As we all welcome 2010 today, I figured I’d follow the crowd and create my own list for the past decade. I was still in middle school when this decade began.
These are the memories that will carry me through the next decade. (I tried to break it down by “era,” which basically means by the schools I attended. Nothing is chronological beyond the section heads though. I’m just coming up with them as I go; consequently, this will take me the better part of the day.)
- Meeting Paul, Noel and Justin in my honors classes. Noel started out as “that-boy-who-keeps-breathing-heavily-behind-me” in algebra. I first knew Justin as my neighbor’s ex. Just about ten years later, and we’re all still friends even though we’re separated by so many miles.
- The first instance that I can recall being really interested in my cultural heritage. I was in Maharlika for a year.
- Learning how to play the violin. I set my mind to playing an instrument, and I became damn good at it at the time. Too bad I couldn’t (and still can’t) afford my own.
- Joining the yearbook staff. This was my first taste of working on a publication. I was hooked immediately, even though editing those god damn eighth grade “shout-outs” was a pain in the ass. “To my evah-so-dearest ______… h0me g1rl5 4 evah!” Seriously.
Carson Senior High School:
- Meeting Tony in my 9th grade biology class. Little did I know we’d be best friends after that.
- Getting my first boyfriend and my shortest relationship to date. Many “firsts” here, but not that big one. Ha! We broke up on bad terms but we’ve grown up enough by now to have a nice chat when we randomly ran into one another at SFO.
- Mother married a guy from Oklahoma out of the blue. The family completely changed after that. Consequently, my brother and I became closer, and we moved in with Dad in Cerritos.
- Joining Humanitas. This brought me closer to a lot of people I’d known in middle school, like Paul, Donna (I’ve actually known her since I could crawl), G-R-U-E-Z-Ohhh!, etc. Humanitas introduced me to wonderful mentors like Ms. Frank, Niere, Ms. Weir, and Mr. Lee. Before then, I never really felt that my teachers had a vested interest in my intellectual//social development.
- Started dating Richard in 10th grade.
- Humanitas went on a field trip to Catalina Island. One night, while everyone else was snorkeling, I just lay on the dock and stared up at the sky. Probably one of the most peaceful moments in my life.
- Joining the staff of the Trailblazer, which cemented my interest in writing and journalism. Before then, I was convinced that I’d be a doctor. Woops.
- Taking a summer physics class at UCLA with Paul and Lilly. Public transportation had been foreign to me up until that point, but it was fun getting lost in LA with my friends.
- Taking that trip to the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve with Niere, Paul, Donna and Guevarra. That first “walk” led to wading through a stagnant river, where I slipped on a rock and banged myself against a rusty car. On another hike, we giggled hysterically because tiny flies were swarming around our guide’s butt. This trip also marks the first time Guevarra and I actually hung out, and now he is also one of my best friends. (Notice the trend: I retain friendships. So blessed.)
- Joining the Academic Decathlon. I could use my brains in something wholly competitive. I still have my musical era CDs and my letterman jacket. So many hours spent in DC’s backroom, drinking coffee and munching on trail mix and chocolate as we “studied.”
- Meeting Leibner and DC. Two of the most influential men in my life. DC was my decathlon coach, and Leibs was my first philosophy and film teacher. Everything they introduced to me broadened my mind and made me realize there is so much beyond Carson.
- Dating Oz. The first time I was head-over-heels in “love,” and also the first time I was ever truly rebellious against my family. While I still look back on it and cringe, I admit it is likely the defining relationship in my life so far, in that I now know what love is, and that was not it. Not by a long shot.
- Attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for a summer session. First time away from home, but at least Paul came with me. It was a wonderful summer. Met Jeff, Patrick and Alina there. Also had my first fling there. I still keep in touch with everyone, thanks to Facebook.
- Ithaca wasn’t exactly a happening town in the summer. I fell asleep on a couch in a club.
- Interspersed within these years are dozens of kickbacks, house parties, beach bonfires, and bowling hang-outs. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of just hanging out with my friends on the quad. It was such a luxury to see all of my friends every day.
- Speaking of bowling, I was out with Tony and Noel once. I believe the World Series was on the TV. The guys were watching that when it was my turn. When they turned around, I’d already managed to slip, and my entire body was somehow on the other side of the line.
- Visiting Boston University on my own to make my final university decision. It was the first time I traveled anywhere alone, and it was horribly daunting. But I loved it. I could go where I pleased, and I could truly be myself without old friends or family wondering when I changed.
- GRADUATING! It was bittersweet. I was ready to move on to Boston, but I had so much to leave behind: a boyfriend, dozens of good friends, etc.
- Moving was tough. Packing all of my things, making sure I said all of my farewells.
- Living with four girls in one room with a communal bathroom that was shared by the rest of the 14th floor of Warren Towers. Up until then, I mostly lived with my dad and brother, and I almost always had my own room. This dorm situation was incredibly uncomfortable. Thankfully, I had one awesome roommate.
- And she gets her own little tidbit. Caroline was awesome. She loved to read, she loved the theater, and she cared not for the piles of fashion magazines and and clothes that littered the other half of our room. If I had stayed, she probably would have become one of my best friends.
- Caroline introducing me to Ash, Kim and Valerie, all cool ladies in their own right. We visited the Museum of Science in Boston, and at the time they had a Star Wars exhibit. We explored Boston together. They introduced me to Monty Python. Kim and I saw “The Last 5 Years” twice, partly because Caroline was doing the lighting, and partly because we enjoyed the story.
- Attending a Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
- Being IN Boston the night the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in almost a century. REVERSE THE CURSE! Caroline and I ventured out that evening, only to be frightened by the masses of drunken men trolling the streets of Boston. Someone tried to pull me deeper into the crowd, and another guy bit her on the shoulder.
- I’m highlighting all the good times, but I need to mention the homesickness. It was rough. And it didn’t help that Oz kept getting frustrated with me. One night my RA found me crying to myself in the hallway. It wasn’t just because of him though. My relationship with my family was so strained at that point that I barely lived with them before I moved to Boston.
- Starting therapy. Yep, things were pretty crazy in my brain. I was crying all over Commonwealth Ave. One day I couldn’t make myself go to class, and ended up sobbing on a bench along the Charles River. Most people just stared at me as they walked by, but one young woman stopped to offer me tissue, and ask me if I was all right. I don’t know her name, but she convinced me to get help.
- Leaving BU. Still one of my biggest regrets, behind staying with Oz for as long as I did. I often think about where I might be now if I hadn’t left BU. So it goes. I wouldn’t trade what I have now to find out.
I’m skipping Santa Monica College. Not much happened there. Took some classes, sat in horrible traffic, etc.
El Camino College:
- The Union. My future didn’t become any more discernible until I joined the staff. Before then, I was biding my time by just taking GEs and classes for fun. The Union was a real turning point in my life. I gained a bevy of new friends (David, Matt, Rob, Cris, Kathy, Berenice, Nancy, Sara, Jeremiah, Heather, Emily, etc.) and was reintroduced to activities I really enjoyed doing, namely, writing and editing.
- Going to the ACP convention in St. Louis with David, Jeremiah, Aaron, Angela, Nancy and Aaron. Nancy and I became closer after that, and we were in town the night the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.
- Attending and winning at various JACC conventions.
- Attending another convention, but in Washington, D.C. We had a much larger delegation of Union staffers on this trip. Matt and I ended up wandering around a lot on our own.
- Breaking up with Oz just days before our three year anniversary. I’d had enough of being unhappy, and of feeling stuck. It just took me so long to do it because I was afraid of all the changes I’d have to make.
- Dating Saunders. After ending that relationship, Noel and I went on a fairly impromptu Vegas road trip. David kidnapped Emily and showed up at my hotel room door at 4 a.m. Needless to say, I was impressed.
San Francisco State University:
- Moving to the Bay area. Certainly an adjustment on so many levels, but I love it up here.
- Getting a job at SFMOMA, and meeting Caroline, Christine, Vanessa and Carmel.
- (I’m stopping here because now I’m tired. I’ll add more later.)