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Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Decade Past: 2005 Milestones

The decisions we make can be life changing. Milestones reached can amount to defining characteristics in the future. Ten years seems to be one of those reflection points. A decade has past since these major milestones/decisions in my life. When I look back at them, they all have made me who I am today.

1. The Big Move
In February, I picked up and moved to the Midwest. It was the beginning of a tough job market leading to a recession, and my job prospects as a new graduate in Florida were slim. After a thorough job search spanning much of the Southeast, I moved. Within weeks I had interviews, and within less than two months I had a new job. Trading in oceans for lakes, sunshine for snow, and fresh oranges for asparagus was rough, but it was a good move.

2. The Genesis of a Beer Enthusiast
In April, I turned 21 and started my beer adventure. I tried my first beer (Heineken) and my first good beer (Paulener Hefeweizen). I started my beer tour at a local outpost of a national chain, which I finished before my 22nd birthday. This exploration turned into one of the cornerstones of this blog. Before beer-tracking apps, I had to figure out a way to get keep track of the craziness, wonderfulness, and sometimes awfulness of what I was trying. Too much money spent, too much to try, and too short of a memory span for me not to keep track. After one of my first $15 drain-pours it seemed fitting.

3. Love and Laughter
May 1, I started dating my Midwest roommate and friend from college. We had the same outlook on life and the same thirst for exploration and adventure. It seems like only yesterday, but also so long ago. We've been through so much growth together. We've walked wild and historic paths. We've enjoyed crazy and chill adventures. Such stories to tell, yet, our love is still fresh. I just spent this morning laughing for 15 minutes until I couldn't breathe over a crazy funny that no one else would begin to understand.

4. Furry Dictators
In August 2005, one of my co-workers guilted me into becoming a barn cat parent. I had no interest in cats, Mr. K thought he was allergic. But after seeing the pictures of this feisty pair of littermates, I couldn't resist. Neither of us had grown up with house cats, so it was the start of a learning experience. I spent hours of research on litter use, nail clipping, scratching deterrents, food options, bedding (which they never use), and toys. I learned about palpebra tertia, the cat's inner eyelid, seen in slow-closing eyes ready for slumber. So much I didn't know! After failed attempts to potty train them and too much money spent on new, unacceptable litter boxes, we still have these two rulers of our domain. I will always have feline hair on my clothes. I will never have a house plant. I will have to clean up protest poops from an unsatisfied tabby. I'll have my legs go numb with lap sitting and cuddle sessions. But, I like these kittens.

5. Tani-Style Transportation
In December, I bought a brand-new truck. The salesman was nice, and I got a decent deal for a base model. I had saved all year and was able to quickly pay off this investment. It was my first major property investment! I was definitely growing up.

6. Digital Memories
In December, I was given my first digital camera. I could snap away and see what came of it. No 35 photo limitations, no winding or risk of exposure. I took pictures to capture of all of my exploits around the Midwest, photos of visits home to ease any homesickness, and snapshots of  summer fun to get me through winter. I was easily able to share my experiences with my faraway family. Now I make photo books and graphics. I send cards and print large format landscapes on canvases. I send loved ones their annual calendar with joyful memories. I can mark major events with high-quality photos taken with my tiny, little, smartphone. I've traded photo albums for hard drives. My, have times changed!

It's fun to look back and see the decisions that made us who we are today. I wonder what decisions I made this year that I'll be looking back on in a decade!

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