Feliz Año Nuevo! Meg arrived on Wednesday so I've been mildly distracted by said activity and therefore have not had time to sit on my bed and write out my awesome list, that I've been building in my head for days now, about the decade in review. Asi. Ahora. Tengo tiempo.
This how it's been the last ten years. Bear with me. It's a long one.
2000: Ending of the worst three years of my life--Middle School. But, not until I saw the Backstreet Boys, live in concert. Made my first big trip out-of-state to New York and Washington DC. The taste of travel officially lands in my veins. Ending the year by entering into a student body population of over 3,000 where I will spend most of my waking hours. For the next four years. The rejection of High School sports. And a summer spent working as a camp program aid. All squeezed in there. End the year in style with my new friend: Megan Colnar.
2001: A year of blurry transitions--in hindsight. Still in the process of adjusting to High School, but unsure of where it will lead me to fitting in since I've been exiled from the basketball team (thanks Coach Ralphs, you're a bitch) Strangely enough on my way to school one morning I hear on the radio about the greatest single terrorist attack our country has ever experienced. While it was happening. Strange day. Without knowing it, everything suddenly changes. I joined Key Club. And somehow I find my niche. Meet Heather Hurst and Alexis Duda. Turn 16-years-old. Experience death of a grandparent. End the year with some hesitation and confusion. What can I say, I'm sixteen?
2002: Academically I'm not doing so hot. Distracted. Trying to survive being sixteen. I join a non-denomination church which doesn't go over so well with my 'born and raised' Catholic mother. Turns out that God can lead you to some pretty cool places: like winter ski trips to New Mexico. First time I saw snow. First time I skied. Last time I skied. My parents were feeling very generous for their spoiled daughter that year. I acquire myself a nice car which I forbiddingly drove to school and popped a tire. My first experience of Karma. Summer starts with my car and a job as a lifeguard. I adventure into one of the greatest summers of my life. I turn seventeen. And end the year in one of the biggest high school crushes in the history of high school crushes.
2003: More involved with Key Club and finally feeling settled in puzzle piece of high school fitting in. Still in love with high-school-boy-crush. I got it bad. I start writing a lot more. Emotional teenage-blog bullshit, but at least I'm beginning a passion for something, because obviously Chemistry and Physics are not my strong suit. Work as a lifeguard for the summer again. This time joined by my brother and a new friend Kristian Jonsson. Enter into my last year of high school and into a new group of friends, as well. I also start babysitting for one of the greatest families ever: The Longeneckers: current kid count: 2 girls. I loose 30lbs in three months and I'm elected Homecoming Queen. I turn 18 and my parents throw me a casino party--out of our house. I love birthdays. The year ends with the excitement of my last semester of high school to come.
2004: Spend the first half of the year pretending to not still be in love with my high-school boy crush, but let's be honest those things never die. And when they do, they die hard. and fast. and in unexpected ways like with arguments over pirating music off the internet. The Spring time bring college applications and I'm still undecided about what I want to do with my academic future. I start undisguised rumors to the yearbook staff that I will be attending Harvard. Some narc gets in there and destroys my plans to fool the school and I go unmarked into the future. Because I was distracted and hammered by all the other people in my life getting accepted to NYU and other prestigious schools I decide to stay at home and go to the local university for a year. Not my preferred option, but seeing as though I spent my first six-weeks of college with Mono, looking back it was the best choice. I end the year in recovery from Mononucleosis (thank you first boy I ever kissed) and 15 credits into a college degree. I continue babysitting for the Longeneckers: current kid count: 3.
2005: I spend the beginning part of the year between my house, the university and the Longenecker house. I earn enough money to buy myself my first iPod. Welcome to the beginning of the iPod generation. While at a study abroad fair I get the itch to travel. live. internationally. I apply to University of North Texas. Accepted. Pass my summer by working at Starbucks as a coffee barista whore. But I did learn that eating lemon bars and iced soy lates all summer will taste delicious but also add 15lbs. Also, that people love their Starbucks. I mean, really fucking love their Starbucks. So I enter into the world of Denton, Texas. And I find out that living with someone from somewhere 'exotic' like Alaska isn't always the best match for me. Especially when they ask you questions like how do you spell "orange?" Make friends with my college algebra TA while both swooning over the teacher's red-headed-beared glory. Oh, Stephen Muir. In realistic world: I find myself a college boy crush and I am smitten. Until I realize he's not. Getting serious about the idea of studying abroad in England. Beginning devising a plan to convince my parents. Semester ends. New Years with Megan Colnar.
