I’ll be there for you.

Last week, I had a conversation with a coworker about CDs. He mentioned that he and his wife were clearing out old boxes of albums – if the album was accounted for in their digitally-stored library, the physical album was out the door. He jokingly said to me, “nobody actually buys CDs anymore, do they?” I sheepishly replied that I still do…and he proceeded to look at me like I was a crazy person. I’d like to point out that this person has children my age. Yep. 

For certain artists, I still insist on buying their album in tangible album form. I do love you, iTunes, but there’s just something the real thing. Over the years, I developed an inaugural cd-listening ritual: after peeling off that outer layer of film and removing the adhesive seal (and a chunk of my nail polish), I’d pop out the album and put it in my stereo system (remember those things?), settle in to read the liner notes and savor the album from start to finish.

Similarly, I did something last weekend that I haven’t done in ages: I burned a mix CD. Hello, 2005. My CD mixes were pretty legendary during my college years, but in the age of iPods and playlists and fancy phones, their frequency diminished. One thing I love about my mix CDs is that they represent a specific time period in my life, and when I listen to them, I’m reminded of the people I danced around my dorm room with, epic roadtrips, the things my heart wanted, the words that expressed my thoughts better than I ever could. These songs chosen reflect a larger story; the soundtrack of my life, perhaps. So cheesy. And unlike playlists, I don’t need to delete them off my phone when I need to make room for more pictures of Nim and Charlie. #truestory

…clearly I’m hanging onto something from yesteryear. Like many twenty- and thirty-somethings these days, I’ve been watching lots of Friends on Netflix during these cold winter days and it’s made me a bit nostalgic. Not only do I love the humor and the awesome 90s fashion, but the camaraderie and sense of belonging that is shared among the characters is such a beautiful, enviable thing. How great would it be to have your best friends across the hall? Heck, I can barely get my neighbors to make eye contact and say hello.

Ben and I always joke with each other about being old souls. It’s something I love about us, something I embrace and own wholeheartedly. Like many things in life, my mindset with technology is that it’s all about balance. Yes, it’s amazing and good and helpful…but to a point. I’m a firm believer that there need to be boundaries. The best things in life aren’t shared via WiFi or measured by likes and retweets and shares. There’s beauty in simplicity – something I’m savoring more and more each day. Now if I could just move all the people I love a little closer together, I’d be set.

Likely, it’s the lovable characters and the shenanigans they find themselves in, but could it also be the nostalgia? Maybe it’s the idea that the ’90s and early 2000s were a simpler time, filled with landlines, VCRs and mixed tapes. It was a time when you met with your friends at your go-to coffee shop to hear about the drama in their lives… because there was no GChat. It was a time when Ross could get stranded at a rest stop while everyone else went on a ski trip because cell phones weren’t a thing. There’s no end to the debacles our favorite friends found themselves in that wouldn’t be possible with today’s technology. In fact, how boring would the show have been if everyone just texted each other? [Brit + Co.]

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