On Friday, October 7, 2016, I will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of my mom screaming as loud as humanly possible at 10:45am. “The Big Three Oh,” “The Dirty Thirty,” the “no longer a twenty-something-know-it-all” happens that day.
Thirty years. Typing those words out makes me cringe in thinking about the time I have spent on this earth celebrating the annual accomplishment of revolving around the sun one more time.
Reflecting on 30 years is, well, it is a lot of things. It is funny, sad, scary, hard to remember, interesting, provoking, and weirdly enough, calming. After thinking about my time on this planet, I have come to the summation of a few things and oddly enough, they happened right here in Dayton, Ohio.
Now don’t get me wrong, these are trivial items and I wish they were as cool as inventing the pop tab or the self starter, but sadly enough they are not. First things first, lets talk about the firsts that happened for me here in Dayton
My first birthday, steps, words, and tuxedo purchase happened right here in the Gem City
- My first day of school, football game as a Carroll Patriot (Go Pats), driver’s license, car, and trip to Carpenter’s Road (where every teenager drove to on a Saturday night to be scared out of their mind)
- My first beer, karaoke performance, public dance-off, and broken leg (oddly enough I feel as though all of these are connected)
- My first kiss, dance, blind date, and best friend all take claim to Dayton
- My first funeral, cry, broken heart, day I wanted to give up & never try again, and day I wanted to leave this city, happened right here as well
Not only have I had the majority of all the firsts happen in this city, but each one of those firsts usually led me to, or helped cultivate, a memorable experience. Some in which I will never forget.
- The time I openly asked to climb into a boxing ring to bring the thunder and get bopped in the face to raise money for Dayton History, Carillon Historical Park
- The time I donned a fabulous pair of blue pumps to help spread the word about Clothes That Work
- The time I stood in the UD student section losing my voice while the Dayton Flyers DESTROYED the Pittsburgh Panthers (ranked #6 at the time) in an 80-55 victory
- The time I walked out of K-Mart across from the Greene and saw nothing but a field of Green
- The time a new minor league baseball team was forming in Dayton and held a contest to name the new mascot
- The time I walked across the stage, shook the hand of Dr. Dan, and heard my parents tell me how proud they were of what I have done.
- Also that time I got a selfie with Dr. Dan
- The time when my sister found the person she would be spending the rest of her life with by her joining an after work softball team
- The time myself and 48 other local Daytonians came together for a weekend retreat we will never forget, thanks to Leadership Dayton
With each experience there always seems to be an aftermath or some sort of consequence. Some have made a lasting impression, while others are gone in a second.
- Finding out that my best friend was getting married and I would be with him to support and celebrate the day
- Finding out that we were getting a puppy and that I was responsible for walking, feeding, and letting him out (I never did any of that stuff, that dog loved my dad and hated me)
- Finding out I was accepted to the one and only college I applied to (UD), and I would get to stay in Dayton
- Finding out 13 years ago that my grandma had breast cancer and it was time for us to fight
- Finding out what a ramen noodle soup budget really tastes like, and not minding it too much
- Also finding out Netflix is the new cable while eating said soup
- Finding out that my parents were much smarter than I gave them credit for in my high school days
All of these things, and so many others happened right here in Dayton. I have made friendships, created adventures, and cultivated experiences that I could never duplicate in another city. I am thankful for the friends I have in my life who keep me in check when I am acting out. I am thankful to my family, in particular my parents Dan and Pam and my sister, Stacy. Without them, I would have never survived the past 30 years, especially the early ones. I am thankful for Dayton, which has thrown challenges, curveballs, hardships, eye-opening experiences, beer after beer, and memory upon memory at me.
I would love to sign this blog post off by writing, “Thanks for the three decades of fun, and now here’s to another three,” but sadly I cannot. I have no idea where I will be at in one, five, or even ten years — let alone 30.
One thing I will say is that I will continue to make every day count. Taking advantage of every opportunity that is available, accepting every challenge placed in front of me, and continuing to push forward. I will do this because I want to create new firsts, experience something new, and enjoy every consequence.