Just so we're clear, this meme was originally started by Sheena and even though i wasnt officially tagged i've decided to do it anyway. Basically its a quick rundown summarising the last 10 years of my life. And so, seeing as i'm 24 this year, we start way back in 1998, at the tender age of 14....
1998 ( 14 yrs ) - If i remember correctly, this is the year where i first started to feel a little dark inside. Not that i want to make out everything was doom and gloom, but it was around this time i first started to listen to those self-loathing thoughts in my head. It was also the year i got my first mobile phone and we had internet on our home computer for the first time. And so started my addiction to the Inter-Web.
1999 ( 15 yrs ) - The tenth grade of high school. This is where things started to become serious - important end-of-year exams, getting to invited to parties was almost the be all and end all, and friendships were tested. I got drunk for the first time ( on Stolichnaya Lemon Ruskies .... so old school ) at my friends Brads birthday party. I felt ridiculously cool but was terrified of my dad busting me. Thankfully he didnt and i spent quite a few parties that year ( and all the years following ) getting my drink on. Also, despite being released the previous year, this is the year i started my love affair with " Dizzy Up The Girl " by The Goo Goo Dolls - to this day, one of my top 5 favourite albums.
2000 ( 16 yrs ) - I wrote a lot of poetry this year. You know, the world-sucks, i-wish -i -were-dead, emo kid kind of poetry. I carried a notebook of poetry in my school bag, so that everytime i was upset, angry or plain old bored i could write. Words have managed to sustain me, in some form or another, ever since then. The memory of good times that sticks out in my mind is from my two day biology camp. I sang - the one and only time that i have ever had the guts to sing by myself, in front of other people. What did i sing ? " Slide " by the Goo Goo Dolls.
2001 ( 17 yrs ) - Final year of high school baby! Thank the freaking Lord, because by this point in precedings i was well and truely sick of the place. I loved getting to hang out with my friends, i enjoyed being able to debate intellectually in class discussions, i even enjoyed some of the assignments I had to do - i just hated the institution. I disliked most of the teachers and thoughi dont have a huge problem with authority, I hated being told what to do by people who were, quite frankly, total douches. I hated my English teacher and i'm pretty sure he hated me too. Two months before end of year exams, i walked out of his class never went back. Screw you sucka! The only good thing about gthe final year of high school was the end of it - that is, our Year 12 Formal ( thats a Senior Prom, for you North Americans ). My Formal was pretty ace. The graduating song we chose ? " Higher " by Creed - yep, we rocked much.
2002 ( 18 yrs ) - No more school meant starting work. I've never been to university, not because i'm stupid or lazy, but because i had ( and still have ) no solid idea what i wanted to do with my life. I also did not have the money to waste on some random course that i might drop after a semester or two. So i got a job working retail and tried to save some money. It was in the first few months of this that i was officially diagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder. I had to watch one of those horrid public service type videos- you know, like if my life were the Simpsons, the film would have starred Troy McClure . Hi, I'm Troy McClure, and you may remember me from such films as " So You're Having a Mental Breakdown! " or " Parties? Who Needs Them ? " ...... I had to break the news to my family and my immediate bosses at work that i was, ahem, " mentally ill ", and started a course of cognitive behavioural therapy with a counsellor. In short, this year was not my best.
2003 ( 19 yrs ) - All that counselling was doing me some good. I wasnt cured and i was still on meds, but I started to develop interests again ( beyond napping - i'll always be interested in that ). I started thinking about a possible career path and i thought i might enjoy working with kids. I started volunteering at my old primary school on my days off, working as a reading tutor with the kindergarten kids. I did that till 11am, and then in the afternoons i'd do a volunteer shift at a childcare centre, just helping out. I enjoyed it, but i still wasnt ready to make a career commitment. I kept working retail and basically just concentrated on getting mentally healthy. It was hard with my best friend moving away this year, but i managed to stay alive.
2004 ( 20 yrs ) - I'd always wanted to go overseas and this year was the year to make it a reality. I figured that because i didnt have the money to just holiday, i could work for my trip. I applied for a position as a camp counsellor and, after many months of waiting, was knocked back because i only had experience with kids under the age of 7. Once upon a time, this news would have knocked me on my arse, but I decided to keep on trying. This proved to be the best decision I ever made - this time i applied to work as an Au Pair in the USA, and was accepted by a family living in New Jersey. I packed up my shit and moved to the US in early November.
2005 ( 21 yrs ) - 2005 started in Times Square, New York City. Fabulous start to a fabulous year, i'd say. I learnt a lot about myself, and who i had the potential to be, whilst living overseas. I loved my family - my three boys, M, T and H - and i made friends with some gorgeous girls from all over the world. I did a four day trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu in Peru ( where i was possessed by mountain spirits - long story.... ) and tested my mental and physical toughness; i went to DisneyWorld on my own and got to skip to the front of the lines; I did 4th of July at South Street Seaport, Rosh Hashanah in Conneticut and Halloween in my local neighbourhood. I joined a gym and fell into being a gym junkie, losing 10 kgs ( about 25lbs ). I returned to Australia a new person, and to be greeted by a new person ( my neice, D.O.B 18.11.05 ). 2005 was a good year, perhaps the best thus far.
2006 ( 22yrs ) - I started the new year with a new job and a new outlook. The previous year had proved i didnt have to live under my bed covers, that if thrown in the deep end i did, indeed, have the ability to swim. I started hitting the pub every weekend, not drinking ( again, anotyher long story ) but just dancing and living it up. I lived for Saturday nights and Sunday morning sleep ins.I definately looked good and i had never felt better.I had a brief relationship with a guy a year younger than me. He was, sadly, so immature that it eventually felt like dating my younger brother, and i broke it off. This was also the year that i i lost my blog virginity. I didnt write poetry much anymore, and an old school journal was just, well, so old school. My bloga attracted the readership of two awesome internet buddies, both still readers now, and our three way conversations became the stuff of legend. By the time Christmas rolled around, i was completely addicted to blogging and had already been to meet with one of my other readers. I'd like to say it wasnt an excuse for a dirty weekend, but that would be a lie :)
2007 ( 23 yrs ) - Ah, the year of living dangerously. Well not technically dangerously, its not like i was running with a gang or anything, i just lot a lot of my old inhibitions. Yes, in THAT way too ( perverts ). I become a fan of local rugby players, and a fan of drunken midnight texts. I maintained my internet buddies friendships and even got the pleasure of meeting up with one of them. Last year felt like a golden year, save for a few small mistakes - things i said but didnt really mean, things i should have said but didnt, things i missed and things i really wish i hadnt have been there for. Most of 2007 was an adventure of sorts, thats for sure....
2008 ( 24 yrs ) - Which brings us to present day Amy. This year has had its ups and downs. Finishing my optical dispensing course = UP. The Mary Incident = DOWN. My best friends wedding and subsequent joy = UP. Slipping back into depression and having to see a pyschiatrist again = DOWN. Getting a payrise = UP. NOt hitting the town for a record 6 months straight = DOWN. Waiting to be an aunty for the second time = UP.
With two months left to go, who knows what could be in store ?