I thought it might be fun to look back on my last decade as I’ve read on a few other blogs. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
Started the year breathing a sigh of relief that the world didn’t come crashing down (remember that whole Y2K thing) and auditioning for grad schools. Managed to get into Ohio State and Yale but Yale turned out to be cheaper. Go figure. Graduated from my undergrad.
My graduation present was a trip to Disney for my parents, myself and my then boyfriend. Spent a week there and it was awesome! Moved to New Haven in the fall and was totally overwhelmed. My Dad’s mother died 4 days after classes started. Sort of sent my world into a tailspin of depression that would follow me for a while.
Made it through my second semester and successfully auditioned for and won a job with the Air Force band in Newport News, VA. Ending up turning it down because A) they wouldn’t let me wait to make a decision until my boyfriend re-auditioned (he didn’t get in anyway) and B) I figured if one year at Yale could do that for me what would two do (was apparently still in idealistic phase)? I think we bought my contrabasson in the spring. Did a couple of summer programs that year. Moved to studio apartment on the outskirts of New Haven that I loved for the year. Started doing a lot of freelance work in CT.
About a week into my second year 9/11 happened. We had no idea what was going on that day. I still had a receipt for buying course books that day until recently. People mentioned things throughout the day but none of it seemed to make sense. When I got home around 5pm that night there were several messages on my answering machine (yeah, not so much with the cell phone yet) wondering where I was (a few of my friends weren’t too sure how close to NYC New Haven was) and when I turned on the TV it all began to sink in. I remember crying a lot. And the next day having a special meeting at school to tell us where all our teachers were since many of them had hefty travel schedules both at home and abroad.
Started working for the Yale music library as part of my coursework (I guess I started to realize the orchestra thing probably wasn’t going to happen after a couple of auditions). Took some auditions. Took harp lessons my final semester (that was pretty cool). Survived my final recital. Graduated from Yale with my 1st Master’s Degree.
Decided to apply to library school. Got into every one that I applied to but decided to stay in CT since the boyfriend was going to be going to Yale that fall and I was told I could continue to work at the Yale Music Library. Decided to move in with the boyfriend that fall. Spent the summer going to bassoon camp, then the IDRS conference, then Banff.
Broke up with the boyfriend of 5 years just before we moved in together. Couldn’t afford to break the lease so we lived together for 9 months. Fun times. Started library school in the fall full time, working at Yale part time and freelancing A LOT. Simba comes into my life shortly after school starts.
At the end of the year decided that something had to give and dropped down to part time with the library school stuff.
Still living with the ex until the end of the school year. Sort of lost my mind with my new found freedom. Went to my first MLA meeting. Enjoyed being able to practice and play without taking lessons for a while. Went to bassoon camp, IDRS and back to Banff that summer. HWJF tells me I met him at camp this year but I wouldn’t talk to him. I have no memory of that!
Move into my own place outside of New Haven in the fall and can finally sleep through the night. Continue to go to library school, mostly online at this point, work at the library and freelance but the economy is starting to suffer and so are the gigs. I believe this is when I started going to the New Haven knitting group. It was a good time but a lonely time.
Pretty much more of the same. Wishing I was graduating from library school but still have a year to go. Went to bassoon camp and really met HWJF for the first time (in my mind) but he’s still got a girlfriend at home.
Really start getting into knitting at this point and with the encouragement of my new found knitting group finally realize that I can indeed make garments that fit a human being. Start my first blog on November 8th at the urging of some of said friends despite the fact that it’s my thesis semester and I don’t think I’m going to keep up with it at all (HA!). I start learning how to knit socks around this time too. I’m also practicing yoga at a local studio several times a week at this point.
I get to go to another MLA Meeting, this time in beautiful Vancouver and I start interviewing for jobs with the end of my degree in site. I am diagnosed with hypoglycemia around this time and start changing my diet. I get to meet Debbie Stoller in April and have her sign next to my picture in her SnB Nation book (yes, I’m in the book). I manage to finish my degree and choose not to walk at graduation. I head off to bassoon camp in May and this time it looks like HWJF and I are both free to see where things take us. I also go with my Dad and his sisters to take my Grandfather to the WWII memorial in Washington D.C.
Shortly thereafter I interview for a job at the University of Maryland which I end up getting but turn down. And then I start packing since my apartment complex is taken over by a company that does not allow pets. I visit HWJF at the music camp he’s working at in Maine, my first trip to the state since I was a kid. A month later he takes me on a whirlwind tour of Boston, and I mean ALL of Boston in a DAY that gave me a blister I will never forget. I move in August. I go back to Maine again before HWJF comes back to CT for the fall. I’m still looking for a job and have several interviews. I witness my first shooting on my way to work one day. Hurricane Katrina hits. I’m the maid of honor in my BFF’s wedding in Pittsburgh.
In October I get the news that I’ve been hired for the position I still hold today. Massive shopping ensues. I attend my first Rhinebeck. I cry a lot on my last day at Yale despite promising myself that I won’t and the long commute routine begins. Shortly after I get my job, HWJF takes his position and moves to the Princeton NJ area while still coming back to CT to teach during the week. I spend a lot of weekends in NJ. There’s a transit strike in NYC right around Christmas.
