The End Of 2019: Looking Back On A Decade (Part 1)
On December 31st, at 12:01 am, the year of 2019 officially comes to a close. But this isn’t just another end of the year. It’s an end of a decade, from 2009 to 2019. With this post, I want to look back on what stood out to me from this decade. I want to explore all the wonderful moments, all the memories, all the silliness, and anything that made this decade everything.
This decade has been very good for arguably the biggest pop star this side of the Milky Way. With record-breaking albums, like Speak Now, or 1989, Taylor Swift has become not only a household name- but a global superstar.
But enough through this success, not all glitters were gold. Through a combination of her feud with Katy Perry and Kanye West, as well as the media labeling her a “serial dater,” Swift began to see the darker side of fame. She began to question herself and her music. She began to think about quitting. But instead, she took a break. She didn’t release another album in 2016 (she generally releases albums every other year). She took time to herself and got out of the limelight.
Then, in 2017, she arose from the ashes of fallout and brought about one of the most mature, intense, and comprehensive albums she had ever done. Yes, that’s right- reputation was her way of saying, “I’m still here.” With Lover, released this year, we further saw Taylor Swift unfolding from the cocoon society had put her in. She transformed from the snake society had dared to call her into a beautiful, indestructible butterfly that wasn’t afraid to use her voice.
In this decade, imagination truly won. What better proof of this than a simple, blocky simulation game in which the main goal is that there is no goal? On May 17, 2019, Minecraft turned ten. As an avid player of this game, I wrote the game itself a letter of thanks (find that here). In this letter, I detailed several reasons why I love this passion projects of Notch. I said thank you to the many people who help make Minecraft stand for more than just itself. But the main reason I think Minecraft deserves to be on this list?
Because there’s nothing more powerful than imagination. Imagination and Minecraft will outlast us all.
In 2017, and in the years to follow, society took an honest look at how its people were treated- particularly women. It was in this year that a snowball effect of one woman speaking up about her assault became a million voices sharing similar stories. Big Hollywood stars spoke up. Harvey Weinstein was essentially blacklisted from Hollywood, and collectively victims began to realize they are not alone. Looking through Twitter, at the hashtag MeToo, I felt saddened and angered. How could men treat women this way? How could they take advantage of them like that? Why did Hollywood let this happen? It was shortly after this that I saw a woman being mistreated by a man in public. I wanted to tear him to shreds.
But through all of this, I felt inspired too. While I had never had any experience like the women (and men as well) have had, I was fascinated with their bravery. Because speaking up took courage, unlike anything I’ll ever experience. These women dared to say, “this happened to me; this is the person who did it.” Then, these women stood together, with fists raised, signs displayed, and yelled for change. It inspired me, and many others, to take a look at how I treat people.
This is, without a doubt, truly the number one thing I think of when I look back on this decade. From America electing and then reelecting its first black President, to turning from a road of open-mindedness and honesty, this decade of politics had significantly changed how America is looked at it by the world and how America looks at the world.
I won’t speak much about this subject, I care for politics about as much as I care for rotten food, but I will say this: since 2016, most of the people I know have become more aware of the problems around them. Not only that, they have discovered that they have an avenue to change what they don’t like.
All in all, this decade wasn’t half bad. Could it have been better? Certainly. Oh, there are definitely some things that could have been better (I’m looking at you, movies). But for this list, I wanted to focus on the good side of this decade. Next time, I want to talk about some of the things that weren’t so great because nobody and nothing is perfect- definitely not humanity.