POP CULTURE THINGS I THOUGHT DEFINED ME AT EVERY AGE I CAN REMEMBER

You may notice some repeats I am a creature of habit oops tbh this list could have had HP/LotR as every single entry okay sry bye
  1. 7: Harry Potter
    In 1998 I was in 1st grade, and my teacher started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to our class the spring I turned 7. We were about halfway through the book and over one weekend I convinced my mom to buy me a copy for my birthday. I finished it before going into school the next Monday and had a v hard time not telling the rest of my class what happened next.
  2. 8: Harry Potter
    We read Chamber of Secrets in my 2nd grade class. This time I didn't wait until we were halfway through, but got it for my birthday as we started reading it in school and finished it over a weekend again.
  3. 9: Harry Potter
    I got the next HP book for my birthday for the third year in a row. It remains my favorite of the whole series and I think it's the most magical thing I've ever read.
  4. 10: Seussical the Musical
    In 4th grade, my teacher would play the CD of Seussical in class and I loved it so much I bought my own copy with my allowance. To date Jojo the mayor's son is one of my dream roles. I still sing songs from this all the time.
  5. 11: Lord of the Rings
    In 5th grade my sister (who's 9 yrs older than me) went away to college. She came home for a break and told me she was going to take me to a movie I would love. We were a little late to the theater and walked in right as Bilbo says "what's this? A ring?" And I was forever hooked. When we got home I immediately found my dad's copy of Fellowship and read it. Then I read the next two. Tbh I think of this as a major turning point in my life. Nothing was ever the same after this.
  6. 12: Lord of the Rings
    In 6th grade I was pretty mercilessly teased in school and Lord of the Rings was a major means of escape for me, although being the weird LotR girl certainly did not help the teasing.
  7. 13: Lord of the Rings
    7th grade the final movie came out. Still very unpopular and bullied in school. I spent every Friday night on the couch in my brothers room watching my DVDs of the first two movies. When Return of the King came out I somehow (??!!??!) convinced my sister to come home from college and convinced my mom to let me out of school early so I could see it the day it came out. I felt a weird need to go with my sister since she had brought me to the first one and started me on this whole weird journey.
  8. 14: Wicked
    The only good thing in an otherwise terrible year
  9. 15: Fall Out Boy
    My best friend moved to Florida the summer before we started high school, which was horrible. I'd call her on the phone after school in my kitchen and we'd share the books we were reading and things about our new schools. One afternoon she told me she was loving this song, "Sugar We're Goin Down" (lol) and I listened to it and then got stuck in a year long Fall Out Boy rut. @sarahgorman was affected by the same bug. We both went to a concert on St Patrick's Day that year.
  10. 16: Harry Potter
    Sophomore year of high school I was a hilarious emo caricature of myself, but one constant was my love for Harry Potter. The final book was set to be released the summer between my soph and junior years and my greatest fear was that I would die before it came out and never know what happened. I had an HP Halloween party and assigned guests characters (@sarahgorman, were you Fleur??) and whispered theories about what would happen backstage in the wings during drama class and rehearsals
  11. 17: Spring Awakening
    I thought this musical was so so so so cool and I went to see it for my birthday and Jonathan Groff told me he liked my necklace and it was the shit
  12. 18: Samuel Beckett
    Read Waiting for Godot in AP English with my favorite teacher and I loved it. The language was so spare and gloomy but also beautiful and it was about so many things. I think my love was also helped along by the Sesame Street spoof, "Waiting for Elmo," which I recommend you go watch on YouTube rn. I went abroad in London my first semester of college and saw a production of Endgame that was incredible. All the monologues I did in my acting class that year were Beckett which I think is hilarious.
  13. 19: The Twilight Zone
    I started watching the New Years and 4th of July marathons on the Syfy channel with my home friends when I was on breaks from school and became obsessed with the show and Rod Serling. I saved my money and got myself the complete collection on DVD. Netflix added it the next year, so, oops. Fell in love with someone the first night I met him because he had it out from the college library and we talked about our favorite episodes all night. Still plan on marrying this dude.
  14. 20: Watch the Throne
    Listen to "Otis" and "Made in America" and "No Church in the Wild" and "Why I Love You" and every other song on this album and try to tell me this isn't one of the most amazing, important, and influential contributions to music of the century. JUST TRY. YOU CAN'T.
  15. 21: Lord of the Rings
    My boyfriend at the time had not seen these movies and I took much delight in forcing him to watch them with me. In retrospect this should have been a huge red flag.
  16. 22: Harry Potter
    When everything is changing and confusing in my life I tend to reach for the familiar as a source of comfort. After I graduated from college, I re-read the series all the way through for the first time since the summer I'd graduated high school. I couldn't believe how much I had changed in that time. Reading something I knew so well, that was such a huge part of my life, and that hadn't changed at all made it even more evident how different I was.
  17. 23: Captain America
    This might sound weird but I was having a v hard time last winter and in a real dark place. And not bc we were getting a 6-foot blizzard a week in Boston. One night it got really bad and I wasn't sure I would make it through to morning. I put on Cap to distract myself and Cap 2 immediately when it ended. Tbh I think Steve in Cap 2 is almost suicidal in a way, and struggling with a depression that's just too much for him. He doesn't know how to live in his world, and I clung to his strength.
  18. 23 (Part II): Legend of Korra
    As I found a good medication fit and things got a little easier, I started watching Legend of Korra. She ends season 3 in a seriously dark place, and her struggles in season 4 to accept her limitations and cope with her PTSD made a lot of sense to me as I tiptoed into a better frame of mind. That character arc is seriously heavy and ambitious storytelling for a children's cartoon and I love how Bryke did it.
  19. 24: now!
    I don't really think of myself in terms of outside things/media "defining" who I am these days, though since I turned 24 I have some new interests that have been occupying a lot of space in my life. A big one is comics, which I've only really been reading since last spring. Another is the books I get to read and write about at work: children's books have been a huge part of my identity (& livelihood) for my entire life, but now I am ACTIVELY working with them and it's exhilarating
  20. 24: but really who am I kidding it's obviously Hamilton