HWJF takes me to my first UNH bassoon day and I start knitting him his first pair of socks (and thereby create a monster! ). I join the knitting Olympics and do my first fair isle knitting. I get to go to Graceland as part of my trip to Memphis for MLA. I knit HWJF a vest for Valentine’s Day that he will almost never wear because it’s “too orange”. I must have forgiven him because we announce that we’ll be moving in together when my lease expires. I get to meet the Yarn Harlot for the first time. Just before bassoon camp I start the first Summer of Socks (we had 75 knitters and 3 sponsors that first year!). After we return I finally move my blog to the current domain. And then I move to NJ permanently. We take a trip to Maine where I sort of officially meet his parents as “the girlfriend” for the first time. I skew the “boyfriend curse” and knit him his first sweater.
I take my first spinning class and end up buying my first wheel, a lendrum, at Rhinebeck that fall. I also start some of my first dyeing experiments. I do Thanksgiving dinner at our place for the first time and survive. I almost get mugged for the first time during the holidays. We spend Christmas in Maine and I get acquainted with more of his family.
We start the year with one of our trademarked crazy tours of New England with several yarn store stops and a lot of spinning. My friend Jill comes to visit and we get to show her some of NYC and NJ.
I go back to Pittsburgh for MLA. I get to see the Yarn Harlot again, this time at FIT in NYC. I get my Woolee Winder and there’s a lot more spinning going on. We head to bassoon camp again in May and make our first trip to Bovidae Farm. I take my first dyeing class. After never having been to Philly we end up going 3 times! We bought our GPS around this time and I still swear it’s one of the best investments we’ve ever made. My Mom get’s her new dog Sandy and I decide I need to knit her a sweater but don’t get to it until much later. We head to Maine again and my Mom has her gall bladder out and ends up getting admitted overnight. We make a commitment to see some things we’ve never seen in NYC this summer which helps me write what is probably the most fun blog post I’ve ever done. I enter some spinning in the NJ Sheep and Wool festival judging and bring home some ribbons!
I go to Rhinebeck again and come home with a used Matchless. We spend Thanksgiving in Maine and I see my first live Moose! I get to hear my first opera at the MET thanks to my boss. Christmas is spent at my folks’ place and they give me the Woolee Winder for my Matchless.
This year starts with a bang since HWJF gets a promotion and we move to Northern NJ with less than a week’s notice. I head to Newport, RI for MLA this time around and get to meet a lot of wonderful knitters. I hit the big 3-0 and HWJF surprises me with a huge present. Not too long after that, we welcome a new member to our family!
I attend my first MDS&W and get to see new and old friends and purchase my first fleece. We head to bassoon camp again and I have my new Ladybug sent directly there. HWJF gets his first spinning lesson while we’re at camp. I start dyeing in earnest when we get home and finally open my etsy shop. We host our first 4th of July BBQ at our new place since we finally have a yard. We attend 4 weddings and nearly die of the heat when the AC dies and we have to drive home from Pittsburgh in 95+ degree heat. We also spend some time in Maine and start solidifying our love of Portland. I attend my first WOOL in Lake George. I buy a giant drum carder after selling my Lendrum and have a booth at the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. HWJF attends his first Rhinebeck and enjoys it!
We also take our first hike at what will become the site of our wedding. Little do I know he asks my parents’ permission to marry me that weekend. Sairy and Sharon buy their Ladybugs at my urging and don’t look back.
The US elects its first black president and I literally cry with joy as I watch the election returns come in. We end the year with Christmas in Maine and the first trip I’ve had to Webs in ages.
And finally we come to this year, which has been one of big highs and big lows and big life changes. We started off with an awesome little getaway to Portland where we enjoy art and snow and all things wonderful about Maine. I complete my first steeked sweater with a little help. I finally found a studio that I love and return to yoga classes. Then we head for Chicago for MLA and I get the best surprise ever.
Shortly after announcing our engagement, we quickly come back to earth when I find out that I’ll need surgery for a very serious condition I was completely unaware that I had. My health situation is pretty much all consuming for the majority of the year until my surgery on May 11th. After a week in the hospital, I return home to finish my recovery which is helped immensely by our trip to bassoon camp. After 6 long weeks, I head back to work and while I’m still trying to process everything I’ve been through, life starts to get back to normal. We spend a weekend in Maine and I get to meet my future sister-in-law and her children and get to go to my first Rockland Lobster festival. After surgery I decide that my renewed commitment to the practice of yoga makes it the perfect time to start a teacher training program and I start in early September. All the while, the details of our wedding start falling into place. We spend a wonderful Thanksgiving in Maine where our parents get to meet for the first time. And Christmas ends up at our house with just us and my parents.
What a decade and what a walk down memory lane this has been for me! Sorry it wasn’t exactly short. It’s amazing how much life can change in what seems like a very short time. This past year has probably been my most challenging yet. But despite what was a very frightening time in my life, I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for what was and I’m grateful for what will be. I would not be the person I am today without these experiences and I feel more prepared for whatever may come in the future after looking back on this bit of my past.
Most of all, I’m looking forward to 2010. This will be such an important year for us both in so many ways. I’ll graduate my teacher training in June and then it’s on to our wedding in October. The promise of a new adventure is always exciting.
I wish you much joy and happiness in 2010!! Peace!!