5 Years of SST-S: A Trip Down Memory Lane

(By the way, thanks for bearing with me in my last post. I try not to get too angry or ranty on this blog, but secondhand smoke gets my blood boiling like nothing else, and venting about it was a long time coming. Now for a more pleasant post.)

Today is the five-year anniversary of SST-S. (Also my cousin’s birthday—happy birthday, Lauren!) Wow. What was I doing five years ago? And what have I done since then?

Five years ago I had just moved into my first apartment in Chestnut Hill with Christina and Chris. It was a fantastic apartment, and since it was about 500 feet away from my alma mater, I could kind of lull myself into believing that I was still in college. I was working at my first full-time job and making new friends. I had never been on a date. I was toying with the idea of eventually going to grad school for creative writing or journalism. Erin, Lindsey, and Jackie lived down the road in a tiny basement apartment. Julie had just moved to Inman Square. I was just starting to make friends at my new job. The Red Sox were at the end of a craptacular season, and Jon Lester had just been diagnosed with lymphoma.

The year that followed turned out to be a very, very hard one, for personal reasons that I still can’t write about on a public blog. Lots of ups and downs, and Christina was a saint for putting up with me through it all. During that year, I became obsessed with the final season of The O.C. The Boston Globe excerpted me a few times in their now-defunct “Readers’ Blogs” section. I went on Accutane and eventually stopped when I realized that it’s probably easier to get a handgun permit than it is to get a prescription for Accutane (you have to get a new one every month) when you’re a woman of childbearing age. I re-wrote my novel that was my senior thesis and started looking for an agent. I wrote for Not For Tourists and had an ill-advised biography that included the phrase “spews generational angst.” While researching one of my Not For Tourists pieces, I got lost in a park in the dark in East Boston and spent a terrifying half hour trying to find my way out. I tried to figure out which bars I could go to without running into too many college students. I went to a Christmas party where we spent the whole time talking about how tired we were and reminiscing about college. I went on a date with a guy I met at a bar. He creeped me out. I survived The Great Cartoon Bombing of Boston. I watched the 2007 Superbowl with a bunch of loud, drunk, slightly crass Greek Orthodox seminarians (aka my roommate Chris’s friends). Erin, Lindsey, and Jackie had to move out of their apartment after a sewage leak. I pigged out with Christina for the last episode of Gilmore Girls. I celebrated my twenty-third birthday by going to Potterpalooza in Brookline and getting the last Harry Potter book. I was happy. I was sad. I was scared. I cried, I had anxiety attacks, I had psychosomatic illness, I had hypochondria. Christina and Erin graduated from grad school and found jobs. Christina moved to Fall River just as I got a new job.

The next year started with a new roommate, Stephanie, moving into the room that Christina had vacated. I started my new job and hit it off right away with my new boss. Within four months, I got promoted, which I’m still insanely proud of. I made new friends at work. The Red Sox won the World Series again. I joined Match.com and went on some awful dates. I had a huge crush on a coworker. I reviewed books for TeensReadToo. I went on my first business trip to San Francisco and had the time of my life. I went on another business trip to Philadelphia and sat next to a hilarious woman on the way back. A lot of my old coworkers ended up working with me again due to a merger and the incestuous world of college publishing. I tried sushi for the first time and got completely addicted to it. I drooled over Michael Phelps. I got bitten by a dog. I got so sick of riding the Green Line to work all the time (Ginny just posted about how annoying all the college students on the B Line are) that I decided to move to Davis Square.

Year 3 started off in Davis Square, which I absolutely love. My commute to work was cut in half. I traveled to Savannah on business. Julie and I joined a chorus, which was a lot of fun. I voted for Obama and watched his inauguration with my coworkers. I got hooked on Damages and reruns of The Golden Girls. I went on a business trip to Georgia where, for the first time in my life, I got pulled over due to a broken taillight on my rental car. I also went to Chicago on business. I joined my office softball team. Unfortunately, I also started experiencing anxiety again that year, and I began therapy, which helped me a lot.

In Year 4, I went on more dates than any other year. I dated one guy for two months, then decided I didn’t want to keep seeing him, but the experience gave me hope. I took a great Grub Street class that helped my writing out a lot. I watched all ten Best Picture nominees. I went on Celexa for my anxiety, which massively improved. I got a new roommate, who told me within a week of moving in that my alarm clock was too loud and causing her to lose so much sleep she might get fired. (Seriously.) There was some drama this year—I didn’t get a job that I really wanted and thought that I would get. I was so upset—it felt like a bad breakup. There was some family conflict as well, and to this day I’m hurt by it. But plenty of good things happened, too. My sister ran the Boston Marathon. I traveled with my family to Aruba. And the year ended with me getting another promotion and traveling to Washington, DC on a business trip.

Year 5 was pretty awesome. I saw Wicked. I ran the Princess Half-Marathon and went to Disney World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my sister. I went to my five-year college reunion. I went to Las Vegas for Jon and Steph’s wedding and went to a Celine Dion concert. I went to Aruba again and went parasailing. I went to my cousin Ryan’s beautiful wedding. I had a kick-ass birthday party. I started training for my second half-marathon, and I moved to a new apartment, still near Davis Square. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

I’m still single and still struggling. But would I ever go back to five years ago? Hell, no. Life has gotten so much better in so many ways.

I’ve now been on about twenty first dates. I’ve decided not to go to grad school, although never say never. Erin, Lindsey, and Jackie finally all moved out of their apartment. I’ve moved up within my industry and am hoping to move up even more. I’ve made a lot of new friends, particularly through work. Oh, and the Sox are currently battling it out with the Yankees for the division title and will probably make it to the playoffs this year. And Jon Lester recovered completely and went on to pitch a no-hitter and win the final game of the 2007 World Series.

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