Ten Years Ago
Ten years ago I waited tables at a sports bar in Denver. It was the kind of place that hired a lot of 20-something girls, none of whom were discouraged from tying the bottom of their t-shirt in a knot to reveal a sliver of belly. This was never something I felt comfortable doing, which is probably why I made terrible tips. What a waste. I was 25, and my abs were sublime.
I’d moved from NYC to Colorado not exactly on a whim, but without a properly developed plan, which contributed to a succession of odd jobs that helped me barely eek out the rent on my ’70s-style apartment. In a period shorter than two years, I waited tables at both the sports bar and a country club, nannied, tutored, and had some freelance writing assignments. I also went back to school for a degree in education. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I had no idea what I wanted. It was the most confusing time of my life. It was also the loneliest.
Ten years ago today, a friend kissed me for the first time, and we started dating soon after. It didn’t make anything less confusing or help me figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. That’s something I’m still trying to figure out, ten years later.
But it was the first time I ever made a decision I knew would really stick. In the past 10-15 years I have reconsidered careers and cities a quarter dozen times, and I’ve doubted myself again and again. He is the only thing my whimsical mind and skittish heart were never fickle about.
So tonight, my boyfriend-for-life and I will have a nice, quiet dinner at the restaurant where we met 13 years ago. We’ll clink glasses and wish each other a happy anniversary, and I’ll make a toast to the easy choices.
photo by Jason + Anna Photography
PS: If you’re interested, I scrounged up this piece I wrote for a Denver publication that sums up my frame of my mind. It was published as part of an essay contest called “My Quarter-Life Crisis”. Go figure. (You have to scroll down some…it’s called “How about a cold beer today?”