The format was shamelessly stolen from Amy, but there are versions all over. You know, just in case you thought I was being original for a change!
As I reflect on the decade, I realize that there are many things I don’t remember, but the one thing I do remember is the men. It was this decade that I dated. This decade that I had my heart broken (many times). And this decade where I found someone who loved me for me. So while there are other things I reflect on, it’s the path to love that I’ll most remember. (God that sentence is schmoop-filled. Sorry.)
In 2000, I was finding my way as a college freshman at Michigan State University; one of some 40,000+ undergrads. It was hard at first, but by the turn of the millennium, I’d joined a little club that worked with the Admissions Office. I met a few friends, and formed stronger relationships with the ones I already had. I was also having a rather scandalous non-relationship with a certain wrestler. Scandalous because he had a girlfriend and I happened to not be her. Some people go crazy and get drunk every day when they get to college, I went crazy and fell for a taken man.
2001 brought a new job in the freshman orientation office, thanks to that little club I’d joined the year before. It also gave me a summer job at school. The off-limits man was still in the picture, much to the dismay of friends.
That fall also brought a new man in my life, we’ll call him Mac. Mac and I shared an evening class together, and every night he’d either walk or drive me home safely, trying his hardest to woo me. While I didn’t quite let him in, I also wasn’t completely prepared to let him go.
In 2002, despite the current state of the world, I moved to D.C. for a semester study. I worked at a little PR firm and lived on Capitol Hill in a house with 12 other girls (to call it a wannabe sorority house would be an understatement). In between the fun of living in my favorite city, I was also deeply homesick. Every night, I talked to Mac on Instant Messenger and dreamt of coming home to him.
The summer brought me home to the same job I’d had with freshman orientation. Mac and I went out on one date, and I suddenly decided that he wasn’t the guy for me. Later in the summer, I reconnected with an old friend, D (not to be confused with DD). Mac got further shoved aside as D and I became closer through the fall.
I also got some news in 2002. My kidneys had finally declined to the point that I needed to start the process for a transplant. Denial became the word that would best describe me.
2003 included good times and bad times with D. Break-ups, make ups, and everything in between. I went back to the same orientation job that had been so good to me, and watched many of my friends graduate that summer. In the fall, I went back for my final semester. I was handling a full load of classes and an internship. I lived alone in the dorms, and though I didn’t realize it, my illness was taking its toll. I wasn’t very social, and I consider that fall the low point of my college career. In December, I graduated and moved home.
January of 2004 brought my kidney transplant. The year before, my aunt had done the testing and found out she was a match. She flew to Detroit in the dead of winter and literally gave me a piece of herself. The first part of the year was filled with recovery and a healthy dose of depression as my college days became more and more distant and I struggled with self-confidence in my ability to get a “real” job.
In November, I finally got a job and things began looking up. My relationship with D was on an upswing and I thought we were headed down the aisle someday.
Stay tuned for part 2!