Gratitude Day 5

I decided to write Fall of 1999 to August of 2001, when I lived in Columbus, Ohio. Some hard or stressful things happened those years, which is what I tend to think about when I look back, but a lot of joy and excitement was there, too.

  1. I lived with my friend, Kim, for the first year and my orange cat, Louise. We lived in a cute apartment in Victorian Village and ate packaged Cesar Salad kids watched Friends, and drank shots of Bailey’s Irish Cream regularly.
  2. My parents got tickets to Broadway shows in Cleveland and they’d get an extra for me and I’d drive home for the weekend.
  3. I had my first years of what would turn into a lifetime of working with Somali students.
  4. I had a Somali teacher’s assistant, Fowziya. I loved her. She would call me her American sister and she lent me a traditional Somali dress to wear to the women’s party for her wedding.
  5. The excitement of buying things for my very first classroom.
  6. A friend named Barbara I had. We’d take kickboxing classes at the OSU gym and then watch Ally McBeal.
  7. The joy of Thursday night TV in 1999- Friends and ER.
  8. Taking a Spring Break trip to visit my brother in Tucson, Arizona, before either of us had kids.
  9. Meeting my friends from Prague in Ann Arbor for the weekend.
  10. How exciting it used to be to go out and drink too much and talk to people I’d never see again.
  11. When Easton Mall opened, and how exciting going there with my friend, Barbara was.
  12. All the places that have become boring chains now, that were so exciting then – Panera, Starbucks, Caribou, Bruegger’s Bagels.
  13. The excitement of dating someone new.
  14. I loved dating people from other cultures. I dated guys from Serbia, India, Jordan, Russia, Korea, and a few Americans. My friend’s husband laughed that I was dating the UN.
  15. Teaching for CPS, I got to take free classes at Ohio State.
  16. The teaching mentors that I found, people that were probably my age now that took time to help me.
  17. How open and filled with excitement the world seemed.
  18. Going to my friend Barbara’s apartment building’s pool in the summer, laying out all day, and then going to the Dollar Movie theater.
  19. The pretty salon where I had my hair died blonde and bought huge bottles of Aveda Shampoo.
  20. Driving home to Akron for the weekend and going shopping with my mom at our favorite thrift store.

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