Less than a week after I got back from my cruise to the Bahamas, I carpooled to Connecticut to see the Backstreet Boys concert at MGM Grand, and it was quite a surreal experience for me.
When I was growing up, squeaky clean boybands were at their prime. The classic 5 member composition, the matching outfits, the McDonalds hair…all omnipresent throughout my childhood. Now, as an adult listening to their old songs from almost two decades ago, I associate them with my childhood years – the carefree, stress-free days of elementary school when stickers and some candy could make my day.
Although I love the Backstreet Boys, I never had the means to go see them live. They were always these idols of mine that I saw on tv, and in recent years, on YouTube. So that night in Connecticut, realizing that these people that I’ve been immensely idolizing for my entire life were right there in the same room, I just felt completely dumbfounded. I was excited, happy, nostalgic, and even a little bit sad that I had missed out on seeing them all these years.
Nowadays, nothing is carefree and stress-free anymore. Life is complex and not without consequence. I can’t associate songs with that completely wonderful and blissful time in my life anymore. Now I’m an adult. Now songs are associated with the ups and downs of college and work, the ups and downs of relationships, the ups and downs of life and all its complexities in general. As a kid, there were only up moments, there were never down moments. Every song I heard as a kid, I still listen to, and they never fail to make me happy. As an adult, there are songs that make me cringe when I hear them because I associate them with a particular negative experience.
It’s sad, but I guess it’s all a part of growing up.