The Difference in a Decade: 2009-2019

2009, I think, was an underrated year. I am also aware, that not many people agree with me on this topic. The word ‘iconic’ is thrown around far too liberally nowadays, but in this case I am tempted to use it. I’m not sure why it holds such a special place in my heart, 2004 and 2007 were also great years but I think they just fall short of 2009 based on one simple fact. At the time, everything about it felt so cool but there is nothing like hindsight, and the Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature, to show you that we were of course not cool in the slightest.

Below are a list of 5 quintessential aspects which help to sum up 2009:

Flip Phones of all varieties

phone

Okay so if you were a teenager in 2009 you were probably the proud owner of a sliding/flipping/twisting mobile phone. From the sleek but virtually unusable LG Chocolate to the achingly cool (but as we have established definitely not cool) twisting Sony Ericcson, if there was a process to opening it, we went mad for it.

2009 was when this mobile design was at its all-time high before touchscreen technology came and saved us with its minimalism. The IPod Touch paved the way for the phone layout we all know and love but there is some nostalgia to be had in the mobiles of 10 years ago. And, was there really anything as satisfying as hanging up on someone and angrily flipping your phone shut?! No, there was not.

Shaved hair/bobs

rihanna hair

Victoria Beckham, Rihanna, Pink, Robyn. What did all these women flying high in 2009 have in common? Yes, the sub title gave it away; their hair. There are some years that bring with them a stand out hair style. In 2010 it was the bright red Rihanna hair that 1 in every 10 girls seemed to sport. In 2013 ombre hair was all the range. 2016 had everyone going mad for pastel shades, the list goes on, but before all of these trends 2009 brought with it the shaved side of the head and a bob. At least one person you knew was rocking this look and you even considered it at one point. The awkward growing back of one side of your hair though is enough to make you thankful you never went through with it.

Punk fashion

scene kids

Another quintessential aspect of 2009 was the style, or maybe lack of it. Were you even ready to go out of your door without a couple of bows in your hair to match your graphic T-shirt and ripped jeans meticulously held together with pins?! Punk inspired fashion had a revival but without bringing along any of the edge that it was born with. Instead we had a sort of pop/punk hybrid popularised by the bands of the time (think Hayley Williams, Pink again, Fallout Boy etc.)

‘Scene Kids’ were the local leaders of style, a bright and edgy alternative to the Emos and Goths we were used to, and with them brought another punk trend: brightly coloured, big hair. This particular look was one that I definitely fell prey to, I am still guilty of indulging in big hair, but as a red head I never bothered with the dying part.

Ed Hardy

ed hardy

Fellas, this one is for you. I think we all remember Ed Hardy T-shirts, I personally am still waiting to regain fully functioning vision after gazing one too many times at a bedazzled chest. Commonly adorned with tigers, a rose and possible 100 studs, wearing one of these masterpieces undoubtedly made you feel like one.

However, as is the case with all of these trends, I’m sure you have already deleted or untagged yourself from any evidence of partaking in the ocular offence. I don’t blame you. Admittedly my boyfriend at the time was a wearer of these monstrosities, but that isn’t the point.

Electronically enhanced music

Last but certainly not least on this list, 2009 was the year where autotune really became popularised. I know you remember Jason Derulo’s smash hit ‘Whatcha Say’ and you have thus since been afflicted with involuntarily singing his name in your head every time you hear it! (Yeah like that)

Rappers like Lil’ Wayne were using autotune in their songs as well as the electronic sound being a staple in the world of Pop too. Artists such as La Roux, The Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta were all employing the electronic sound to much success, helping to create a sound that can easily be pinpointed to this wonderful year.

I would also like to give a special mention to the makeup choices we made during this year, I am sure we will all be punished appropriately in the future.

In many ways, 2009 feels longer than a decade ago. The examples listed above serve to date the year pretty effectively, I can safely say that none of those trends need reviving any time soon, their current replacements feeling futuristic in comparison. But, horrendous style choices aside, it was the time that I look back on fondly. If nothing else, it makes me feel a lot cooler now than I was, but it also makes me wonder what choices I will be scoffing at in 2029.

