Friday, March 16, 2012

My Roaring 20s

Ten years ago today, I was a sophomore in college celebrating the end of my teens at a house party in Kirksville, Missouri surrounded by dozens of my fraternity brothers.  Our fraternity band, Short Bus, was blasting 90s rock classics like Silverchair's "Tomorrow" and Stone Temple Pilot's "Interstate Love Song."  At midnight, I took a shot and slammed a beer.  I had no idea what the next decade held for me, but here are just a few of the highlights (in no particular order).

  • Graduating College - Graduating college is one of those things that I always expected to do and so I am not nearly as proud of this accomplishment as I probably should be.  But, I did pretty darn good - graduating with honors with a bachelor or arts in History and minors in Italian Studies and International Studies.  I had a bit of fun, too.
  • Relationship with my family - When I was 19, I didn't talk to my parents very often.  I didn't have a cell phone back then and had to actually pay more for long distance calls.  But, despite the fact that I have only lived in the same town as my parents for about eight months in the last ten years, we have gotten much closer.  When I lived in the U.S., I would talk to my parents daily.  Living abroad, I still talk to them weekly.  I am close with both my sisters and have traveled extensively with Shelley.  I love the relationship I have with my family.
  • Studying Abroad - During my 20s, I studied in Rome (college), Madrid (law school) and Cork, Ireland (law school).  Each of these were fantastic trips - I had a great time, made some good friends, and even learned a thing or two.
  • Bailey (and Luna) - I adopted Bailey when I was 23 years old and in my first semester of law school.  Worried that law school would be super busy, I wanted a dog who was chill.  When I walked through the kennels at the humane society, all of the dogs jumped and barked, except one.  He sat in the corner and barely lifted his head too look at me.  In almost everything I have done over the past 7 years, Bailey has been there.  Luna came to me by accident, when I found her injured on the highway.  Although she has her difficult moments, I still love her.
  • Law School - Ask any lawyer about law school and they will moan and sigh about the experience.  I am the exception to the rule in that I liked law school.  I liked the classes and I loved the Socratic method.  I actually even enjoyed the tests (much prefer one or two big tests than being graded over the whole semester).  Plus, I did well in law school - finishing just outside the top 5% in my class.
  • Tour Guide in Rome - This is perhaps my favorite thing that I did in my 20s.  Worried that I would never get the chance to live abroad (HA!), I took a gap year between college and law school.  For five months, I got paid to go to the Vatican museums every day and to take people around Rome and tell them cool stuff about the city.  
  • Foreign Service - From the time I was 22, I was trying to get into the Foreign Service.  Once I got in at the age of 27, I have worked hard to excel at this career.  All in all, I think I am doing a damn good job at work.  I have really enjoyed my work at the Embassy and am really looking forward to my tour in Germany.
  • Belmopan - Immediately after Flag Day, I went home and googled "Belmopan."  Wikipedia told me that Belmopan was one of the smallest capital cities in the world.  I was worried that I would spend two years here with nothing to do.  That has hardly been the case.  I have made wonderful friends and done some amazing things.  Belmopan is not for everyone, but it is a great place for me.
  • Prosecutor - I only worked as a prosecutor for six months, but it was one of the most exhilarating and challenging things I have ever done.  I did it well, too - winning 17 of 20 trials.  I loved that nervous feeling I would get in the pit of my stomach as I began a case.  The competition between prosecutor and defense attorney.  The skills I learned in thinking on my feet and speaking under pressure.
  • Visiting  25 Countries - Europe - Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, Monaco, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland; North America - U.S., Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador (airport only); Africa - Morocco; Asia - Israel.
Pretty good decade, huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment