Reflecting on: 2010 through 2019

These past ten years of my life saw me through my 20’s and into the start of my 30’s. It covers a wide variety of events relating both directly and indirectly to myself. It was hectic and messy. It was also, at times, fairly normal as can be for a modern 20-going-on-30-something persons life. Writing this up has been a real jog down memory lane for me. Things I’ve more or less forgotten are resurfacing to remind me of where I came from and why I’m heading in the current direction.

I feel like I could break it all down in a couple of different ways, and I don’t want to bore anyone with dry reading, but I feel like I need to keep a chronological perspective on the order of events. We’ll see where this goes.

Let’s start with a simple timeline before we get into some details.

  • 2010:
    • Unemployed
    • In college
    • working/living on the family farm
  • 2011:
    • Employed; briefly
    • Still in college
    • Still at the family farm
    • Younger brother got married
  • 2012:
    • Employed; again briefly
    • Graduated college
    • First nephew born
    • Moved twice
      • Lots of drama
  • 2013:
    • Contract employment
    • Moved into first apartment
    • Niece born
  • 2014:
    • Laid off from job
    • Had surgery
    • Started an overnight job
  • 2015:
    • Still working overnights
    • Moved in with friends
    • Worked a side gig
    • Lost a lot of weight
    • Second nephew/godson born
  • 2016:
    • Left overnights to work in an office!
    • Groomsman in a wedding
    • Gained a lot of weight
    • Moved with friend
  • 2017:
    • 2nd year of employment at current job
    • Left a group of friends
    • Major family medical issue
    • Moved, yet again.
  • 2018:
    • 3rd year of employment at current job
    • Third nephew born
    • Friends from college get married
    • Made an “Adult Level” financial decision: Car Purchase
  • 2019:
    • 4th year of employment at current job
    • Took a real vacation!
      • TwitchCon 2019
    • Another adult decision: Major dental work

Before I jump into the juicy details of each year, I want to mention that at certain points I will give more details on some subjects than others. This is because those subjects I DON’T elaborate on would require a lot more space than I feel comfortable affording here when I have so much to cover for a 10 year period.

Now, let’s dive in!

2010 and 2011 weren’t exactly exciting years. I was working and living at home on the farm, taking care of the horses, while I was attending the last couple years of college. I had a very brief stint of employment in 2011 (I had gone back to a place I had previously worked) in which I only worked one shift before being reminded of why I left that job in the first place and decided to not go back again. I was 23 and still making odd, sometimes stupid, decisions so it wasn’t a surprise to me but it probably pissed off a few people. Grand scheme of things, though, not a big deal. It was food service in a small farm town where I never intended to live/work in again.

The highlight of 2011 was my younger brother getting married and me being a groomsman. In the stifling heat of a church with no air conditioning in May.

Moving forward, I want to preface that the town I referred to a bit ago was split by a major interstate highway, and the owners of the previously mentioned food service job actually lived in another state about an hour away. They weren’t locals, so I didn’t have to worry about them.

2012 saw me still working and living in that same small town. Big surprise there. Anyways, I had graduated college (Yay! Accomplishment!) but had yet to find a job in my field. So I ended up working at the local truck stop in that little country town. Not for very long, mind you, because there was a shift in management (forced by the owners) and the new manager was anything but professional when it came to “front of house” business. As I understood it he was the truck stops accountant/IT person. He ran the books and programmed the registers, but he had no business being in charge of people. The reason I say that is because after the previous manager was fired, and he was put in charge, he turned into an asshole and I became a target. So not long after that little regime change I left.

Between graduating college and working at that truck stop a couple of things happened. The most important of which being my first nephew was born. (Yay! I’m an uncle!) The next most important things were me moving. Twice. The first time was into a house that a friend (at the time) had bought with the purpose of renovating. At some point, for reasons I won’t get into in this post, this friend “snapped” and I made the decision to move out. The decision was short notice and I had nowhere to go right away, so my brother and his wife took me in. I lived with them and my baby nephew into 2013.

During this period of living with my brother and his family, there were a couple of big things that happened. The first thing is he got me a job. The second, he politely kicked me out of his house.

It was contract work through a third party organization who basically hired people to be warm bodies at a desk for another company. We were software testers. Not on the same team, mind you, which would have been cause for concern from an HR perspective. Which is incredibly amusing to me because my younger brother had ALSO gotten our OLDER brother hired in the same way! All three of us worked at the same company doing the same thing. Except for two things. One, they were on the same team. Two, my younger brother had been ‘promoted’ to Lead Tester. Talk about awkward. In the end it wasn’t actually a big deal, though, because by this point in our lives we had all matured enough to be cool siblings.

Now, about this time you might be saying “Wait hold up…a moment ago you said he politely kicked you out of his house but go on to say all three of you were cool siblings. What gives?”

Well, him taking me in to his home in the first place was never meant to be permanent. That would just be weird. So the entire 13 month period I lived with him, I was keeping my eyes out for apartments in the city we worked in. Also, the more important factor, his family was growing. A month before I moved out of his house, and into my first apartment, my niece was born! (Yay! Uncle times two!) That’s how I ended 2013.

2014 turned out to be a pivotal year for me. I was still working under contract (it was a year long.) I turned 26, which meant I lost my health insurance coverage through my parents plan under the Obama Era rules for coverage of dependents. What makes this so important that I call it out? Two major events happened following my birthday.

