Do you remember the 80s?

I do. Vividly.

But I realized a few days ago that many people alive now weren’t even around then – in particular after watching this video.

Yes, the 80s were full of bright colors (my favorite shirt was a neon orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tee), shoulder pads and fanny packs (had both). Most of the time, when I look back, it’s with laughter, a healthy dose of, “WHAT were we wearing?!” and cringing at our hairstyles. So I thought I’d share some of those memories with you.

Is there any other time when I could have pulled off that hairstyle?

Is there any other time when I could have pulled off that hairstyle? Probably not.

But as I began to put this post together and gathered photos (which meant digging through physical photo albums instead of my hard drive), I realized something else. I LOVED the 80s. I remember my favorite dresses, my mom spending the morning curling my hair (or the day perming it), and building forts with my brother and cousins in the backyard.

Look how happy we were. And our socks. Look at our socks.

Look how happy we were. And our socks. Look at our socks.

As much as I cringe today at the girl-mullet I rocked well into the 90s, some of the memories that make me smile the most are the ones where my mom would fix my hair and then almost suffocate me in a cloud of hairspray. Mostly because I was hanging out with my mom, who took time out of her single, working mom schedule, to make sure every hair was in its proper place.

Picture day! Immortalized in yearbooks everywhere.

Picture day! Immortalized in yearbooks everywhere.

The 80s, at least the latter part, when I was old enough to remember, are filled with so many memories like that. Just me, my mom and my little brother, doing mom, brother and me stuff. It was, as clichéd as it sounds, us against the world, and I will never have a stronger bond with anyone else than I do with them (and later, my little sis). We pushed each others buttons, we annoyed each other, but we loved and laughed and kept each other going.

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Just Johnny and me, showing off our sweet, spandex biker shorts. NEON animal print! I wish you could see the front of mine: a neon, geometric patchwork of awesome.

So even though I will continue to make fun of my hair, make fun of my clothing and cringe at all of these photos, I’m OK with admitting that I loved the 80s and all the ridiculousness that came with it. Because those years are some of the brightest of my life.

Both literally AND figuratively.

Both literally AND figuratively.

And just remember: trends don’t last forever. Enjoy these pictures and laugh with me, but know that you’ll eventually feel the same. If it hasn’t happened already, that is.

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Some things, though, like Monchhichi dolls and Mary Janes, never go out of style.

Just in case you need another pick me up, here’s a crash course through my 80s. Maybe I’ll share some of the 90s another day.

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Give people a chance. C’mon. Do it.

They're not frowning at you. My family just frowns sometimes. OK, A lot.

They’re not frowning at you. My family just frowns sometimes. OK, A lot.

Sometimes when I interact with certain people, I wonder just how exhausting it must be to live their life. It’s not because they have a full schedule or because they have a physically demanding job.

It’s because of the amount of mental effort they put into being suspicious of everyone and everything around them.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that the world is perfect and all people are inherently good. I’m a reporter, more specifically, a breaking news reporter. It’s my job to notice the awful, crooked and corrupt. I see, hear and write about horrible things all of the time.

In my free time, I spend way too much time reading Reddit and watching YouTube videos and if I ever had a doubt in my mind that horrible people exist in this world, the proof is right there in the comments.

Some people are really awful.

This guy doesn't dislike you. He loves everyone. Just ask him. Also check out #badgerBS every Tuesday on www.acranger.com!

This guy isn’t awful. And he doesn’t dislike you. He loves everyone. Just ask him. Also, check out #badgerBS every Tuesday on http://www.acranger.com!

But I also know that the loudest voices are those of extremes. You don’t hear about people who are just being decent, living their lives, taking care of business. Every once in a while, you hear of something extraordinarily good. But mostly, you hear about the people who are yelling racial slurs and obscenities, and the people who are killing, cheating, lying and raping. Those are the types of things that leave a permanent mark.

The thing is, just because you hear about these things more often doesn’t mean that that’s all there is in the world. Just because there is a racist jerk on YouTube that says he’s from Texas doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Just because there is corruption in one police department, doesn’t mean there is in all of them.

Just because someone once said something awful to you, whether it be about your gender, your sexuality, your race, your religious beliefs or any of the other millions of things that make you YOU, doesn’t mean the rest of the world feels the same way.

I can’t imagine living like this. I chose to believe people are not malicious by nature. To constantly assume the worst in everyone and everything would crush me, exhaust me, break me. No one should live like that.

Again. no judgment here. He just really loves his shades.

Again. no judgment here. He just really loves his shades.

With the exception of a few people, most are actually pretty decent. Not perfect, but decent. Instead of thinking that everyone is out to be a jerk, remember that everyone will sometimes make mistakes and most will say or do things without realizing it will offend someone else.

They are not perfect and neither are you. Unless you ask them if they sincerely meant to offend you or hurt you, stop making assumptions that that is their intent.
Has someone explicitly told you that they hate you or wish harm upon you? If so, I’m sorry. I am.

But they’re one person, not the whole world. Quit giving everyone else the same, suspicious glare.

Give them a chance. After all, they’re giving you one, too.