Those “Best of the Decade” lists that started popping up in October were like a wake-up call.
I guess I was so focused on 2009 coming to an end – is it just me, or didn’t we just celebrate New Year’s Eve? – that I didn’t think about saying farewell to the 00s, too.
I think about everything I’ve done, and everything that’s happened in my life, in the last 10 years, and it’s a little mind-boggling to comprehend it all. After all, I was 16 when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, and I’m ending this year at 26. Those ages in between are busy for everybody.
Graduating from both high school and college were, of course, two of the biggest events of the 00s for me.
College took up exactly half of my decade (stop laughing), and those were the best years of my life. I met people who completely shaped who I am – like my fellow Journal columnist and mentor, Marty Russell – and met and became friends with people who I now consider family.
I surprised myself by running for editor of The Daily Mississippian, the student newspaper at Ole Miss, and I was surprised further by actually getting the job. That year challenged absolutely everything I thought I knew about myself.
When it was over, one of my mentors asked me, “You were editor of The DM – what can’t you do now?”
That one sentence changed my life forever, and in a lot of ways, my life started over then. That sentence has inspired me almost every day since then to try things I never thought I could, or would, do.
Also in the 00s, I fell in love for the first time, and I fell out of love for the first time – and then I repeated that a few more times. I don’t regret a minute of it.
I traveled to both Los Angeles and New York City, two places I thought would for sure swallow me whole.
I saw one of my best friends become a mother.
I saw bands I never thought I’d get the chance to see live, and they lived up to every expectation I had.
Those were a lot of big moments, but I also had a lot of little, quick moments.
This one time, my best friend Hannah made me laugh so hard I literally thought I’d die laughing.
“American Idol” judge Randy Jackson once told me he was impressed with my reporting skills, and Ryan Seacrest hugged me.
I have a few ideas, or resolutions, I guess, for 2010 and for the nine years that follow it, but really, some of the best things that happened to me in the 00s weren’t by my own doing. I know of a few things I’d like to have happen, but I have a feeling I should focus more on the proverbial journey instead of the destination.
Thanks to everything that happened in the 00s, I feel smarter and more ready for whatever the 10s have in store.
So, it’s up to you, 2010 and beyond, to surprise me.
And I like surprises.
Contact Daily Journal writer Sheena Barnett at 678-1580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also read her entertainment blog, Scene Now, at NEMS360.com/pages/scene_now.
Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal