on leaving my formative years in the dust

28 06 2010

ahhhh, ten years. a decade. who knew i’d ever remember one as a whole unit of time? not this girl. we went to see rascal flatts last night and they said they’d been around for 10 years. i actually remembered hearing their first single, “praying for daylight,” and not knowing who they were, and then continuing to love pretty much everything they’ve come out with since. ah, my love for music’s never changed. that ten year thing, though… got me thinking.

ten years ago i was in turmoil. well, not really. but kind of… it was the summer after my first year at UGA, i still didn’t know what i wanted to do with my life, still didn’t have any kind of romantic interest (i mean did i ever?!), still worked at the bakery (oh i miss that place!). i was actually working two jobs that summer- the bakery and the days inn downtown (lord, how i survived that i’ll never know) at the reception desk. pretty much the worst job ever. i was traumatized all summer. anyway, i remember that during *birthday season* 2000 my parents were actually in hawaii celebrating 20 years together, my sister was mad they were gonna be gone on her birthday, and i was spiraling through life in my normal dreamworld. keeping boys at arms length yet wanting so badly to one day find true love. i remember driving from my hotel job to my bakery job one day before my birthday, changing from one uniform to the next while driving (crazy kid), and bursting into tears realizing i wasn’t gonna be a teenager anymore. sadness, right?!

turns out i haven’t changed much. sure, so much has happened these past ten years, but the end product is, for the most part, the same. i’m still a contemplative, dreamy little girl who still has two jobs, still dreams of true love, still might burst into tears about no longer being a teenager… hehehe. that outburst was a preview to greatness, though. look at all that happened post-cry! i found love (though i didn’t realize it for another year or so) just a month or so later, that same summer i turned 20. i had some awesome years in athens. i built houses. i went to europe for the first time & fell in love with it. i drank wine in italy, and played with watercolors. i found *paris.* i went “west” for the first time and saw the rocky mountains. i loved puppies. i rescued puppies. i dreamed of pigs. i saw a lot of shows….. i discovered some of the world’s most awesome music through the internet. i did a half-marathon. i hiked mountains. i sang in glee club. i learned to take pictures, and then i discovered digital cameras and learned to take pictures all over again. i was immersed in the world of cycling. i learned to love beer, i mean really love it. i learned a little bit of italian, german, french, portuguese, and spanish. i graduated from college. i  went to grad school for anesthesia, something i knew nothing about until the first day of class. i learned to study (finally). i got drunk. i learned what being hungover was. i learned how to be charming, how to smile, how to manipulate, how to get what i want. i paid off debt. i got into more debt. i lost touch with some of the best friends i’d ever had. i made new friends. i started hanging out with my old best friends again. i went to a lot of weddings. i was a bridesmaid. i tried things i never thought i’d try. i got arrested. i embraced “depressing” music. i joined a book club. i learned what love was, how to love, what to do with love. how love works. i learned what heartbreak was when said love fell out of love after seven and a half years. i bought my first car. i moved out of my parents’ house and lived by myself. i learned how to be alone. i learned how to be independent (that one’s huge!). i traveled, lots of places, with friends, family, and by myself. i’ve grown in innumerable ways, practiced being a “grown up,” and yet: i still feel like an uncertain 19 year old, wondering what the next ten years will bring.

i’m sure turning 30 was never supposed to be like this, in my head. i expected more, wanted something more stable. life never turns out the way you write it, though. i’ll embrace whatever turning 30 has to offer me, even though i have nothing to offer it. i’m throwing my hands up.  i’ll just be that 19 year old again, crying in the front seat over the loss of another decade, over the thought of having to “grow up,” over the unknown. it turned out pretty great last time. i am, actually, a little bit excited. 😉

-j.

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4 responses

28 06 2010
Ryan

🙂 This was fun to read. Don’t “grow up” if it’s not you. And you’re not losing another decade, you’re gaining one. And I think my name totally needs to be in here somewhere, as in “I met the coolest dude in the world, Ryan”.

30 06 2010
james

hehehe thanks ryan 🙂 i’ll make sure to mention you in my *addendum*… you make sure to hold your breath. 😉

29 06 2010
Amy Boardman

This has indeed inspired me. I can totally relate to the sudden outburst of tears. It’s hard to get used to being in my mid-20’s. But, we might as well embrace and accept!

30 06 2010
james

i’m just gonna keep pretending to be in my mid-20’s 🙂 worked well so far!

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