2006: Second semester at UNT. The crush I have on my college algebra teacher is now heightened by the fact that I am single. "Random" encounters are plotted out along with project ideas around his friends' band. Living with a different roommate now, dorm life is more tolerable except for the fact that we're always getting noise complaints every time we want to watch a Disney film. Begin dating a opera singer. And I enter the world of house parties and hipsters in Denton, TX. College party experiences have fully commenced. Parents are sold on the idea of my going to England for a semester. My first year at UNT ends. My first 'official' college relationship ends. My summer job at Hobby Lobby craft center as a cashier begins. Summer love: I see him. I want him. I start dating him. I'm falling. Spend ten of the most significant days of my life backpacking through the San Juan Mnts in Colorado. Learn the meaning of type two fun. And that eating dried food for a week does wonders for your figure. Enter back into the world of UNT. Officially an Advertising major. Officially going to Leeds University the following spring. Semester ends and I'm head over heels in love. But leaving the country in a few weeks.
2007: I get on the plane. I cross the ocean. I'm in England. First few weeks were very accented. But I find my homies. And I realize. I'm in England. And the fun begins. Looking forward to four weeks of travel. Then. I'm dumped. In an email? I think. Four weeks of travel: England, France, Italy, Spain. Story books of wonderful, marvelous things seen. Spend the rest of my time enjoying myself (drinking.). Learning about myself (shopping.). Discovering myself (writing.). Changing. Mom visits and we travel: France, Holland, Czech Republic. After five months of describable fun. Time to go home to Texas. And someone just took all the helium out of the balloon. I make a quick summer turn around to Denton, TX so that I'm no longer reminded of all the things (one particular person) that are left behind at home. Summer school. New apartment. New job on campus at the Study Abroad Center. New friends. My last year of college begins and I'm heading straight into advertising world. where happy hour is before our 6:30pm class. I pass the New Year with Camilles on Wheels at her sexy Texas ranch. Too much tequila.
2008: Liz Dwelle has entered my life. And life with Liz Dwelle is fun. Thursday night tradition commences: dinner. wine. chatting. wine. dancing at Hailey's. Last semester in college hasn't brought much luck with the boys, but it has brought a very nice boyish-style hair cut. And no plans for the future. I seek advice from advertising resources, but the Dallas lifestyle does little to appease me. After four years of intermediately hard work periods. I graduate. C'est over. I visit Portland, Oregon in hopes for it to be my future home. Somehow I end up broke, at my parents house, surrounded by cardboard boxes and job as the wine department head at World Market. Seven months pass. The year ends. I'm still no where I want to be. Happy New Year.
2009: I save enough money to visit Megan in Chile for three weeks. Hello South America. Three weeks in Chile and I'm sold. My four semesters of college Spanish is failing me, but I don't care. I finally feel like I can breath for the first time in almost nine months. I return. Faced with the reality I left behind in South America. And I realize: I'm unhappy. I make a decision. I will quit my job. I will scrape together what money I have. I will post-pone my college loans. I will move to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I will learn Spanish there. And I did. And people thought I was a little bit crazy. But in all honesty it only crossed my mind once, in a rare moment of shear panic on the way to the airport, and was never to be seen again: What the fuck am I doing?
I did one of the bravest things I've ever done in my life. I got on that plane. I started from scratch. I found a place to live (three in fact). I found a job. I found some friends. I found a small skill for speaking Spanish (if I'm not so lazy). I found my happiness. I turn 24. And appreciate my current roommates for all their amazing kindness. And Spanish skills. Megan Colnar arrives two days before the New Year. And we begin our second decade as friends together in South America.