Thursday, March 03, 2011

10 Years Gone

It’s now officially been a decade since I moved to Columbia. It occurred to me this past weekend, when I noticed the wisteria vine outside our home is on the cusp of blooming.

As I’ve written about previously, that spring in 2001 is when I realized I loved my new neighborhood with its tree-lined streets, sidewalks and explosions of azaleas, dogwoods and wisteria around every corner. The first couple months in Columbia were a pretty heady time for me. Of course, that was before I realized I had misjudged my employment prospects and before the events of September 11.

The reality is that the last ten years have been full of ups and downs. Regardless, I still can’t help feeling nostalgic for that spring now ten years past. It was a vastly different time in my life.

My divorce was official, and I had ended my first post-marriage relationship. I was exploring a new city, making new friends and loving it. It was truly a new beginning.

My two dogs, now both departed, were in the prime of their lives. My hair, now graying and receding, was thick and dark. My career path, now winding, appeared to be moving straight ahead and rising.

Ten years brought so many changes. E came into my life almost seven years ago. A new dog will be four years old in a couple months. I see another career change looming on the horizon.

One of my first discoveries was a wine store with a really good selection not far from my new home. It’s the same wine store that E and I frequently visit after our Saturday morning trip to the All-Local Farmers' Market and Rosewood Market.

It’s also the store where I stocked the shelves, answered thousands of wine questions and learned a bit more about wine. That job paid the bills and kept my wine collection stocked for several years. Working retail isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but I loved talking to people about wine.

If I’ve learned anything over the last ten years, it’s that I want to spend more of my life doing the things I love. That's my goal for the next ten years.

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