I’ve heard that we tend to maintain a connection to the music and memories that informed our high school years. I have to admit that to a great extent, I find this true. I’ve moved on from those days but I do have a certain affinity for the music of my youth and am known to blast late 70’s , early 80’s punk and new wave music in the car, dancing and singing along, especially when I’m stuck in traffic and need diversion or when I’ve had a particularly stressful day. Nothing blows off steam better! I also have cherished memories of those days, and am still close to my group of friends from high school (and even elementary school). They know me in ways that no one else will know me. Growing up together creates a bond unlike any other.

I spent my youth in nightclubs dancing or seeing live music. Quite literally, for many years, several nights each week were spent doing one or both. I started seeing bands when I was fifteen, just getting into the punk scene. Stolen nights at the Starwood, Whiskey, Godzilla’s, Cathay de Grand, Madame Wongs, Al’s Bar, and many other long forgotten venues. When there wasn’t a good show on a given evening, dancing was the substitute diversion. I spent happy nights dancing with my girlfriends at clubs like Glam Slam, Phases, the Odyssey, Dirt Box, Scream, Seven Seas, Power Tools, and countless random warehouse pop-up clubs that would appear from time to time. Nightclubbing in that era was amazing. There was always something fun to do around music.

If feels like life is so different for teenagers now. Besides Cole and his friends, I have two teenaged nieces. Their lives are so focused on school and outside interests, mostly volleyball for all of the girls, which takes up any spare time, including most weekends. There seems to be little time, or interest, to delve into frivolity that my peers and I enjoyed.

Life seemed so much simpler, and freer when I was growing up. We didn’t have the constant electronic distractions or exploitations (thank god!) and we didn’t have the same need for immediacy. We also weren’t as driven. Life has become more and more competitive for children and teens. It’s harder to get into schools, from the elementary level up, and it’s harder to find decent starting jobs. The focus on future starts much earlier in their lives now, and is taken far more seriously than when I was a teen. We seem to have had greater balance in our lives and the pleasure of conversation and interaction that seems to be missing from so many kids lives these days.

Wow…I sound old…considering back in the day kind of conversations…except now I’d have to text them to youth in my life because they don’t seem to like to talk face to face or on the phone…

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