Needlework cross-stitch wall hanging. Flower designs in squares. 12 1/2″ h x 16″w. Ira Blount Collection/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution Ira Blount Collection/Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Just in the past few years, whenever I mention or think of things from when I was a teenager or young adult, they sound really old fashioned to me. Like how my parents’ generation’s experience and culture used to sound to me. It’s weird. It wasn’t this way a few years ago.

At some point, what has always been my past, my life, my generation, my own experiences, has become history, no longer remembered by the current youngest generation because they weren’t around for it.

But somehow my own perceptions of it have also changed. It feels further in the past than it used to. Obviously. But like, really further in the past. Like a memory of a memory instead of easily accessible and part of my narrative. Like a book I read last summer instead of a movie I saw last week.

I’m sure this is a combination of growing older, time passing, memories fading, and society moving on, but it’s been an interesting and unsettling observation on my part.

It’s especially noticeable in a household where I’m the only Gen-Xer. I have to turn to my sister, high school classmates, and other friends close to my age for shared experiences of this type.

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