When Randi Bergman cleaned out her childhood bedroom earlier this year, she was probably expecting to find a few hidden gems lurking under the bed or deep within her closet. Maybe an old diary, chock-full of embarrassing entries from middle school, or a stack of cringe-worthy old photos from junior prom. But as it turned out, what she found was even better.
Because hidden in her old bedroom room — gathering dust for close to two decades — was a literal time capsule that would take her back to 1998.
“My mom made me clean the closet I left in peak mess when I moved out of my parents house,” explains Bergman, who lives in Toronto, Canada. “I totally didn’t remember putting it together which is shocking considering it took a whole year.”
Now, in case you’re too young to remember it clearly, 1998 was a pretty fine year. It was the year we were blessed with both Britney Spears and ‘NSYNC; the year we said hello to Dawson’s Creek and goodbye to Seinfeld; and the year that Google was first launched (not that any of us would know what the heck it was for another few years).
But Randi’s time capsule also reminds us of a few other things that happened back in 1998. Things that may have been lost to memory.
Things like …
How AWESOME those lanyard bracelets were.
How the Spice Girls were basically a religion.
How we all stood on line multiple times to see Titanic (and bawled our eyes out every time).
How awful braces were — but especially these torturous rubber band things.
How mixed tapes were the coolest, and how making an A+ one pretty much meant you were the coolest.
And how friendship bracelets were a wardrobe essential.
Among her favorite finds? “The movie tickets with rankings,” says Bergman. “Including the ones I bought, and then snuck into other movies and marked as such.”
Along with the time capsule, she was also pretty amused to find a case full of Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations — which she not only saved, but also later ranked in order of general enjoyment level.
Stumbling across her old memories also reminded Bergman of the “super positive and excitable” 13-year-old she once was.
“Even looking back at some of my diary entries at the time — I always had a positive spin on things I remember as not feeling great (not having a date to junior high prom, for example),” she tells Babble. “I had the type of blind confidence that led me to believe I was really going to need to find this capsule one day.”
And while she’s so glad she did, the Internet might be even more appreciative. Since launching an Instagram account devoted entirely to her time capsule finds, Bergman’s old memories have since gone viral.
“[I was] pleasantly surprised but not shocked,” says Bergman, who is now a writer/editor who covers mostly fashion, culture, and the arts. “I think everyone can relate and nostalgia is so infectious.”
That’s for sure.
As for what Bergman would go back and tell her younger self now if she could? It turns out, not too much.
“Honestly, I think she had it together!” she says with a laugh. “I’d be more curious to hear her advice for 31-year-old me.”