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1982 - Stand up!

I’m writing this piece to inspire not only myself but anyone else that was born in 1982 and may need it. No, I don’t care about the other years; someone else will give you inspiration. This is for me and my people.

2022 is our 40th year of life and I think this is as good a time as any to celebrate. Growing up, I never really understood what it meant to get to this age. We came up thinking that anything over 30 was old. Now we’re turning 40 and I know so many of us don’t feel that old in the same way we imagined. There’s this cross between still feeling like we’re not old at all, and realizing we’re not exactly young either. We remember graduating in the year 2000, the first class of the millennium, and it feels like that wasn’t too long ago since our music is still so dope.

This is when I tell you that people who turned 40 in 1982, were born in 1942. You’re welcome.

The funny thing is that entertainment is what has me in a celebratory mood this year. I’ve been wondering who’s been calling the shots for a while now because when we were kids, it seemed like the world was being run by 40 to 50-year-olds who didn’t always have our best interests at heart. Now when I look at interviews I keep seeing people in their late 30’s being the ones in charge, starring in, or creating media. A new book will drop and the author will be only slightly younger than I am and I’ll think, “yikes,” because…well, they’re writing books and that’s something I’m trying to do. They’ve got long careers already and that’s what I’m trying to have. And although I don’t yet, I’m inspired. Why?

Do you know how many notable people were born in 1982? Because I’ve looked, and let me tell you, it’s more than you think.

Our notable classmates include musicians like Lupe Fiasco, LeAnn Rimes (she’s been around forever, right?), Kelly Clarkson, Lloyd Banks, Keri Hilson, Chrisette Michele, KeKe Wyatt, Freddie Gibbs, Westside Gunn & Conway of Griselda, and Adam Lambert.

We’ve got thespians in Brian Tyree Henry, Haley Atwell, Charlie Cox, Sebastian Stan (that’s 4 members of the MCU from one year!), Daveed Diggs, Jussie Smollett (I know!), Tiffany “New York” Pollard, Ali Wong, Seth Rogan, Anne Hathaway, Columbus Short, and Dascha Polanco.

Hell, even politicians Ilhan Omar and Pete Buttigieg were born in 1982.

And honestly, there’s plenty more including 3 prominent rappers I don’t give a shit to name and several athletes I know nothing about.

My point in all of that is we’re surrounded by our peers in entertainment, politics, sports, and honestly, life. We’ve gotten to the point where we’re not an insignificant part of the population creating and consuming things. Our faces are out there and our people are out getting shit done. And at first, I looked at that list of notable people and saw musicians who’ve been in the spotlight for 15+ years, athletes who have started their careers and retired (Dwayne Wade is 1982), and with so many accomplishments, I didn’t think to myself that it’s too late to get started. I honestly thought to myself that our people are out there and still viable. At 40, we’re being cast, we’re being employed, we still have ideas, and we’re still alive. The versions of ourselves and society that said we wouldn’t be viable now were wrong. GREAT! That means we still have time. Even if it isn’t to be an entertainer, we still have lives to live. We still have happiness to achieve. The class of 2000 wasn’t our pinnacle, it was just our door opening. That was 22 years ago and we’re still here. And until something stops us, we have years to look forward to. That means we have the ability to accomplish what we need. Life is still possible and happening. It’s not too late.

Also, Thriller, the greatest selling album of all time, was released in 1982. We hit the jackpot that year. 1982, stand up!


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