Last night, I was unable to sleep. When I'm having trouble sleeping, I usually read blogs or look through instagram, which actually makes me more awake so I need to stop doing that. I came across an instagram account for the University at Buffalo, where I went to school and earned my BA in English. Their instagram account had re-posted pictures of high school seniors who had gained acceptance to the university. I realized that it has been a decade, this May, since I graduated from UB. Whenever I look at my past I feel like I could have done more, but I think that's the feeling everyone has when looking back. I was just left with the feeling that life has changed so much in just ten years.
I can remember that year so well. So much happened and so much changed based on the decisions I made. Ten years ago I lived in my first apartment (before that, I lived in student housing) with Graziella; she's now is married with two children. I was dating Ian at the beginning of the year and was so enamored with him. I liked him so much and was crushed when he broke up with me and moved to California (this has happened twice, boyfriends leaving me for California in my twenties). Later that year, I met Alex and fell in love. I am so happy so say that I am still friends with these two men (both of whom are happily in relationships and I'm happy for them).
That year I met Colleen, and she has been one of my best friends. I remember someone telling me not to be friends with her because she had dated someone I had dated. Oh, the drama! I'm glad I ignored that because she has been a constant in my life for a decade. She is now married with a newborn son, Hans.
I made the decision to go to graduate school at the University of Vermont ten years ago. I moved away from Buffalo for the first time. Vince and Tom threw me a going away party at their apartment on Ashland. I gave away a bunch of stuff I didn't want to move. I went to a lot of dance parties and on Wednesday nights would go to La Luna for indie music night and stay out until 4am. Peter thew me a 22nd birthday party at his house on Breckenridge. I danced with my friends, listened to Rilo Kiley, Death Cab for Cutie, Neutral Milk Hotel, and The Killers (Peter swinged me around the dance floor when Mr. Brightside came on). I read the Rick Moody book Ian gave me and the Don DeLillo one Ryan lent me.
That was the year I became vegan. It was the year I began forming new ethics and caring more for animals. I became more aware of the food industry. It was the year I met Todd McGowan, my professor at UVM who became a major influence in my academic career and in life and thought. I got my first cat, who now lives with my dad because she's grumpy and just likes to be outside, hunting mice. It was the year I became friends with Leda, Aya, Josh, and Janet. I lived in the most dilapidated, gross, fun, party house. The walls were sinking and shifting and we threw the biggest Halloween parties. Our television screen had a yellow filter because it was so old and broken. Aya, Leda, and I dressed up as the Asian Kill Squad. I wore the shortest duct tape dress to our Anything But Clothes party. Leda and I would cuddle up with bowls of ramen noodles and watch Korean horror movies.
I miss a lot about that year: being so young, feeling like everything is achievable, and not having to worry about being too late for love or career. What I miss most is that that year my health was so good. I had so much energy. I didn't get sick once. I could stay up all night dancing or studying or reading Freud and I ws fine. I walked everywhere. I was resilient.
I'm grateful for that year. I think it's important to relive memories and learn from them. I've learned that I've let ten years age me too much. I think it's time I look at the world new again.
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