At New Year 1999/2000 (then), I was 20 years old. At New Year 2009/2010 (now), I’m 30 years old.
Then, I was in Liverpool, specifically Toxteth, in a small, rented one bedroom flat. Now, I’m living on the edge of Bradford in a great three-bed house, which we will be all ours in 25 years time (or thereabouts).
Then, I was in the last year of my degree and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Now, I’ve got my own company but still have little idea what I want to do with my life.
Then, I wanted to be an academic and a writer. Now, I make some of my money through writing but not as I’d imagined (making money by writing on the internet was an alien concept to me back then) but I’m so disheartened by the politics & agendas of academia that I can’t see myself returning to work in a university again. (Hell, even to study in one to a large extent, and that’s saying a lot as I still love learning.)
Then, I was with Dave – we’d just celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Now, I’m with John and if we celebrated anniversaries, we’d have exchanged “happy 7 years!” cards earlier this year.
Then, we had two awesome cats – Carla and Carbon. Now, we have three awesome, mature cats – Carla, Carbon and Boron. Sili’s ashes sit on the mantelpiece, awaiting sprinkling into the cat nip seedlings plant pots in the spring.
Then, my main hobbies were reading (mostly stuff for my degree), playing ‘The Sims’ & ‘Age of Empires’/’Age of Kings’ and watching bad films. Now, my main hobbies are making stuff, eating good food, playing management games (most recently ‘OpenTTD’; and ‘Air Traffic Control’ & ‘Harvest Moon’ on my DS) and making fun of bad films with good friends.
Then, my favourite food was Bradford curries – a rare pleasure whenever we crossed the Pennines, unmatched in Liverpool. Now, my favourite food is Bradford curries – we enjoy them considerably more frequently now.
Then, my favourite author by far was Douglas Coupland. Now, I don’t really have a favourite author – much as I don’t have a favourite band or favourite film. Some of my favourite books include ‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates, ‘Prep’ by Curtis Sittenfeld, ‘How I paid for college’ by Marc Acito, ‘Drop City’ by TC Boyle and John Wyndham’s cosy catastrophes. In 1999/2000, my favourite Douglas Coupland book was ‘Microserfs’; in 2009/2010, it’s ‘Miss Wyoming’.
Then, I only had access to the internet on the PCs at university and the main sites I visited were Yahoo (search & mail), Geocities (the home of my first website, started in 1997) and Freeservers (which hosted the majority of my websites by then). Now, I have access to the internet at home, at work, just about everywhere and the main sites I visit are Google (search & feed reader), Twitter and Wikipedia.
Then, my websites included a guide to my hometown for young people (it was the first of its kind but never up to date), a CV site including samples of my academic work & fiction, and an alumnae site for my old school. Now, my websites include a well-regarded recycling site, a once-more-renowned-than-now celebrity gossip site and a personal indulgence site (ie. this one).
Then, I thought the internet was amazing. Now, I think the internet is quadruple-amazing, although even I think it’s getting a bit overloaded with silly cat pictures.
Then, the computer we shared at home ran Windows 95. Now, our personal laptops run Ubuntu.
Then, I typically wore blue jeans with a t-shirt/vest top and a fleece jacket. I wore skirts quite regularly too. Now, I typically wear blue (albeit darker blue) jeans with a t-shirt/vest top, and a cotton hoodie. I very rarely wear skirts or dresses.
Then, I wore a size 5 shoe when I should probably have been wearing 5.5 or 6. Now, I wear a size 6.5/7 shoe and my feet are wide after finally releasing them from the bind of small tight shoes.
Then, I wore the same jewellery all the time – silver star stud earrings, a plain silver necklace and silver rings. Now, I make jewellery but don’t wear it that much, aside from my silver thumb ring.
Then, my favourite colour was silver and I hated the colour green, particularly for clothing, associating it with school. Now, my favourite colour is greyish pale teal generally, black or dark grey for clothes and I really quite like the colour green (albeit a far brighter and more cheerful shade than Greenbank’s bottle green).
Then, I hadn’t been to any of the places on my “I really really really want to go there at some point” top 10 list. Now, I have been to three of them (Venice, Russia and Berlin) and hope to go to at least one of the others next year.
Then, I was very distrusting of other women and most of my friends were boys. Now, most of my friends are still boys but I’ve learned that women aren’t all bad.
Then, I desperately wanted to reconnect with a good few people who were AWOL from my life at the time. Now, I’m in touch with some of them again and realised I’m not really too bothered about most of the rest. (Then, I read through hundreds upon hundreds of Yahoo results unsuccessfully trying to track them down. Now, I dare say if I was bothered about finding the rest, I’d know what level zombie they are on Facebook within milliseconds.)
Then, I pictured an eventual home as somewhere with a little land so we could have a few sheep as well as cats and dogs – but it was, strangely, always night in my mental picture. Now, the picture is similar except there are chickens as well as sheep, maybe even goats or a house cow the more I read about them – and it’s a lot lighter and brighter.
Then, I was adamant that I would not have children. Now, I’m still confident that I won’t give birth myself but we would like to adopt if possible.
Then, I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about stuff unnecessarily, and being consumed by petty jealousy. Now, I do the same, sigh.
Then, I didn’t know how good I had it. Now, I know more clearly but still don’t make the most of it.