The Decade in Review

I’m really finding it hard to believe that this is the last day of the decade. For those of you who are math challenged, it is indeed the end of the decade, when that number in the 10’s place in the year goes up, that means it’s a new decade. A decade is 10 years, tens number goes up, it’s not rocket science. OK, now that I’ve gotten that little pet peeve out of the way. This has been a crazy decade for me.

In 2000 I turned 24. I was working for the IRS and hating every minute of it. I didn’t take a lot of real vacations back then but I closed out the year by spending Christmas with my dad’s side of the family at Disney World. It was the first and only Christmas I really got to spend with my dad. I was dreaming about writing movies and spent a lot of time writing in my script notebooks.

We all know what happened in 2001 and I’m pretty sure we all remember where we were. That was a very sad day. In November of that year something happened in my life that sticks with me even more vividly. My dad died at the age of 49 of natural causes. I don’t think I’ve ever been more shocked at a phone call in my life. I remember every second of that moment to this very day. I won’t belabor it, but 2001 is not a year of good memories.

For me 2002 started out slow as well. I was still at the IRS, I was still writing, although I was focusing more on game design and the stories supporting that. I was spending a lot of free time playing MMO’s and I moved back in with my mom. I moved back in with my mom so I could quit my soul stealing job at the IRS and figure out what I was really going to do with my life. I was 26 and truly unemployed for the first time. When I left the IRS in October I thought I’d have a job within a month. It turned out to be almost 4.

In February of 2003 I finally found a job, it was what I had expected to find in 2002, a basic retail job, one that didn’t take much thought or effort. So of course I managed to turn an easy no stress job as a cashier into an extremely high stress job as an assistant sales manager in just over six months. By the end of the year I was spending 60 or so hours a week at work. Two big things happened in my personal life, I met Jeff who would become my best friend and writing partner and I met my future ex-wife. Jeff steered me towards writing first comic books and then back to writing novels.

2004 turned out to be another big year for me. I was spending a lot of time writing, my ex was living with me at my mom’s house and I was working my butt off. In May I got a call with an offer to move to Wichita and work for Diamond J, not long after that I found out Bethany was pregnant and I was going to be a father. In July we moved to Wichita and my life started to get really complicated. We got married in September.

January 10th 2005 my daughter Victoria was born. I can’t even begin to describe my feelings. My marriage was rocky at best but I chalked that up to both of us learning to be parents and a lack of money. 2006 was more of the same until July when I bought my house and got on meds for my type 2 bipolar disorder. By December when I found out my ex was pregnant with what would be our second daughter I was already feeling like my marriage was falling apart.

2007 was a very rough year for me, financial struggles, personal struggles. August 11th saw the birth of my second daughter Persephone. Things actually brightened up for a while. Still I already knew I would be divorced before the end of the next year.

2008 was a huge year for me, it started with a divorce. Which was rough on myself and the girls. In late May I met Joy online and we had our first date on June 11th. The next week I spent in San Francisco at a training seminar. I was 31 (almost 32) and it was the first time I’d been to another city by myself. In August Joy and I said I love you for the first time and I was feeling pretty sure she could be the one. Being the sentimental sap I am I started planning how I would propose to her. I also started back to school in August. In September we went to our first of many concerts together, Counting Crows. The end of the year saw the first time I’d been out for New Years in a very long time.

2009 has been a whirlwind of change and a whirlwind of firsts. Joy and I celebrated our first valentines day together, we celebrated the first anniversary of our first date, we went on our first real vacation together. The girls and I moved in with Joy in June and in October I proposed properly for the first time in my life. Of course I missed the date from my fantasy proposal but I did manage to make just about everything else work out like I had envisioned it for over a year. Right down to the shocked look on Joy’s face. My house was robbed, Joy met my family for the first time. All in all it was a whirlwind and awesome year.

2010 will bring a lot of challenges and a lot of fun and a wedding and hundreds of other things I can’t even begin to predict. I do know it will be quite a ride and I have high hopes and big plans. I’m excited to experience everything it has to offer, I just hope it brings as many positive changes to my life as the last two years have.