Today is a palindrome. 01/02/2010. Nutty, huh?
We just closed a decade. Though it happens on a routine basis, the routine isn't all too often--only ten times every 100 years! (Go math go!) I love end-of-year lists and have delighted in those and end-of-the-decade write-ups as well. I'm not too discerning when it comes to creating my own "best of" lists, but I thought it'd be fun to capture a snapshot of what I was doing every year this last decade. Easier said then done right now, but here we go.
In a rush to escape Arizona, I took extra credits before, during, and after school to graduate high school a year early. Started at BYU summer term living in Heritage Halls. Got a 94percent on my first test in the testing center (take that American Heritage!) and worked a total of three weeks in the MTC kitchen washing dishes. Failed my Tennis class that summer. 17-year-old me blamed the fact I got really really sick (which I did), but 27-year-old me blames the foolishness of taking an 8AM class. (Baby Me hadn't yet figured out the best part of college--late class starts.)
Considered not going back to school that fall (Quote from Alaina: "College isn't for everyone") for reasons I can't remember. Went back and lived in the dorms another year and didn't regret it a second--probably the most social year of my life. Lived with really fun girls (next door to Krista), dated and sent off a missionary four inches shorter than I am, and still couldn't decide on a major.
Volunteered for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and ended up with a 15-passenger van, a gas card, and a cell phone. Personal assistant (aka treated like a slave) to a family who donated $5million to the Games, but it all was worthwhile given the free tickets and crazy stories they gave me. Decided on a Communications degree but still couldn't pick an emphasis. Worked two jobs that summer -- full time at an OB/GYN practice and nights at MSA. Got my first cell phone.
Lived south of campus in a hole in the wall apartment complex that has provided some my funniest college stories (at least in remembrance). Perfected the art of nicknaming other people. Still no set major, but Fall (my fifth semester in) it finally clicked, and I paid the necessary attention to my school work. My family moved to Portland that summer, so I worked as a counselor at a camp in Maine (please don't ever repeat this mistake), and by working I mean either picking lice out of the darkest, thickest, curliest-hair you can imagine or getting fat.
Moved in with Alicia at the Clover Haus, ate a ton of her good cooking and met Melissa. Finally decided to declare and apply for the Public Relations program. Spent the summer in Portland working an insane amount of hours at a sub-prime mortgage lending company. Happy to have played my part in ruining the world economy. Had not a friend to my name in PDX and went to bed at 9 most nights. Waking up at 4:30am, but one of the best summers of my life. Lost a collective 100 pounds with my mom and sisters. Worked in the Academic Advisement Center in the Wilk both Winter and Fall semesters and enjoyed being visit by just about everyone.
Another year at the Clover lounging about as a 5th year senior. Interned at Target for $12/hour (big money in Provo) and found many a great bargain. Skipped more class than I should have, but laying in bed talking to Mel was more exciting than Econ 110. Worked at the same mortgage lending place that summer and moved back to SLC into the Holla House in September. Got a glorified Administrative Assistant position at the D-Mark. Met Stephanie and some other crazy fun people at work.
Early in the year I was promoted and asked if I wanted to change job tracks--from Client Services to Project Management. (Saying yes to that request has changed my vocational life.) Vacationed all over with the Holla House; Cancun to Las Vegas to Wyoming to NYC. Stayed up too late. Threw a "Sugarhouse High" Prom and disco-skated. Started thinking about a life change in early October and decided to move to Boston after the first of the year.
Mom and I drove cross-country in January, met Dad in Boston, set up house and then started the job hunt. Interviewed ~20 times before getting a job at a shady mcshady web agency (but I can thank them for the spike in my salary and the resume experience). As a joke, auditioned to be on America's Next Top Model. Met Julie and a host of other amazing people. Died my hair red in rebellion at being too sick to run the Half marathon I trained for. Quit my job after being recruited to work at Houghton Mifflin. Partied in NYC multiple times with both friends and family. Hosted Thanksgiving for my immediate family. Turned 25 and wore a red dress to celebrate.
Broke my leg in January (watch for icy stairs!) and spent a few weeks in Portland working from home. Traveled (in a boot) overseas for the first time to Ireland and London. Had Celtics season tickets and watched the C's win the world championship--fulfilling one of my previously unmentioned bucket list items. On a lark, applied for a job seen on Craigslist because their main office was in Portland and travel was mentioned. Started in May and haven't regretted it a single day since. Spent nearly every weekend at the beach and created adventures in Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, and Boston. Said goodbye to half the people I knew who were moving back West. Celebrated Thanksgiving week on a cruise in the Mediterranean (Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Sicily) with my G-parents and Alaina. For the first time, traveled by myself in Paris.
Traveled to Portland four times, went through the LDS temple (just in time for wedding season!), finally gave running an honest go and ran a half-marathon, czeched out Prague and Zurich over Memorial Day, survived the rainiest summer in Boston history (ironically it was NOT raining when our church burned down), and partied like a high schooler (Vans Warped Tour, Six Flags, etc.). Got brave and spent a long weekend with 50 strangers in New Hampshire for Labor Day, camped with the ward, and helped be crafty for both Julie and Kendall's (individual) weddings. Entertained leaf-peeping visitors in the form of my parents and NYC kids up for Education Conference. Visited the Southern Hemisphere for the first time on un viaje de Buenos Aires and la Ciuidad de Mexico. Celebrated Christmas in Arizona and the last few days of 2009 in Mexico on the beach with extended family.
So there you have it. A pretty full decade by anyone's standards. Penning my experiences of the last ten years has been an interesting exercise. In short form, it doesn't look like much; but when I think of the collective struggle outweighed by the accumulated joy of the last decade, I'm quite pleased.
At 17, while living in Arizona with my family, I celebrated the ringing in of 2000 in Boston.
At 27, while living in Boston by myself, I celebrated the ringing in of 2010 in Arizona.
I think the story here is to expect the unexpected--and look forward to making sense of the whole mess in hindsight. I'm looking at you 2020.