From 2010 to 2019: Looking Back on the Decade

Sunday, December 29, 2019

I rang in 2010 yelling, "Happy anniversary of Y2K!" which has since become my favorite way to ring in every new year, though it seems particularly perfect on nice, round anniversaries. I look forward to doing the same as we welcome in 2020 next week.

To be honest, 2010 doesn't feel like all that long ago - which is, I suppose, a hallmark of growing older. After reading Stephany's recap of the last decade, I thought it would be fun (if not extremely time-consuming) to put together one of my own.

2010: The Year I Started the Next Phase
I rang in the new year in Washington, D.C., with my favorite people, making for some of my favorite photos with my friend Elissa, who we couldn't have known would die a few short years later.

I left a job I really loved to work at a PR firm, a job that made me so miserable that I started vomiting before work every day & having panic attacks every weekend. I quit that job & moved home to Ohio, (f)unemployed & living with my mom.

And I started dating Nathan, my first serious-in-adulthood boyfriend, who lived in New Hampshire. After spending Halloween in the Granite State, I decided I should move there, too. (He's blurred out here because he has a wife & a kid & hasn't consented to being on my blog, like, a full decade later. But still.)

2011: The Year of My New Relationship
I kicked off the year with a (free!) trip to Israel, my first time traveling abroad, then moved to New Hampshire with Nathan and started my new job as a synagogue liaison. Weird job for a 25-year-old, but hey, they paid me.

I adopted my first cat, Stringer Bell, & attempted to get used to New England life, including my boyfriend's deployments & my first experience with a hurricane. I kept busy by traveling, including Israel trip reunions in NYC & Vegas, a visit to a friend in New Orleans, & a work trip to Vermont. Oh, & I got stitches for the first time, following a nasty fall in the shower.

One very cool thing? I saw Barack Obama speak, live, at my big work event. In truth, though, overall, I was sad. I was lonely. I was trying like to hell to fit myself into a life that didn't feel quite right, as much as I wanted it to.

2012: The Year of Feeling Displaced
At the start of the year, Nathan & I learned that we'd be moving to Red Bank, N.J. I returned to Israel, this time leading a trip instead of just participating in one.

I visited Arizona for friends' wedding; I saw Newsies on Broadway with my best friend; I returned to my alma mater for a newspaper staff reunion & to my hometown for my high school reunion; I was published in an anthology of Jewish millennials. And I started my new job as the social media manager (later digital communications manager) of the nonprofit I'd been working for since 2010.

I don't remember much about 2012, to be honest. It looks fun in photos, & I did have a lot of fun - but I was also struggling a lot with my New Jersey life, & I was a lot less happy than I let on.

2013: The Year of Starting Over... Again
The start of 2013 was tough one, as I continued to try to make a life for myself in New Jersey. I went back to Israel for a third & final time & returned home feeling pretty bad about the photos I saw of myself there, so I started Weight Watchers & ultimately lost 35 lbs.

I visited Austin for South by Southwest & went to London to visit my cousin. I traveled to Vegas for a big, fun blogger vacation, & I went back to D.C. for a joint birthday party with my friend Rachel. I saw my exchange student brother, Paolo, for the first time in a decade in a half. Again: The pictures look happy, but largely, I was not.

My friend Elissa died. I spent two weeks back in D.C. And then I broke up with my boyfriend in an extremely terrible, not-discussed-on-the-blog, much-regretted way, & I moved back to the District, alone. I felt better, in theory, but... not yet.

2014: The Year I Moved Home
A turning point of a year. I spent most of the year living in D.C., where life was good but kind of aimless & lonely. I just didn't quite know what to do with myself, good though life technically was.

I had a falling-out with a friend group in a way that was very public & awkward & embarrassing & painful & left me feeling pretty bad about myself. I turned 30 at a very fun birthday party that somehow also left me feeling awkward & lonely. I started dating someone back in Ohio & made a couple trips home to see him.

