Ten years ago, I turned eighteen.
I was in my last semester of high school. I joined the North Dakota National Guard and was to attend boot camp that June. I spent lots of time working as a co-editor of the yearbook and in FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). I didn't know much about politics, but was getting ready to help host a forum for several state candidates, including our future governor. I had the best friend I could ever ask for, a cat named Fern that adored me and I adored her, and I was not quite an aunt yet. I read a lot, and wrote poetry. I lived in a place that people would think exists as myth in North Dakota, in a place of hills and acres of trees. I held anger in my chest like a hot jewel. I fought with my family a lot, especially my mother. I was a geek, and that is who I wanted to be, and who it seemed few understood.
Today, I turned twenty-eight.
I didn't stay in the military, but instead moved to Fargo and went to college at Minnesota State University Moorhead. I earned my degree in English emphasis Creative Writing back in 2005. There I won writing contests, put together potlucks, and made new friends. I met my future husband at a K-Mart check-out where we both worked, and we bonded over Star Wars. I have attended Star Wars Celebrations, Comic Con, Central Canada Comic Con, and am now helping run a sci fi and fantasy con called Core Con in Fargo. I've seen actors, directors, writers... too many to list. I have become stronger in my beliefs. I've been to Orlando, LA, San Diego, Indianapolis, London, and Paris. I've touched Stonehenge, been knighted a Jedi on the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, climbed the legendary Tor of Avalon, dug up piece of the Sarlaac Pit from the desert sands... and all with my true love by my side. I've become an aunt four times. I had a sweet kitty named Cherrie who I miss terribly. I have kitties Topher and Sophie to bring me new joy. Reading is still my favorite activity. I've written almost three books and am still learning so much about writing and myself during the process. We bought our first home surrounded by mature trees and parks. And, just yesterday, I laughed with my mother on the phone.
Those are just flashes.
There is so much to say about ten years, and I don't want to say too much about the past. I wanted to think about the now, of what I still want to do.
What do I want the next ten years to hold?
I want children. I want to become a published author. I want to walk down the streets of NYC, drink tea in Ireland, and lose my breath in the Highlands of Scotland. I want kindness. Lots and lots of kindness. With acts of kindness, brings the different words for happiness.
In which cake isn't a lie.
I had a great day today. Yes, I worked my regular job. I went out with friends to the local Mexican place to have my free birthday meal. I opened lovely gifts. We chatted about the things that are fun for the heart. We ate cake at our home, watched the kitties play, and talked and talked. I wrote my 2,000th tweet while listening to my friend sing on the radio.
28 doesn't seem so bad from here.