May 23 ē 05:28 PM

Looking back at decades past

January 06, 2010
Most New Years come and go without much fanfare in my world however I must say I've been rather fascinated with this year end's hoopla considering it's also the conclusion of a decade.

Granted, this marks the completion of three decades for me but it's the first time I've really paid attention. Back in late 1989, time was a concept I still hadn't grasped as an eight year-old. In 1999, the 'future' was foremost in my mind as a college freshman, although I was focused on very immediate things like 'how will I survive chemistry 101 next semester?'

The 2000s arrived and I was starting to pay more attention to the world outside of my dorm room when Sept. 11 arrived.

I remember sitting in a corner of our crowded office with the Perspectives editor that Tuesday. It was deadline day. I'll never forget I was wearing a red shirt and new tennis shoes.

Our typical, measured pace wasn't feasible. Instead of carefully arranging guest columns on the page and debating word usage in headlines, we were being forced to rapidly process the horrific events (much like the news staff) and make sense of if that was possible.

Since then, it seems the pace of just about everything has been cranked up a notch and making sense of things hasn't gotten any easier. To say I 'grew up' that day is rather cliche but as far as important dates go, it ranks right up there. I find that awareness is a big part of gaining maturity. I know that I'm not the only one who was reminded nearly 10 years ago that the world is much bigger than we can fathom, that there are people who have belief systems that run the gamut, and that the road to understanding is a long one.

I'm grateful for the much happier events that filled my decade: a Washington D. C. internship, college graduation and first job—all in 2003; jetting off to Europe with family in 2004 and walking down the aisle in 2005.

It was a unique decade to come of age in. Here's hoping that after another ten years, the world will be a more peaceful place.

Email Maria at

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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