How is it that ten years has already flown past? I bet the next thing you’ll be telling me is that my ten-year high school reunion is only a year away. Oh wait; that’s because it is. Oh well, I probably won’t be invited anyway.
This decade has been a crazy stretch on the rollercoaster ride of life. When the decade started: January 01, 2010, I was a Junior in High School, desperately trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. And here’s a little secret: I’m no longer a Junior in High School, but I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, and I’m more desperate than ever.
High School came to a close in 2011, and I graduated along with 43 (or so, I don’t remember) of my not-so-closest friends. I wasn’t really in a clique, and I didn’t have a huge group of friends (in fact my best friend then – and still to this day – actually left school in favor of being homeschooled for her final years), but we were in a very small town, so everyone knew each other. It wasn’t a miserable time, but I do wish I could do it over.
After graduating, I moved with my family to the Metro Detroit area. Going from a town of just over 2,000 people, to a county of 1.25 million, where I didn’t know anyone, was one of the worst experience of my life. To this day, nine years later, I still don’t really know how to go about making friends, and, in that regard, life tends to really suck.
In 2012, I started attending University, where I started off majoring in Computer Science. I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life, and changed my major to Theatre. While that sounds like a horrible idea – and from a practical, employability standpoint, it probably was – I focused not on acting like many of my classmates, but instead of production and directing, which are things I am still passionate about to this day.
I only lasted one semester, since at the same time I acquired a full-time job as a Vehicle Evaluator for Roush, contracting with Chrysler / FCA. Coming from a small town with a heavy focus on trades, I really thought this job was everything I wanted at the time, and with a full-time job, why bother continuing with college? So, after meeting with one of my main professors, and having him tell me he really wished I would stay, I decided to leave. I regret that decision.
In January of 2013, while working at Roush, I got into a horrible car accident. I was the lead driver, and my follower decided he could text and drive. He rear-ended me and totaled both vehicles, as well as dealing a decent amount of damage to the two vehicles directly in front of me, who he pushed me into. I ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but was given pretty inadequate care. I ended up with some major back problems, but since I wanted to keep my job, I signed paperwork saying I wouldn’t press charges against the company. I regret this decision as well.
The rest of 2013 wasn’t too bad. I ended up getting to lead a shift of drivers on a special, high-security project, where we were based out of Michigan International Speedway. That was probably the highlight of my life up until that point, and still remains a high-point in my memories.
Near the end of the year, my best friend got engaged to the man of her dreams.
2014 was one of the most up-and-down years I’ve ever experienced. In January, I applied to Eastern Michigan University as a transfer student, I was hopeful that I could go back to school and get out of my job at Roush. That was a high-point.
In February, my dad died. That was a low-point.
In March, I found out that I had been accepted to Eastern Michigan University as a Transfer student. My dad would have been really proud. That was a high-point.
In April, I got into my second, also pretty bad, car accident – I was t-boned on Woodward Avenue (a pretty famous road running from Detroit to Pontiac, in Michigan). I didn’t go to hospital this time, but I did have to crawl out of the passenger’s side door, and watch my car be towed away. We also sold my childhood home in April. Those were both low-points.
In May, my best friend married the man of her dreams. I served as a bridesmaid in her wedding. Then I almost passed out at her wedding, while standing up in the service. This caused a lot of guests to come up to me afterwards and ask if I was okay. I still feel incredibly guilty about this, and think she probably secretly hates me for it (she probably doesn’t). The very next day, we moved the remaining items out of my childhood home, and handed the keys over to the new owners, and I cried the entire 3-hour drive home. May was a pretty up-and-down month.
If I’m being honest, I don’t remember much of the summer, except that I decided to pick up a second job at JCPenny before going off to EMU in the fall. This lasted all of maybe a month before I quit. I am not cut out for retail work, and I admire anyone who can make it work – they definitely deserve to make more than they do.
After my failed attempt at working at JCPenny, I prepared myself for starting school, and decided to get a different second job, this time at McDonald’s near campus. Despite having worked at McDonald’s before (and actually really liking it – which is a different story), this job lasted even less time than my position at JCPenny’s. I quit before training was done. Food service workers, especially in more urban areas, definitely also have my utmost respect.
In August, I moved onto campus, and started classes in September. I was, once again, going to major in Computer Science (though I was actually accepted with a tentative double major in Construction Management and Interior Design, but hey, things change). I had an amazing roommate, who is now a budding Country Star (check out Kristen Kae).
In October, I attended a career fair, and managed to be offered an Internship with Lyons Consulting Group as an Applications Engineer. This was the beginning of my career as a Developer, and the jury is still out on whether or not any of this was a good idea.
By the end of the year, I had decided my internship would more than make up for my income at Roush, and I cut my hours back to the bare minimum to remain employed.
In January of 2015, Roush decided to go through a round of lay-offs, and since I had cut my hours down so low already, I voluntarily let myself be laid off. Other people needed to keep their jobs.
I spent another semester at EMU before deciding to take some time off to focus on working full-time (yes, this seems to be a trend with me). I continued to work all year with the hopes of being brought on as a regular employee with Lyons Consulting Group, but it never panned out.
In June of 2016, my internship finally came to an end, when the company (or at least our office) started to have less work coming in, any my position (still an intern at that point) was the low-hanging fruit. I had managed to get nearly two full years out of the position, and I did manage to learn a lot, even though I was often overlooked for any meaningful work, but I think that had more to do with not fitting the company culture than anything else.
I had also started doing some freelance work for private clients, as a Digital Solutions Consultant, so I spend the remainder of the year working with my clients, while trying to decide if I was going to pursue another agency-type job, or focus more on freelance work.
In February of 2017, I was approached by an agency in the Metro Detroit area, who was looking for a WordPress developer. I really liked their office, and the people who I met with seemed really nice, and interesting. I decided to give full-time “regular” employment another shot. While the project that I worked on was interesting, and taught me more than I had ever learned before, it turns out it was more of a one-off type of thing. The company had been trying to get more of that type of work but didn’t seem to be having any luck brining it in, so I was let go in August since my more specialized skillset (WordPress) didn’t mesh with the work they were brining in at the time (mostly .NET projects).
It wasn’t all bad though, I ended up getting engaged early in 2017, and married in December for the Winter Solstice. I also managed to go straight from my failed agency job, to a contract position with a different agency, which was extended from a two-week trial, to over a year of steady work. It was a pretty spectacular end to a decently good year.
In 2018, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world, and moved from our smallish one-bedroom apartment, to an only-slight bigger house in suburbia.
My husband had recently changed jobs and started working at United Shore (sound familiar?), and bragged to me all the time about how much he liked it there. In August, I interviewed for a position as a UI Developer, and was accepted. I ended the contract I had with the agency I was working for, and commenced full-time employment once again that September.
2019 saw a full year of me working for the same company, which was something I hadn’t done since 2015, and also provided me with some pretty great personal and professional growth.
I also suffered some pretty crazy health issues, but ended the year off on a relatively high note. Read more about 2019 in my post: Year in Review: 2019.
Overall, I would have to say the 2010s wasn’t the worst decade I’ve ever experienced (I mean, that might be a lie – I was alive in the 1990s, but I was kid, so that wasn’t too bad, and the 2000s were actually pretty good too – so yeah, the 2010s may have been my worst decade ever…). I graduated from High School, and (eventually) started a career as a web developer. We’ll see what the 2020s bring – it should be interesting.
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