I’m sure I won’t think I was cool in 2019 either.

Let me know if I missed anything. Do you have any favourite memories of the year?

J

 

Being Mildly Motivated: An Abusive Relationship with Yourself

One thing that I have learnt never to underestimate is my ability to avoid doing stuff.

These tasks are unlimited in their variety; all that is certain is that if I feel as though I ‘should’ be doing it, a lot of the time I won’t be. Not doing/starting/completing things is not especially out of the ordinary; many people don’t do stuff they know they ought to. However, what I find especially strange about my personal avoidances is that, at some point, they were all things I really wanted to do.

The feeling of motivation is an odd phenomenon I think. We often underestimate how fleeting it can be and how it’s potency in driving you to do something can evaporate the longer it is left unattended. I was inspired by this subject whilst working on the beginning of a different blog post. There I was tapping away, ruminating over all the subjects I wanted to tackle, when something caught my eye. “God, your hands look awful.”

And that was literally all she wrote.

An hour later I had little recollection of some of the ideas I had been so excited to write about and even less of the excitement itself. But at least I had a full manicure, better do my toes to match…I’ve found that there are endless distractions that we can busy ourselves with providing we want to be distracted.

But, inevitably, guilt rears its ugly, self-righteous head (usually when you lay yours down) and relentlessly reminds you that you should have been finishing what you gave yourself till today to do, rather than wallowing in the depths of your own laziness. However, the self-destructive behaviour does not end here. Often this situation will repeat itself for a few more cycles until finally, you do whatever it is you were supposed to do. And suddenly it’s as though the clouds part. You are hit with the intoxicating realisation that the thing you had been avoiding doing this whole time was actually really easy to complete. Not only was the experience totally painless, but you are once again filled with an enthusiasm and the promise to become more dedicated. From tomorrow you will begin working on your next task and will definitely not get complacent again.

But predictably, you do.

The mystery of this plot thickens further when we think about how humans, rightly or wrongly, often measure their sense of worth against their success. But how are we supposed to be successful when we avoid the necessary steps to become so? Our perception of how valuable a person we are/will be is entirely dependent on us. Which is great, right?

No, it’s terrifying.

This mind set is admittedly really hard to break but, in order to achieve what we are capable of, break it we must. The desire to become accomplished isn’t going to fade, so unless we take action, we are resigning ourselves to a lifetime of always knowing that we could have done better, had we just put the effort in.

That’s the thing however, which I think is a comfort to some of us and may on some level contribute to this behaviour. We have the potential to accomplish almost anything, if we try hard enough, care enough or put enough hours in. That’s why you hear so many people saying ‘I could’; in theory most people can. But it’s weirdly preferable to fail because of our own laziness than to have really tried and fallen short. It’s scary to try.

Some people are genuinely okay with putting some effort in and getting what that gives them. If that is you then fair enough, do your thing. But before you count yourself in this group, really have a think about it. Most of us fall prey to the three R’s; Reminiscing, Romanticising and Regretting, I know I do. Even if you look back to something as small as a subject in high school that you could have gotten better results for, this applies to you.

The behaviour of being motivated, but only mildly, is not easy to combat. But I genuinely believe that people like us will not be content with our lot in life unless we do. There is no magic way to shake yourself out of it however. Which is unfortunate. It seems fitting though that the only solution for your tendency to avoid things is to tackle it head on. Obvious as it sounds, everything would have been so much easier if we just did stuff. (Eat your heart out Nike)

One thing that has started to help me has been to focus on the fact that the only person who is being cheated in this equation is me. I will be the one to miss out, I will be the one left wishing it had been different and I will be the annoying person doing the Marlon Brando “I could have been somebody” speech at any and every opportunity.

I have realised that I cannot rely on something or someone else motivating me. It has to be me. Getting things in life easily is great, but nothing feels as good as reaping the rewards of hard work. Focus on the feeling of validation you get from that, and let it imbue you with self-worth and determination. And most importantly, hold onto it; don’t let it evaporate before you can act on it.

The only person who will lose out, is you.

Let me know if you guys struggle with motivation and how you combat it.

I am always taking tips.

J