I was ten years old in 1987 and pretty obsessed with professional wrestling. One of the most hated stars of the WWF at the time was “Adorable” Adrian Adonis. He was a devious dress-wearing villain with a gimmick that didn’t age well hiding behind his personal bodyguard, “Ace Cowboy” Bob Orton. In typical over-the-top wrestling fashion, Adonis gave his evil henchman a futuristic nickname.
The Super Bodyguard of 1995!
It blew my ten year old mind and I can still remember the first time he said it. Wow. 1995. It was a far-off year that I had never even thought about. I immediately started doing the math in my head and realized that 1995 was the year I was set to graduate from high school. As a fifth grader, it felt like a ridiculous amount of time away. It would never be 1995.
Then, one day, it was 1995. The years between hadn’t gone by quickly or slowly, but they went by and I was there every step of the way. This insanely far amount of time was behind me and I was now graduating from high school. Adrian Adonis had long since passed away and I was living in the future world that he spoke of. If I’m being honest, it felt a lot like 1987. The day by day passage of time seemed to help with that.
But that could be because 1995 wasn’t such a big deal. Nah. The year 2000 was the big one. That was always the future to kids from the 1980s. Every futuristic toy they sold to us ended with the number “2000”. Spaceships, laser guns, video games, and all the rest were branded with that date long before I was ever born and we had all been patiently waiting for that magical day when we no longer had 19s printed on our checks. We were entering the time of the Terminator and Marty McFly’s kids.
Then, one day, it was the year 2000. The clocks changed and we were living in a new millennium. The Y2K worry was a bust. Computers didn’t explode. Airplanes didn’t tumble into the sea. So that was good. Of course, there were no flying cars or Rosie Robot maids, but you take the good with the bad. Life went on. It was totally the future and we were living in it. The year 2000 had come.
Honestly? It felt a lot like 1995…and 1987. It all just felt like, well, now.
Time moved on and I moved on with it. I saw famous court cases from my childhood become so old that the prison terms ended. I watched regular people become famous and famous people become regular. I witnessed legacies crumble, icons die, and truths come out. It just kept happening.
I found myself making plans for years even further into the future like 2005 and 2008, only to see them come, go, and become memories. Before long, I found myself marveling at the year when I say it out loud.
2018. What the heck?!
Right around the turn of the century, I remember going online to look up when people would start referring to the year with the traditional “twenty” instead of “two thousand and”. According to one of the resources I found, it would all definitely change by 2020.
I remember laughing when I read that. 2020? No way. How is that a real year? What is this? Star Trek? Now it’s less than two years away.
While what I’m saying here applies to everyone over time, I definitely feel like it’s only those who lived through that transitional phase from 1999 to now who felt it the most. For us, the entire date changed on that one day. Every single number in the year moved. That won’t happen for another one thousand years and we lived through it. People had been anticipating it for hundreds of years. The dates from our lives look like dates from science fiction novels dating back centuries.
The future to kids born today is around 2050. Blah. It doesn’t have the same “oomph” as a the complete odometer turnover that we experienced. Even when things turn to 2100, it won’t be the same.
So, what does all this mean? Well, it means that I live in the future. It means that all of us live in the future. Time is always going to move on and, provided you stay alive, you’re going to move with it. When you do, the future will feel a lot like right now. It’s because it will be.
It makes me think back to all of the worry and anxiety that never really made a difference. The scenarios in my life that seemed insurmountable were eventually, well, surmounted. No matter how down I’ve been, I’ve managed to survive and come out the other side.
We all have. Every time. Maybe you took your lumps, but if you’re able to read this right now, you made it to this moment. You survived. Don’t forget that.
If all goes well, I’ll be here next year, the year after, and hopefully even the quasi-futuristic 2050. Whatever I have to go through, I’ll go through. I’ll live in the future until I don’t anymore. When that day comes, I too will be a memory. I’m good with that and it’s why I’m going to enjoy every minute of now while I can.