The 10-Year Challenge – A Retrospective

I’m turning 37 years old tomorrow. Yikes!

And while I haven’t really thought about it too much before, for some reason this year I’m approaching that 37-year mark with a little more caution. Maybe it’s just me getting wiser, or so I hope anyway, but I did spend the last couple of evenings reminiscing of the past few years, highs and lows, achievements and possibilities lost. And once again Google Photos came to the rescue.

I’ve recently seen a few 10-year challenge posts from friends of mine and a quick scroll down the Google Photos memory lane revealed a few things about where I was exactly ten years ago.

Ten years ago I already had a plan to move back to Poland, but that plan was basically a one-way flight ticket to Poland and not much else. In January I still worked at WET Design, I had moved back into my parents’ place to save up for the Poland trip, and I was fairly carefree on the cusp of flipping my life upside down.

What you see below is basically a January-March 2009 photo spread in Southern California, with the exception of the last point:

  1. Winter in SoCal means no rain or snow, just desert-like coolish but sunny days. Biking with my dad in the local mountains was a Sunday morning ritual
  2. Oscar the dog… what a great dog he was. Flew the Atlantic twice
  3. Desert shenanigans with Eric and the WET crew. Funny story: Eric and Jen, who were just colleagues on that trip, are married now living in Colorado with their kid
  4. Mountain biking some more on local fire roads
  5. Hiking Mt. Wilson with Jeff Bamb
  6. Keeping up my Hawaiian shirt Friday tradition was crucial (sometimes the Hawaiian shirt part was substituted with simply a festive shirt of some sort)
  7. I still had my toys: the 1972 Datsun 240z and my Marin mountain bike
  8. In May I traveled south of the equator to visit Peru. Another funny story: exactly ten years later, this coming May, I’m just about set to go back for a second visit. Stay tuned for that write up in June of this year!

This was me in the winter/spring of 2009. How does it compare to where I am now? Hard to say. It’s all a process of growing up really. I’m a long way from that place today. Quite literally, too, since I now live in Poland and not in SoCal. I have definitely evolved as a person since then and definitely matured in my thinking about life.

So yeah, happy birthday to me!


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