Monday, August 17, 2009
Posted by Tallgirl at 7:10 PM
Each year on my birthday, I seem to spend a lot of time reminiscing. What was I doing this time last year? Two years ago? Ten?
Ten years ago I was turning 22. I had just graduated from college and was about to move from Southern Indiana to Portland, Oregon with one of my college friends. I was young and naive and unsure about where I wanted to go with my life and exactly who I wanted to be.
If you had told me back in 1999 as I rode my bike to work in the rain every day to wait tables, that ten years later I would be married, have graduated with an MFA in creative writing and be living in Philadelphia, I would have been surprised. I think I would have been happy to hear I was happy, but I would have wondered how I got from there to here.
Looking forward, I wonder if I will be equally surprised where the next ten years take me. You can have a plan, but it's usually the seredipidity that keeps things exciting. Not that my life has been all leaps of faith and chance. I got to where I am today because that 22-year-old-me made certain choices. She decided to volunteer in an after school program and learned she wanted to teach. She enrolled in a creative writing course at a private studio and decided to focus on memoir writing instead of photography or journalism. She decided to apply to graduate schools only on the East Coast to get a change of scenery. She decided to go out with the cute boy from the party and let someone new in. Each decision I've made has lead me here. It wasn't all chance, but I feel proud to be in this place and hope that I keep making the decisions that keep the 32-year-old-me pleasantly surprised when the 42-year-old-me looks back.