Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of an Era and My Quarter-Life-Crisis: Reflections on the Past Decade

I can remember the New Year's Eve of the over-exaggerated 'Y2K.' Actually, that was one of my most favorite New Year's Eves. December 31st also happens to be my birthday, so if it is a great night, all the better. If NYE is a flop, when then, I lose two major events in one night. (Personally, I tend to think NYE is a bit over-rated).

Anyway, on the last day of 1999, I was house-sitting for my sister and we had this big bash at her house. We cleared out some of the rooms so we could dance on her hard-wood floors, friends just kept showing up - with friends of friends and food. By the last few moments of 1999, there were probably about 60 of us gathered around her big screen TV, watching Y2K around the world, waiting for the NYC ball to drop.

I just remember it was such an exciting moment...with so many friends and people around. Then, when the ball dropped, it was just hugging and kissing and toasting and celebrating. After, a bunch of us then decided to drive to Montauk Point (the eastern-most tip of Long Island) to catch the first sunrise of the new millennium.

We got our coffee and blankets and headed out...and to our surprise,
hundreds of other people had the same idea! What a great morning. A friend of mine even got quoted in the Newsday article that came out the next day.

So, the new millennium was off to a great start. But not long after that, I hit my 'quarter-life' crisis. And this is how it happened:

When I was starting my senior year of college in 1995, my roommates and I decided to write a time-capsule of where we thought we would be in the year 2000. True to our promise, we met at the Jersey Shore in the summer of 2000 to read them.

It was fun and sentimental...some of the girls were right for a few of their predictions. One of my friends was like 10 for 10, lol.

Me? Way off. I mean,
waaaaayyyyyy off. Not that my life was terrible - actually, at 26, it was a lot of fun. But, I suddenly realized that nothing, I mean nothing, had gone like I had thought. And that scared me. It hit me all at once how little control I really had in my own life.

And that sort of set me on this fearful, internal journey of the quarter-life crisis (which is actually a real term). I guess you graduate college with all of these hopes and dreams of how your life will turn out. Anything is possible.

And then, year after year, reality sets in more and the hopes of your dreams becomes just slightly less. Again, not that my life was bad. It was just different. And that was a little hard to deal with.

So, I guess the next decade was dealing with all of that. I mean, there were some wonderful moments along that next ten-year period:

  • I became a teacher at S. Christian School.
  • I have had some wonderful relationships with my students and co-workers.
  • My baby sister got married.
  • I saw the birth of three new nieces.
  • I had guardianship of my nephew (who was 15 at the time) for 2 and half years. Some of the best times of my life. Don't know how to express how much I love that kid.
  • I traveled to some amazing places on missions trips - Belize, Ukraine, Nigeria, Brazil, Morocco, Nicaragua, Trinidad.
  • I got my Master's Degree in Liberal Studies/English/Adolescent Education
  • I saw God heal a special friend from cancer.
  • I have been blessed with some of the greatest friendships in the world and had some great times with Becky, Jen, Ryan, Liz, Kelly, Laura, Liz, Jodi, Rhonda, Steph and many more.
  • I met J. and got engaged :)
  • I am planning a wedding and getting ready to buy a house.
  • I discovered Jesus in a way I never had before in my life and experienced true joy and healing.
But, there were some hard moments, too:
  • I had my first serious break-up that messed me up for a bit of time.
  • I struggled with being single into my thirties and all the sadness and hard stuff that comes with it.
  • I suffered from more than a few crushed dreams and disappointments in relationships.
  • I lost my grandma.
But you know, as I think about it, those probably were the worst times. And over the course of a decade, that is not half bad. Actually, it is pretty amazing. When I look at the weight of all the ways I have been blessed, compared to some of the hard things I've gone through, I had definitely made out well and have come out ahead.

My family is alive and well. And so am I. I live in America. I have a job - two, actually. I have an apartment I love and a house that I will be moving into. I found a godly man to marry.

And even though my life isn't what I thought it would be, I guess little by little I am learning to let go and be OK with so. So far, so good.

My devotional verse today was: '
Thus far has the Lord helped us.' (1 Samuel 7:12). And if His past track record is any indication of His future track record, I think I will be just fine.

Happy New Year and here is to all the best in the decade to come!


  1. Great post :D Good luck in the new year :D

  2. Awww, this was good. RIP - Grandma!! I see you figured out the blog post title thing. Look at you!! Happy Birthday Precious!! Love you!!

  3. Such a great post! It's always fun to look back and realize that nothing turned out as we expected it to, but it's ok (a lot of the time, it's even better). Have a great 2010!

  4. Very thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs. I also find that life is full of both, but usually more of the former.

    I also dealt with a painful break up in my mid to late twenties and remained single into my thirties. It was then that I met my husband and I understand why my life took the course that it did.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Stopping by from SITS.

  5. What a wonderfully well-written look back on your own personal journey. :) I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. :)