Thursday, December 31, 2009

By way of re-introduction

New Year's eve seems like a good time to come back. Also, I'm currently employed in a job with minimal supervision and significant downtime, a job that works in a way conducive to reflection and the occasional blogging urge.

I very nearly forgot that this was the end of a decade... most decades seem to have a certain feeling of completion, a feeling that common themes defined the last 10 years well enough to speculate upon at their close. But I think that this decade will be characterized for its distinct lack of cohesion. There are obvious things... the inexorable march of technology, the political significance of a nation so stung by eight years of conservative overreaching that they elected a man that mere months earlier had been deemed unelectable. But there is so little to draw together from these past ten years. There is not that nice, tangible "decade" feeling to point to and say, this, this is what we got out of the "oughts."

The NPR stories have gotten me thinking about who I was at the opening of this past decade, and the very different person I am now. To wit:

On Dec. 31, 1999, I rang in the new year with high school friends in an empty house in the Denver suburbs. I was 18 years old. I was attending the University of Colorado at Boulder (I was majoring in Communication, also known as the "I have to pick a major? major") and was miserable among the alien culture of coke, bulimia and apathy that characterized the late-90s college experience.

Jesus, was I ever really 18? Did that really happen? And if it did, was it really 10 years ago? I'm pretty sure I still have clothes from that year (Not that anything worth talking about happened in 2000s fashion. Boring.)

And here I am. 10 years later, I'm 28, working as an office manager for a local importer/manufacturer in a wretched exurb of Denver (at this moment I'm listening to Lou Reed on my iPod in an attempt to drown out my coworker's Christian radio). I'm engaged (good). I write for free when I can, and have more or less given up on ever writing for pay again (not good). I'm determined by the end of the next decade- hopefully sooner- to be happier with what I do for money. Happier with a lot of things, actually. Because right now I'm thinking about how quickly ten years can go by... and how empty it can feel when an entire decade draws to a close before you even know it.


  1. Welcome back and congratulations on your engagement.

    We secretly suspect that the exurban dystopian day job is really a cover for a more vivid existence. After all, the phrase "alien culture" turned up in your post, and that surely must mean something. Or, not.

    Happy New Year.

  2. I see that you have listed England as one of your interests! Maybe you would be interested in my new blog:

    As often as possible I will post photographs of glorious vistas, charming close-ups, and interesting tidbits of life in Great Britain for the pleasure of Anglophiles everywhere!

  3. I think its a good thing that there is no defining "thing" to the zeros because to be honest the whole decade seemed like a huge step back. Let's just erase the whole decade from memory because it was, if you were forced to pick a "thing", was a decade of human tragedy. War, terrorism, natural disasters, economic hardships and Republican philosophy seemed to be the constants of the decade. If it wasn't 9/11 it was a tsunami. If it wasn't Iraq it was Katrina. If it wasn't the near collapse of the financial system it was the growing inequality in the distribution or wealth. There might not have been a defining identity of the 00's but the bullshit we've all had to live with over the last ten years will define us for years to come.