Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Now & Then

Today is one of my good friend's birthdays. We met the first day of college as she lived at the opposite end of the hall from me. Within a matter of days she became one of my closest friends and by the end of our first semester, she was my most trusted confidante. We aired the skeletons in our closets to one another, and she knew more about me than even my best friend from home.

I cannot believe that was five years ago. The other night, while trying to get to sleep, I realized that this decade is halfway over. In just 17 days, 2006 will arrive. And as I was lying in bed, I started to think about what has changed and what has stayed the same in my life since 2000.

In those five years I started and finished college. The 18-year-old Erin was far different than the 23-year-old version. That girl didn't care much about designer jeans or saving for retirement. She wore black pants whenever she went out (never jeans) with her chunky-heeled black Steve Madden boots. She often drank a lot in an attempt to get attention from boys. She was obsessed with her friends on her floor. They listened to 80s hair bands and rap music constantly. This Erin had no restrictions in her diet and couldn't imagine giving up meat. She used a phone card to make long distance calls from the cordless phone in her dorm room. She talked to her high school friends and family members primarily on the internet.

Few of Erin's friends had laptops. Erin, her roommate, and most of the girls on their floor had desktop computers. She drank a lot of Dr. Pepper and ate frozen yogurt from the cafeteria regularly. A Makeover Story was a regular TV show for these girls. Otherwise, they didn't watch much television. Her worries were minimal. Rush and schoolwork were the bulk of Erin's concerns. She also worried about maintaining her friendships with her high school friends. When she came home on breaks, Erin always got together with her friends to hang out in someone's basement, drinking beer purchased with a fake ID or by an older sibling.

Today, I have far more material concerns. My appearance is even more important now than it was at 18. I'm two/three sizes smaller than I was back then. I don't eat meat. I exercise regularly. I drink Diet Coke. I wish I could still eat frozen yogurt everyday. I still drink, but not with the intensity that I did back then (most likely because I don't have to sneak around with my booze). Technology has all but taken over my life. From the moment I leave my apartment, I am tuned into my iPod or on my work computer or watching TV or chatting on IM or using my cellphone or updating my blog or sharing photos with my digital camera. I watch more TV today than I have since high school. I don't know what I would do without my wireless laptop or my cellphone.

I worry about bills and money and, I hate to admit, finding the man I will marry. I think a lot about my future: career, relationships, financial stability. My family life is still screwy. My parents haven't resolved the issues that were driving them apart back then and, as I did in 2000, I cherish the fact that I don't permanently live at home and can leave when I want to. I have maintained my relationships with those HS friends (I live with my best friend from home), but now I worry about keeping in touch with those friends from the early days of college. I speak with few of them regularly.

It's funny thinking about the time that has passed, the changes that have taken place. If only because it inevitably leads to thinking about the changes to come; my lifestyle and my priorities will be entirely different on the eve of 2011.

1 comment:

Sub Girl said...

growing up is hard!