Well, it’s happening. This decade is finally closing and, as of tomorrow, I will finally be 30. (I know, it’s all I’ve talked about lately. But, I mean, 30.)
So, as I make this transition, here are some of the highlights of the last 10 years… A lot of things have blurred together, but hopefully I can piece together some concrete memories…
I spent my 20th birthday in a gay bar in Sandusky, Ohio with my roommate from Cedar Point (where I was working that summer). They misread my ID and thought it was my 21st birthday, so I got free drinks all night. Got my first tattoo. After my crazy summer working at America’s rockin’ roller coast, I started my sophomore year at Goshen College. I was in small group housing, and my housemates picked out my roommate for me… and well, she was nice, but that housing situation didn’t work out.
My actual 21st birthday, and it was just dinner with my mom. Steak and margaritas. Facebook was still a small thing, and only accessible to people from certain colleges. Since I was attending Ball State for the summer, I was able to join in early. Fall semester I was in China. And it was amazing. Living in Chengdu was absolutely great, though I did miss the birth of my first niece. A few months later I was spending spring break in South Africa working on a documentary. And before the end of my junior year, I did what was somewhat common for GC girls… I had a friend cut all my hair off — my first pixie cut. We also found out (while I was in China) that my stepmom had stage 4 breast cancer.
My final year of college had gotten off to a great start. One night, a Wednesday — the night we work on the student news paper — I got a call from my grandmother. Karen, my stepmom had passed away. I remember my youngest sister, who was 3 at the time, falling asleep on my arm during the funeral. Back at college, life somehow normalized some. I continued being on newspaper staff, I was still on the radio, and I even joined a percussion ensemble. A week after my last class finished, Book and Paper Arts, I moved to Chicago.
I celebrated my birthday at the beach with a few college friends who also lived in the city. My first apartment in the city wasn’t far from a bus route that went straight to the Lincoln Park Zoo, so I spent a good amount of time there my first summer. My first out-of-college job was as a nanny. A few months later I got my first job at Northwestern. I cut my first lease 15 months short (don’t sign a 2 year lease) and moved in with some college friends. They introduce me to tapas and I start going to a lot of concerts.
My friend Josiah introduces me to Mucca Pazza. I instantly fall in love and see them perform 3 times in one week. I get to talking to Elanor, who invites me to join the community band. So I buy a baritone online. I also adopt 2 wonderfully neurotic kittens — skinny little things that were found under a trailer and had ringworm. Tuija and Kaija instantly become my world. My dad takes us all out to North Carolina for a family vacation at the beach, and he proposes to Cynthia (a woman he had been courting for a few months). I finally buy a Wii. Some work friends and I go to Grant Park for Obama’s inauguration. Some not-so-good things happened to me. I put pink highlights in my hair. And at some point in this year joined 20-Something Bloggers and went to my first tweetup. I also left my roommates in Evanston to move into a garden apartment in Lakeview.
20SB Chicago happened. I quit my job at Northwestern. Spent 3 months building up credit card debt. Started working at a local toy store. Hung out with the 20sb kids a lot. Played a lot of Mario Kart. Ate a lot of cupcakes. My blogging friends introduce me to Brand About Town and I get to, graciously, attend my first Nintendo Ambassador event. Got my second tattoo — with my mom who got her first. Went to BlogHer, met Tim Gunn. Merched my first show for Mucca Pazza. Had my first Thanksgiving on my own. Actually became an official Nintendo Ambassador. Moved in with a blogging friend.
First signs of endo showed up. Including being hospitalized for 4 days. Starting on the day my childhood dog passed away. Was in and out of the ER a lot thanks to the endo. Left my job at the toy store because I was offered a job at an HVAC distributor up in Zion to be a marketing specialist. Had to get ride of my pink hair for this job, as well as an hour and half commute. Little did I know that said company was going through difficult times. Only a few months later, the whole company closed. I left Chicago to move in with my dad for 3 months. Found out about the portfolio school, applied and an enrolled. Moved back to Chicago. Went to Nintendo’s North American Headquarters for the 3DS launch.
Had a not-so-good birthday, but whatever. The 20SB Summit happened. I “left” the portfolio school, by taking a freelancing job for them to help rebuild their website. Then I was hired on full time to be a coordinator for their sister school — which focused on Adobe software and web development. Was accepted to U of C’s writing certificate program. Was really awkward around Andrew Bird (who Mucca performed with a few times that spring). Went on my first cross-country tour with Mucca. Tried to find a pterodactyl with Broste. The game Shark Attack was born.
Wii U Experience Tour happened, during a crazy weekend, but it was awesome. I became the new director of digital learning at my job. Elanor takes me to my first comic con (Wizards World). I went to a pug party with my (pug obsessed) friend Sharon. My friend Becky got married, and I got lost in St. Louis getting back from a great bbq joint. Wii U launch day, and I was first in line. Instantly fell in love with the Wii U. Bought my first full-sized Christmas tree. The cats think it’s the best thing ever. Went to my first C2E2. Met Felicity Day. Had my endo surgery a couple days before my birthday.
Spent my birthday recovering and playing Animal Crossing. A few weeks later, I’m laid off from my job. Spend the first few months of unemployment on tour with Mucca: Montreal Jazz Fest, LA, and Mass MoCA. In LA, I stayed at TJ’s old place and finally got to meet him in person. I also met a pug named Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Went to a Members Only morning at Lincoln Park Zoo for WBEZ with Joey. Went blonde. Participated in the Wii Fit U challenge and won for most miles walked. My team won overall. I felt super healthy because I was walking about 5 miles each day. I even did my first 5K. The twins were born. Teeny tiny adorable girls. Moved into a studio to save some money. In January, my grandpa passed away. Discovered just how much I love Tolkien. Went to my second C2E2. In April, I ended 9 months of unemployment and am working at Northwestern again.