This series looks back at the 1990s and its influence on the generation of people who came of age during the decade.
1995 was a pivotal year. So much happened in just one year. In January I felt lost, but by December I was closer to found than I could have imagined at the start of that year.
With "Second Chances" I told part of that story, my '95 story, in all its chaotic glory. This started as a writing exercise based on accessing my memories to make some sort of sense of who I was that year, and how it effected who I go on to become. It helped unearth some very real and specific emotions, which I tried to express through words, as honestly as I could.
As always, no names were used, to protect the innocent and the guilty. Full disclosure: I'm the only guilty party in these stories.
For further reading, I've written about '95 before, in snippets, and those posts can be found here, here, and here. Some experiences or emotions alluded to briefly in those pieces are fleshed out in "Second Chances". Writing it was difficult, even scary. It felt like opening myself up in ways I'm not entirely comfortable with, but it also felt necessary. In some ways, the story of that summer is what this blog has been building towards since day one. After these posts, maybe now I can finally close the book on '95.
Finally, and for some additional understanding, watch the late Ted Demme's 1996 film Beautiful Girls. It's imperfect, yet wonderful. It's also scarily insightful, especially if you were an angst-ridden, sarcastic, and hopelessly romantic male in the '90s. Clearly, I was (am?) such a person, so the movie burrowed into my heart two decades ago—right after that pivotal year, in fact—and has never left. Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) travels a similar path to my own journey in '95. At the start, he's apathetic, misanthropic, drifting. By film's end, he's walking a bit lighter, more open to the possibilities of life and love. He's even hopeful. In a lot of ways, he's me in '95. We even had/have the same hair. Life imitates art imitates life.