I have seen this meme and many others floating around the blogosphere and realized the other day I have never done one here. Granted, I am tagging myself and thought I would do this because of the lack of photographic excitement happening around here. The idea is I guess to reflect on the past 10 years of your life and divulge a snapshot of where you were at at each of those years, which I was thinking about as I uploaded some old photos to Flickr. This one made me think a bit more than some of the more generic meme’s out there, 10 years is a span that at this stage in my life very profoundly marks much noticed change. So here it goes…

:: TEN ::
Ten years ago I was about to turn 16. I was about to fail my driver’s test, which was of course, the absolute End of the World (I passed the second time). Life was all about High School- AP classes, which college to go to, stressing over SAT preparation. I was wasting away my summer vacation running countless miles each week for Soccer training in the mornings then taking advantage of the newfound freedom of vehicular travel going and laying out in the thin 6000′ elevation atmosphere at the lake or on the river trying to soak up UV radiation.


:: NINE :: 
Tim McGraw’s ‘Seventeen’- which only comes once in a lifetime. It did just fly by wild and free, sustained by lofty dreams and ambitions. Thinking it’s the glorious end of an era, the starting point for The Rest of Your Life, and chomping at the bit for the escape from the small microcosm of isolated alter-reality into bigger and better things- College. The grass was so much greener standing on the edge of everything.


:: EIGHT ::
Cal Poly. Legal Adulthood. Leaving home. Feeling achievement, false maturity, starting over. Freedom within grasp and taking way too much advantage of being on my own. Much adjusting, too. The high’s of College mixed with the depressing feelings of loneliness, being overwhelmed, being unprepared to really handle what was thrown at me. This was the year I met Matt. A Matt with a deeply embedded tan, spiky blond hair, decked out in Abercrombie and a pooka shell necklace trying to be a Californian. A 180lbs product of the High School Weight Room and protein powder with very nice calves (which is the major difference between High School guys and College guys) who’s allure was a quiet, deep and intriguing intellect which was far different than all the other guys I’d met.


:: SEVEN :: 
At Nineteen was transformation. Realizing Truth, direction, priorities. About to be engaged to said California boy turned Mountainous Adventure Skiing boy (he tore his ACL and recovery atrophy depleted his muscle mass, never to return). Beginning to forge a path in the realm of Architectural Education, one that would prove to be an upstream journey. A year of limbo where I desired to be in a place of more maturity than I could currently conceive and trying to figure out exactly how that notion could be reconciled and fit within preconceived notions of when and how you should do what. It was a year of being doubted but having the solid anchoring in my heart that where I wanted to be going was right and learning to be unswayed amidst the external voices and chaos.


:: SIX :: 
The year of Marriage. All 6 months of it. Within that timeframe we had realized all falsely promised financial aid was not coming and the stress of financial independence crashed with vengeance. Matt worked three jobs (including a 3am paper route). I worked two. And went to school full time. Realizing quickly the responsibility that was bound into the vows we made, sustained by the severity of our oneness and naive young reckless love, we found utter meaning in making it through in unity, together. We lived in Morro Bay in this shanty little beach shack where we planted an organic garden with tomato plants the size of VW bugs. We loved and breathed Architecture.

aspect01 copy

:: FIVE ::
Gave up a little, gained a ton. We let go of the dream to study abroad in Italy, instead staying at Cal Poly and forging our own path through this Architecture program we called Write Your Own Curriculum because you don’t like what is being offered yet were determined to stay on track. Became known as the “Grummer Problem” while simultaneously being looked up to as Rebels who wouldn’t settle for the mediocre. Broke rules. Broke Fire Code. Made lasting friendships with many of our Professors. Traveled thousands of miles to mountains- John Muir wilderness, Desolation Wilderness, White Mountains, Palisades Glacier. Car camped in January through Canada to go skiing on a 1-year anniversary/belated honeymoon. 


:: FOUR ::
Completion. Earned a degree by the end of this year. A degree that had taught us so much more about ourselves than the paper signed by the Governator would indicate. Took struggle and made it into something all our own, searching deeply for meaning. Reading, writing. 327 pages of Thesis. Building. Welding. Spending all night in the Metal Shop. Making things at Full Scale. Realizing there was far more than classes, grades and school. Eager to move beyond the place that we currently were spurred us to plan, to prioritize, to dream, to figure out who we were and where we were going. Finding importance in Family, in Place, in Integrity.


:: THREE ::
Uprooting ourselves and moving to Seattle. At 27 weeks pregnant with Araiya. Turning our world upside down on so many different levels. A summer of learning to adjust and completely re-writing where my identity lies. Experiencing the most profound life change in giving birth and becoming a mommy. The turbulence, struggle and uncertainty of parenthood conjoined with the unspeakable joy that comes along with it. Being changed by this little person’s dependence and learning the vast deepness of Love.


:: TWO ::
A summer of loss, newness and growth. I had just suffered a miscarriage on Mother’s Day and in another month would find out we had conceived Tallis over 4th of July weekend travels. Heading towards a growing family, two kids equating to innumerable new challenges. Araiya turned a year moving out of the baby phase which at the time seemed so unending. Matt had a Real Job doing Real Architecture. Found we were falling in love with Seattle. Finding new friends, forging a new relationships.


:: ONE ::
One year ago we entered a stage of immersion. Spreading out roots and firmly establishing ourselves. Creating Legacy. Moving into this house, this neighborhood. Launching Community, one which surpasses mere surface friendships and permeates deep into our lives and relationships. Learning the importance of other people and their impacts. Shepherding two little people. Getting to know their hearts. Re-aligning external factors to protect the internal ones. Matt officially started working on his own. Realizing we have been living out the values we laid out as a foundation in our Thesis, though it looks far different than we could have ever imagined. Striving to continue on this path we find our feet falling upon. Eager, still, for what is to come, what is around the next corner.


~ by gdesign on July 24, 2008.

2 Responses to “Ten”

  1. I really liked your post today. Thank you for sharing your story these past ten years in all it’s joy and sorrow. What a beautiful way to do it as well.

    Thank you…


  2. So I realize its only been about 6 days, a little less, but that’s pretty long for you to not post. ‘Specially when you haven’t informed your readers you are all going on vacation or something. Is #3 here? If not, I hope you are all well. And if so, I hope you are all SUPER DUPER well and that you’re just resting, resting resting. Praise Jesus for babies. I’m so excited for you guys, either way. Love!

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