In The December issue of GQ, the editor, Jim Nelson, discusses how he predicted 2009 would be The Year of Nostalgia, in which America, faced with the indefinite recession, will seek comfort by looking back and trying to bring back the glories of America’s past.
He also points out how nostalgia is a movement greater than just a trend sparked by Mad Men, and how it’s a “powerful motivator in life, in politics, and increasingly, in the soul of this country, which, whenever it worries about its future, starts anxiously looking backward.”
I can confirm the return of nostalgia from the fashion trend reporting I conduct at my day job, and this past year, going “back to the basics” and finding comfort in simplicity definitely reined true.
But for me, the funny thing is that I’ve always been curious about the simplicities of the past, and even more so over this year. I’m a 26 year old who probably should have been born decades ago. As evident in my fascination with typewriters, since I’ve come to know myself I find that I enjoy simplicity over fuss.
As also mentioned back in my “26 Candles” column, from my choice of birthday cupcake, 2009 has definitely been the pinnacle of me coming to terms with my own stubborn will about the reality of growing up in the digital age.
Now that I am at an age where my crayon colored childhood plan for “Adult Emily” no longer applies, perhaps I am, like the rest of America, seeking comfort. Not only from the fact that I live paycheck to paycheck as a Splenda Stealer, but my career choice in the magazine industry—which was once an ivory tower in my plan, is now shrouded in scaffolding, leaving me to figure out where I can make a difference with what I do best.
But, living in the past is only comfortable because we know the ending, and if I’ve learned anything from being a journalist, we always need to ask follow-up questions about the upcoming five or 10 years. Living a life of nostalgia should only be a passing phase or a thought and never a way to live in the long term, unless of course, Cookie monster cupcakes are involved, and then I will happily regress. It’s all about visiting, not living in the past. As an early New Year’s resolution, I look forward to 2010 and the open ended-ness of it all.