I'm having a hard time processing that a decade has passed since the Y2K scare or that we're now far away from my high school years that I can see how truly awful the fashion was or that I'm *cringe* 25. Really, I just can't believe how quickly, in particular, the last 8 years have passed. How college just flew by and how long it's actually been since I was in college. How grown up I really am.
The Oughties pretty much encompassed all of my late teens and early 20s, a pretty crazy period where you start doing all of that cliched "finding yourself" and making pretty epically dumb mistakes. All the same, it was so much fun. I thought I'd share my last decade with you guys.
Check it out, guys. This is in the spring of 2000. I'm posing here in my overalls with two of my equally styling classmates for a yearbook picture. Check out those tall socks. Oh, yeah. The epitome of cool.
This is the facial expression I wore pretty much all the time between the age of 13 and about 19. I'm wearing surprisingly little eyeliner here, considering that most of the time, I looked like a raccoon. Eyeliner = angst. The more eyeliner you wear, the more angsty you are.
My junior year I went to a youth leadership conference in Washington, DC. We were there the week following the 2000 election, which, if you will recall, was when we couldn't figure out who had been elected president. Looking back on it, being in DC at a conference that taught you about how government works during this "historic time" was pretty Forrest Gump-esque.
At the FCCLA (the name was changed from Future Homemakers of America the year before) banquet, waiting for officer initiation. Girls had to wear all white for initiation. I have no idea what boys would have worn, because we never had any boys as officers, or even as members, even after they changed the name to something less archaic.
You remember this. The white background and white props for senior pictures. I know in most places this trend went out with the 90s, but in the backwoods, they were still rocking this well into the middle of the next decade.
Prom blew. I wasn't a huge fan of my date. To begin with, he was someone I knew, which when I was 17 pretty much automatically put you on my HATE list. But also, as we were riding to prom in his pick-up truck, he told me I would never make it through college and would be back home within a year. I think I made it through that first year at college just to spite him.
High school graduation. Happiest day of my life up to that point. It meant sweet escape.
Midway through my freshman year of college, I got my first boyfriend ever (much to everyone's surprise) and joined a sorority (much to everyone's surprise.) This is us after my sorority's formal. Please note, I'm still wearing the heavy eyeliner.
Little known fact: I was the main character in the Orientation Advisors' musical skit "Burnt Orange Beauty" in UT's talent show, Texas Revue. It was really awesome.
Hanging out with some OAs on our trip to New Orleans. This was such a fun summer. I loved, loved, loved the OAs.
Bid Day during formal recruitment my sophomore year. This is the last photo I have of me with my sorority sisters, I think. This is the year I got super involved in Res Life, and pretty much was unable to attend any of my sorority functions for the next two years.
The URHA banquet at the end of my sophomore year with my BFF. SO CHATE!
Giving a speech about my dad at my sorority's Dad's Day my senior year. I'm really only showing this picture because, holy shit, look at all that hair. This was the beginning of my two-year streak of having BIG HAIR and BIG EARRINGS.
My 21st birthday at the famous Trudy's. This is probably the first birthday I celebrated with people other than my parents since I was about 12. A ton of people showed up, and I was blown away that people actually liked me enough to come to, well, any party that I threw actually. (Although in retrospect, they were probably just there to see me get drunk and make a fool of myself.) I had also just moved into a brand new apartment and was starting grad school in a couple of weeks. I was so unbelievably happy that night. The stuff of memories. (Kellen was there, too. <3)
Erica's 21st birthday! Another great night.
I don't think there was any particular occasion for this outing, but on this particular night, a group of us went out and got completely (please remember I was only 21!) trashed. It was so much fun. The next morning I woke up with one of the glands in my neck swollen to the size of a tennis ball (no exaggeration.) I had mono. How I still have a liver is beyond me.
This was the summer I lived with Kim and Elyse in a house in East Austin. That summer had such a distinctive feel. I can close my eyes and still remember it perfectly.
Texas football! Colt McCoy's first season. I wasn't impressed then, and I'm not impressed now. (Sorry. I know that makes me a traitor, but it's just the truth.)
My last year in Austin was the year of the theme party. Starting with my Pirates vs. Ninja birthday and ending with Shivangi's hat party. Shortly after this, people began leaving the city and moving on. :(
My 23rd birthday. I was only in Austin for another week after five years of so much awesomeness.
Posing with my roommies at flight attendant graduation! Only a few short hours from getting my wings and flying off to...Oregon. To see Kellen. :)
Then I got an office job and moved to Oregon permanently. Grown up life begins.
Then we got Pippin...
And then we got engaged!
I wonder what the next 10 years will be like. How much we will change. How much the world around us will change. I wonder what I'll be doing. When I was 15, I had so many plans, so many goals. I've accomplished a lot of them by now. Some of the others are things I still want, but seem to be impossible. Others I have abandoned completely and can laugh at now. At 25, though, I don't have nearly as much ambition. I have no goals, not even a particularly strong direction to head off in.
A lot of people are probably coming up with resolutions now for the new year. Maybe even some are thinking about where they'll be in 10 years and starting to set long-term goals. I don't know. Not only do I not know where I want to go, in a lot of ways, I'm not really worried about it. If there's anything I've learned in the last 10 years it's that life doesn't always take you where you want to go, you won't do the things you expect to do, and you won't become the things you think you'll become. I guess I just feel like putting a lot of my pressure to become something or to achieve something specific won't necessarily get me to a place where I want to be.
So for a while, I'm just going to take things as they come. Things always work out in the end.