Overall, though, I just couldn't figure out what I wanted or what felt right - so in October, when I visited my mom back in Ohio, I decided it was time to move back. The next month, my aunt & I packed everything into a big, white moving van, & home we went. That's right: At age 30, I moved back in with my mother - but finally, things felt right.

2015: The Year I Fell In Love
Ohhh, 2015. The year that changed everything. It was the year I fell in love twice: first with Mike, & then with Cleveland.

I started out living with my mom but moved north that summer, shortly after meeting Mike online. Almost immediately, he informally moved into my cute little apartment in Tremont. His friends became my friends. And I got to know Cleveland, the city I plan to call my forever-home.

Other excellent things: I adopted the best cat, Helo; I met & took a selfie with then-VP Joe Biden; I was published in Woman's Day. In 2015, I wasn't faking it. I was really, really happy. What a year.

2016: The Year I Became a Writer
Another big year - bigger, even. Mike & I moved into a better apartment in the same building, & I did a lot of writing, namely for Hearst's now-defunct writers' platform The Mix. This piece I wrote for Women's Day went viral & earned me enough money for a trip to Peru with my family.

I also explored Cleveland quite a bit, celebrated the Cavs' championship win, got a new tattoo to commemorate looking forward, & oh, yeah, Mike proposed. I said yes, duh! Pretty great way to close out a pretty great year.

(Also, I saw a man die in an airport. Alas, I still cannot see thestrals - but yeah, amidst all the good stuff this year, that was pretty traumatic.)

2017: The Year I Got Married 
Big things first, even though it happened at the end of the year: Mike & I got married! It was the best & most joyful day, a million times over. And before that, my friends threw me a truly wonderful bachelorette party in Charlotte, which I think about often - any time I start feeling mopey & like I don't have friends.

We adopted our second kitty, Miss Dora Dinosaura, & we moved again, this time into our current apartment, which I love & never want to leave. I finally met some other local bloggers, & I was published for the first time in Cleveland Magazine after they "discovered" me on this very blog.

It was a really good year. A busy but not too busy year. A year when I felt pretty good about myself & my life. A year when I acquired a husband!

2018: The Year Everything Was Good 
At the start of the year, I legally changed my name - first, middle, & last! Mike & I went on a belated honeymoon, a amazing, relaxing, a-little-bit-too-hot-for-me trip to Costa Rica, where I was enthralled by monkeys & macaws in the wild.

After a fairly traumatic first ride, I fell in love with Harness Cycle. I got reaaaaal bold & wrote my mental health story for Cleveland Magazine. My best friend & my brother both had babies. We said tearful goodbyes to Mike's sweet grandmother, Mary Ann, & to my longtime mentor, Lynne. A lot of friends got married. Overall, I was happy.

I called 2018 "the year I got my sh!t together," although it sort of fell apart in the year that followed. Hey, it was a win for a minute.

2019: The Year That Was Non-Stop 
Ohh, this year. I kicked off the year with a vacation to Miami with one of my best friends, & it was a nonstop year of travel from there, including three trips to NYC for work. I was diagnosed with not one, not two, but three neurological sleep disorders

I started writing monthly dining reviews for Cleveland Magazine. I won an award for my essay-writing. I hit my 100th Harness Cycle ride. I was invited to contribute to an anthology that will be published in 2020. I got a promotion & a raise. I got my hypersomnia under control. And again, I traveled a lot.

But quite honestly, this year has also been a tough one. I have felt exceptionally lonely & extremely busy, to the point that I have barely been able to catch my breath or center myself or even read a damn book. I'm having a hard time. I'm struggling.


Overall, though? It's been a damn good decade. A full decade of adulthood. A decade full of friends & love & memories & personal growth & travel & all kinds of things, really.

It's weird to think of everything that will likely happen in the next decade. Mike & I will probably buy a house; we'll probably become parents. I'll turn 40 - & then older than 40. There will likely be new jobs & other big changes - changes I can't even anticipate or conceive of right now.

Life, man. As they say, "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Like I said: a damn good decade. Here's to the next one! 

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