Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Life Looks So Exciting, When Written Down...

Reconnecting with high school friends involves a lot of synthesizing of the last 17 or so years of my life into a few lines of coherent prose. To whit, and because a lot of my history is scattered hither and yon throughout these posts, I shall summarize it all here! And maybe you too will think I am so freakin' cool that I should be in the history books! Or committed! (I've linked to older posts and/or websites for those who want to delve deeper.)

17 Years in 10 Points + Epilogue

1. Just before graduating high school, my best friend and I decided, damn it, we were going to work the 1992 Renaissance Faire (in San Bernardino) if it killed us. I think it almost did. But we were young and adventurous, and immortal and I don't think I ever had that much energy sans caffeine ever again. Adrenaline is a powerful drug, people. So is fear and the abject need not to get into hard drugs or pregnant just before leaving home for college, just sayin'.

2. Technically I did not pack up my room to move away from Los Angeles for reals until after grad school, but as I only really "lived" there during summer breaks, let's agree that mentally? I moved away the summer of 1992 to go to UC Santa Cruz.

3. After many years of schooling and fencing and working horrible hours at the library and being a writing tutor, I graduated in '96 and immediately moved up to "East" Menlo Park (as my students liked to call it) to go to Stanford's Teacher Ed Program and get a Master's degree and my first teaching credential.

4. The spring of '97, just before graduating, in the midst of intense student teaching, final projects, and as a mom-day gift to the women who filled that role in my life, I got married to a fellow I'd met at that 1992 Renaissance Faire.

5. Four years (!) later after learning how to sell books, some accounts receivable, AND actually using my degree teaching 7/8th grade ESL? My world changed. A lot happened in 2001, of course. The one that changed my life forever was that my then husband cashed out the last of his options just before the stock market crashed. Debt free (I know, hate me all you like), we took off to Mexico on a 32 foot sailboat thinking we'd be gone a year.

6. We spent two sailing seasons cruising down the coast of Western Mexico all the way to Zihuatanego, Grro. I was very disappointed that it looked NOTHING like the stretch of beach they used for the movie. But dude! We'd gone 3,000 miles in a sailboat!

7. March of 2003 we set sail to Hawai'i. Yes, same boat. Just the two of us. Yes, 32 feet on deck. We did not kill one another. Didn't even get into one single fight. 29 days. 3,000 more miles. I was the strongest and buffest I will ever be during that trip. We landed in Hilo in April and I was about 40# lighter than I am today. SICK AS A DOG, but damn, I looked good.

8. February of 2005 I was packing the last of my bags and boxes to get the hell out of dodge. In two years I'd earned my second state teaching license, found the sweetest and sassiest, and scariest kids as I taught middle school, met some of the nicest people in the world in our neighbors and friends, and a nightmare of a marriage that ended very badly.

9. I ran away to North Lake Tahoe. As far away from the ocean and tropical weather as possible. I fell back to library work, because my world works in circular patterns...and I took to crocheting them as well (circular patterns) and knitting many many hats and met another set of very nice people that made me think the world is not that bad of a place and everyone has a world of stories in their past and hai! They made it, so could I.

10. In February of 2006 I realized I needed to make real money again but the thought of moving to southern california was too depressing, the bay area was never my thing, Santa Cruz was no longer a turn of events that I don't think anyone could have orchestrated, I was but one of a group of friends decided to move to Washington State/the Seattle area at about the same time. It just kinda happened. And remember the circular thing? After temping for a year/year+, I got a job doing accounts payable.

Epilogue: I don't know if I'm going to teach again. The fact that I still wonder about it makes me think I might not mind earning yet another state's credential. I just don't know. In that same vein, I don't know if I'm sticking with accounting. I, I KNOW I'm not living up to my "potential." This is especially true when I run into old school friends who are doing amazing things. And knowing is half the battle, I suppose, but right now this is where I am. And no, I do not have children. I live in a pet-free building, so currently, no animals to call my own either. My relationship status is technically single.

Yes, I was vague in a lot of points because um, if I tell you everything then what do we have to talk about over copious amounts of coffee/cocktails/milk'n'cookies?


tana said...

I love this!! Wow you've lived quite an adventurous life. Regarding potential - I have come to believe that each person's potential is high, but what comes out of that potential sometimes looks pretty ordinary. We affect so much more than we can know. People, groups, organizations, places...

And comparing ourselves is our potential's death knell. Other people are always going to be doing cooler things that I am. Other people are always going to be richer and better looking too.

This little soapbox to say - you're amazing and doing amazing things right where you are.

Rick Andreoli said...

How crazy... I actually recall some of those sagas.

Missing you!