Party like it’s 1999

Remember Y2K and Will Smith’s “Willennium” album?

I was 12 years old when Big Will dropped that musical hit list. I got it for Christmas that year, and I remember sitting on the couch in our living room listening to the CD on my Sony Discman on New Year’s Eve.

Man, those were the days.

Everyone was concerned that Y2K would more or less bring an end to our civilized “advanced-tech” society, but I was too busy jamming to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince to really care that much. Meanwhile, anxiety mounted as folks expected all of our computers to crash when the year changed from 1999 to 2000, since many computer programs used a two-digit code for the year as opposed to four. So, instead of saying 1999 it was just 99, and the 00 for the start of the new century was going to throw all those computer programs out of whack and catapult us into chaos.

But nothing really happened.

The computers kept working, and the world kept spinning, just like my “Willennium” CD. And the world is still spinning today as the start of another new year and a new decade approaches.

I can’t tell you what this year will be like, but I know there are some big changes on the horizon — at least for me.

And the past decade wasn’t all so boring either. I went back to school for my journalism degree, graduated and got my first job, bought a house, got married, made it to my 30s and more. I came full circle, living now on the same street as I did eight years ago, just a few houses down the block.

I can’t believe 20 years have already gone by since I had my Discman volume cranked to a modest 6.5 listening to “So Fresh” and “Wild Wild West.”

Where will I be in another 20 years?

There’s a song called “This Time Tomorrow” by The Kinks. Part of it goes like this:

“This time tomorrow, what will we see?

“Field full of houses, endless rows of crowded streets

“I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t want to see

“I feel the world below me looking up, looking up at me

“Leave the sun behind me

“And watch the clouds as they sadly pass me by

“I’m in perpetual motion

“And the world below doesn’t matter much to me

“This time tomorrow, where will we be?

“On a spaceship somewhere sailing across any empty sea”

What will life bring in the next 12 months? In the next decade or two?

With each new year, we say “Adios, partner” to the old one.

It’s a fresh start, a chance to create something new and different, and a chance to change ourselves for the better — and hopefully not for the worse.

Some days I want to drag my heels in the mud, even if for but a moment, just long enough to stop and breathe and to see where the hell life has taken me.

But it’s hard to do. I feel in perpetual motion. Seems like I’m running a race, especially this time of year, with the crushing whirlwind of the holidays, and then there’s the constant pressure of time pushing at my back, urging me forward with reckless force and little concern for my well-being.

But such is life. Guess I’ll just hold on and enjoy the ride. Y2K20 might be my best year yet, and come New Year’s Eve, I’m going to party like it’s 1999.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Jarvi is city editor at The Mining Journal. He lives in Marquette with his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Tino. Contact him at rjarvi@miningjournal.net.


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