it for a minute. Did you play outdoors all the time while growing up? Did your television have a few cable channels at most, and maybe you even distinctly remember getting cable for the first time? Did you have no way of getting ahold of someone unless you called them on a phone, the one that is now referred to as a landline? Remember when pagers came on the scene? I never had one but that was part of the beginning…

Does it feel like time is moving faster than it ever has before?

It sure does to me. We, as Generation Y, never had all these devices and social media platforms to continually check and update. Perhaps things moved a little slower because of it. And I wonder if because our days are now filled with so much “stuff” – endless channels of social media and entertainment to choose from and let’s not forget, those pesky smartphones attached to everyone’s hands – time is just passing us by as we document what we had for lunch that day and who is dating whom.

Technology has crept into our lives in so many ways, from automated services to wearable devices, and while I understand and appreciate the many benefits of it, I can’t help but wonder if the children of today are losing a part of their childhood because of it all?

I watch my young nephews interact with smartphones and tablets and video gaming consoles with deft ease and I wonder if they will ever appreciate a lack of technology. They were born into the technological boom. It’s all they know.

Unlike Generation Y.

We grew up without endless technology at our fingertips. Our analog upbringing practically forced us to use our imaginations in playtime and fortunately, our teenage years will not be remembered via Facebook and Instagram but rather Polaroids and reels of film. We played in the dirt rather than watching it in a video. And while I understand that I write in generalizations for purposes of this blog post, I also understand that there was something very special about growing up in a world where connection was more often made with other people than with a wireless router.

Ways to know society no longer thinks of you as “young”…

…even though you, yourself, still does.

And while I think many would agree that “51 is the new 21”, I can’t help but notice society has been throwing a particular message in my face lately – that I’m no longer part of the “young crowd”.

Well…

To hell with society, I say!

However…

Perhaps it’s because my thirty-fifth birthday is quickly approaching or maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I thought I’d share some of my observations of society’s little plan to make me care about what it thinks…So, here are few…

WAYS TO KNOW SOCIETY NO LONGER THINKS OF YOU AS “YOUNG”.

1. People your own age complain about being old.

2. When you date someone younger than you and your friends and/or family feel the need to ask if he or she might just be TOO young, even though they’re well over the age of twenty.

3. Your health insurance sends you a letter about an increase in premium BECAUSE you’re getting older.

4. Your 3-year old nephew asks you why you don’t have a boyfriend.

5. On your next birthday, you’ll be checking a whole new box in the age category on forms.

6. People gasp and say “You look so much younger!” when they find out how old you are.

7. Nick at Nite now airs the sitcoms from YOUR youth, not your parents.

8. A large portion of your friends don’t want you to call after ten at night anymore…

9. You find yourself saying to a CO-WORKER, “That was before your time.”