The Friday of the week I turned 26 was the day we were all pulled into a hastily thrown together group meeting of all the contract workers. Our managers and supervisors from the company we worked at (but not for, big distinction) were all just as surprised as we were at this, because all of us on both sides were told that the company was ending its contract with our employer and would be phasing us out over a four month period. We were being laid off. Following this announcement we were each pulled aside and told how long we were being given. I was given the full four months, which would complete out my contract. So, big event number one? Being laid off.

Big event number two followed about two weeks later. I started to feel some excruciating pain in my right side, and after not being able to sleep (I was hoping it would subside on its own) I drove myself to the Emergency Room. It was probably around 9PM so it was low staffing hours, which is why it felt like it took forever to get seen and have tests run. They examined me and did scans, and told me it looked like I had a case of acute appendicitis and that they would operate as soon as the surgeon on call arrived.

So, that was an awesome time. Laid off, lost insurance (and didn’t realize it), needed surgery and couldn’t cover it! Had to file for COBRA coverage and work with city assistance to get things straightened out. Eventually I got it all squared away and the money handled, though, so props to me.

After all of this was over, after I had finished out my time at that job, I took some time to myself (sort of) by sitting at home looking for jobs and attempting to file for unemployment. I quickly gave up on that, because it was pain in the ass and I had found a job. Working overnights at a major retail store. Despite the back pain that would follow, this turned out to be a good thing.

Rolling from 2014 into 2015, I was busting my ass at this overnight job. I was unloading trucks, pulling pallets, and stocking shelves. I was barely making more than I did under the contract job, and still paying off my medical debt. I had recently reached out to a guy I had met in college because of a post he made on Facebook and we ended up becoming good friends. After a few months we ended up reaching the conclusion that he and his girlfriend (different one from in college) wanted to move in together and that they were willing to get a bigger apartment to accommodate me so that I would be able to pay down my medical bills faster. So that’s what we did. Long story short, 6 months into living together they broke up and he and I kept the apartment.

Some comparatively small tidbits for 2015:

I was contacted by another third party head hunter type of company to work a short side gig for a week. I also lost a LOT of weight working at the overnight job. (When I left the software testing job I weighed about 230lbs and by mid-2015 I was down to about 166lbs)

Also, no less important than the previous two, my brother and his wife had their third child! Another boy, and this time I got to be one of his godparents. So that was an interesting experience. I don’t know what it actually entails, but to my knowledge they haven’t cashed in on it yet.

Let’s see…before I leave 2015 I also want to bring up that I met some awesome people working the overnight job. Some of them I’m still friends with, others not so much. I think I even tried dating someone from that job? Not to be rude but I’m not really sure I care to recall a lot of the details on that one because it didn’t really add a LOT of value or experience. Though I did meet and make friends with a group of people through this brief flame from work, which is an important detail to note for when we move into talking about the events of 2016.

2015 ended with some anxiousness, and 2016 started with uncertainty. I had been scouted by yet another head hunter type agency to connect me with a job opportunity. This time more solidly relating to my education and career goals! So I jumped on it. Interviewed. Waited. And waited. It was bad timing because they were changing some HR policies at the time and also because of the Christmas and New Years holidays. Still, I landed the job and got back behind a desk. So started my 2016, and my eventual weight gain back up to 230lbs.

2016 saw me as a groomsman in another wedding. This time for a couple from the group of friends I mentioned I made while working the overnight stocking job. It was a beautiful wedding. Nothing extravagant or complicated, more down to earth. It was really very nice. Which is kind of sad because of what happened the following year.

2017 helped reveal more of the true nature of this group of friends. Now, I say that in the nicest way possible because they were overall really wonderful people to include me in their world. That being said though, I ended up not really belonging. Sure, I fit in with them, but I realized after a certain point that I didn’t want to STAY there in that group. They were, more or less, content with their lot in life and style. After one particular night in the early months of the year, I decided to distance myself from them. Afterwards I wasn’t sure if any of them would reach out to me to see how things were going. And they didn’t. Can’t say I blame them, either, so I won’t. I ended up just moving forward.

At some point in the first of the year, I believe my friend and I moved again. This time because he bought a house. That detail escapes me, partly because we’ve lived together for several years now and I stopped keeping track a few years ago.

The latter half of the year had a scary turn of events for my family. I’ll spare some of the details, but suffice to say we learned of a major cancer scare. My job was willing to work with me and be flexible with my time so that I could spend time with my family and taking care of things. 2017 ended on a rather stressful note.

2018 started stressful because of the events from the end of 2017, but it quickly transitioned into positive news when my third nephew was born. I was, yet again, made an uncle. Is that how that works? I think that’s how that works.

Anyways. I’m going to end this portion of the post in a similar fashion to how I started it. 2018 and 2019 were banner years for me as far as the decade goes. I maintained my job. I traveled multiple times. First in 2018 for a weekend to see my college friends get married, then again in 2019 to actually spend time with them for most of a week before traveling to San Diego for TwitchCon 2019. I also made a couple of adult financial decisions. One being that I needed a new(er) car as my old one was just that. Old, with 240k miles on it. I also needed to suck it up and get some major dental work taken care, as I mentioned in my post about reflecting on 2019 as a whole.

Well, this entry got rather long. It could most definitely be longer if I were to incorporate all the drama that took place, but I might save those for future posts. Maybe. I might just keep them to myself out of respect for the other parties involved. Either way, looking back at these past 10 years has been an interesting journey for me. I can only hope that the next 10 years are as interesting, and hopefully enjoyable.