10 Years Ago: Reminiscing on the #10YearChallenge

 

 

Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic at Unsplash

 

Although the #10yearchallenge has been going around for some time, I still have not done mine. I found it interesting how this challenge is popular now in 2019 and not next year in the new decade. As I see my friends post their adorable pictures, one caught my eye. The caption read something like, “What if we posted what we have been working on for the past ten years?”That led me to think, a lot has changed in ten years. This country, television, and even me.

Ten years ago I had just turned ten years old in November of 2008. My birthday was two days after former President Barack Obama was elected and you could smell hope in the air. President Barack Obama’s inauguration was filled with so much change. “Change has come” was on a calendar that hung in my great grandmother’s wall.  I did not get to see his inauguration, but I would spend every January singing about peace until 2013, singing and holding hands with a diversity of friends..

Also during this time, books and I became best friends. American Girl became the foundation of strong female characters. I love seeing girls and women taking charge of their lives. These books would lead me to my favorite book, Daughter of Venice at age 12, The Hunger Games at age 13, my collection of history books about women, and so much more. During this time, The Hunger Games became a film that I was obsessed with. I remember watching an interview with Jennifer Lawrence and hearing her say that a lot of viewers would be young teenage girls. And she was right because I was one of them.

Besides The Hunger Games, movies like In Time, Christmas Oranges, Moana, Black Panther, and Zootopia were the best of this decade. I loved how Zootopia tackled the issue of profiling black people while still being a great kids film. In films like these, they show the younger generation that racism still exists. I think it’s important for young viewers to be aware of this ongoing, unacceptable, behavior.

In June of 2015, the Charleston Nine hate crime happened. Gun violence had become a norm by now and the nation was hurting.. Each time I thought that there couldn't be any more gun violence, the news reported a new place with new victims. Out of all of the shootings of the past few years, the Parkland shooting was the hardest for me. Two days after the shooting I went to Florida for a conference and one of the attendees was an alumnus at that school. His sister had been in the shooting. It seemed like each shooting became the worst in history. I grew up with the possibility of being shot at school. No child should have to have that worry.

Despite the gun violence, there were wins. In 2015, marriage equality was law across the entire country. Barack Obama was elected to a second term. Netflix produced shows and movies with diverse characters. Ariana Grande confronted the Patriarchy with “God is a Woman”. People raised their voices after Parkland and marched for their lives.

This decade has taught me so much. There were so many smiles, laughs, and tears. I learned that a country will vote for justice and a person that will do their best. I also learned that a country will vote for someone that promotes bigotry. I saw characters that looked like me and my friends. Read books that taught me to be brave and met people that helped me grow in amazing ways. I was a little girl a decade ago exploring the world. This decade has taught me that life is not linear and neither are we.