The year 2020, and the start of a brand new decade starts in just a few weeks. Wow – mind blowing! I feel like the last ten years has just kind of flown by. I guess that’s what happens when you get older – time just kind of happens a little faster every single year.
While the 2010s have indeed sped by like a police car chasing a Lamborghini, a lot still has happened in the last ten years. It’s my duty as a writer to introspect sometimes I guess. Document the changes. How has my life changed in the last ten years? What’s stayed the same? Who is Aaron J. Edwards in 2019? Who was he in 2010? Can he find a better intro when 2029 turns to 2030? Yikes….I’ll be in my 50s when that happens! But I digress.
Let’s talk about work
At the beginning of 2010, I worked two part-time jobs. It. Was. Grueling. Mondays were especially bad as I reported to Job A at 8 AM and worked for four hours. After a couple of hours for lunch and travel time, I would report to Job B, where I usually worked until 9 PM. I then traveled for about an hour and arrived home at 10 PM. I really don’t know how I maintained that schedule, as it seems exhausting looking back. Luckily, Mondays were the only day I had to work at both jobs. Well, unless there was an emergency.
At the end of 2019, well, most of you know my situation. Job B eventually promoted me to full time, and I worked as the head of the department for several years. And then I got laid off. And I’m still unemployed. Well, depending on who you ask. I do work for a small online music publication (that I started), but I don’t get paid for that. So, essentially I have no paying position. And I need one! Like….tomorrow!
What about my writing?
The 2010s was quite a decade in terms of my writing. There were times when I decided I could no longer call myself a writer, and there were times when I feel my writing has never been stronger. At the beginning of 2010, I especially had a good high going on with my writing. A look at the Wayback Machine shows I published over 15 articles on this website from November 2009 through September 2010. That’s actually a record (at least for this site). During that time period, I also started a website called geekypoetry.com. I had the writing bug for certain!
Fast forward through a few writing droughts and to now. As I mentioned before, I started an online music publication (audioperfecta.com). I publish there twice a week. I also write one fictional piece each month and publish it at fictionalpdx.com. I even started a fourth website, though that idea recently fell apart. Regardless, as it stands, I am on track to have written over 150,000 words in 2019. Aside from perhaps my last year of college, I cannot say I’ve ever written that much. Mind you, I feel my writing has evolved quite a bit as well – when one writes so much, one realizes the bad habits they have and tries to correct these habits.
What about other creative outputs?
In November of 2009, I switched this site from an HTML only blog to a WordPress blog. That was a challenge, but I’m glad I did! With that being said, aside from trying to figure out WordPress and my writings, my creative output (especially on any given website) was pretty stagnant. Despite my training in both desktop publishing and web design, I felt my words needed no picture. To give you an idea of where I was at at the beginning of 2010, look at this screenshot of aaronjedwads.com from February of 2010.
Pretty bland, even for 2010. I just didn’t care about the images. Even that site header image was something that came with my theme.
So, what about now. Well, firstly, let’s look at a screenshot of this site:
As you can clearly see….my WordPress skills have certainly improved over the last ten years. So have my graphics skills. I really care about the graphics. I sweat and toil over every single graphic I use on any of my sites. I invested in a copy of PhotoShop which certainly helps – but there’s more to good graphic design than just the tools. There’s an entire philosophy change. Graphics are part of good web design and help my words… I finally realized that.
While my outlets have not seemed to have changed, I care a lot more about these outlets. I care about my web design enough that I attend WordPress meetups and even help other webmasters with their websites. By the way, I just finished a redesign of AudioPerfecta.com (including rebranding). and have a redesign of this site scheduled next!
What about relationships?
I spent New Year’s Eve, 2009, in a theater watching Up in The Air. I did not go with anyone – just me, myself, and several strangers in a sparsely populated theater. As far as friends go, the few I had were distant. I had no one special in my life. Most of my interactions involved my coworkers and family.
Fast forward to now….somethings have stayed the same, but most have changed dramatically. As far as friendships, well, not much has changed there. A few things have gotten worse in the relationship department mind you. My mom died two years ago, my grandma died last May. As far as close family, I have my dad. Oh….of course there’s my partner…..that’s changed. Yes, I do have someone special (very special). In fact, most of my interactions involve her, her friends, and her family.
I will say that her friends and family have been nothing but welcoming and I care about them a great deal.
What about my health?
At the beginning of 2010, I basically refused to go to the doctor. I had not been to a doctor in probably ten years, and it would be quite sometime before I went again. I felt healthy, so I just saw no need. Besides, what if they found something really wrong with me? I was kind of scared. I was curious if they could do anything for my deformed feet, but as said feet didn’t bother me much, I really didn’t have the motivation.
Fast forward to today. I’m still afraid of the doctor, though I have gone a few times. My health isn’t bad. Granted, my feet give me more trouble, my legs swell now, and my back hurts more… I guess that’s another part of getting older. Really, I have nothing to complain about though. Side-note… I did almost die at the beginning of this year. On a flight to San Antonio, I caught a nasty strain of H1N1. That developed into a very nasty flu, complete with secondary bacterial infection and a trip to an ER (out of state and with no insurance). But, I’m feeling much better now. Still, get a freaking flu shot people. Which reminds me… I need to get one myself.
Has my life improved in the last ten years?
That’s… a tough question to answer. In some areas, my life has dramatically improved. My relationship with my partner, for instance, has been a) wonderful, and b) a defining factor in the last decade. We’ve been together for over 5 years now, and we plan on being together for the rest of our lives.
Another defining factor of the last ten years, however, is the loss of my mom. That’s something I’ll never get over.
As far as my creativity and writing, my life has improved dramatically! I know more about creating websites, writing copy, editing, SEO, and graphic design than I ever thought possible. Once more, I demonstrate those skills on a regular basis.
As far as my work life… well… again… I need a paying gig. Like yesterday. In 2010, I had two. Now I have 0. So that definitely has gotten worse.
So to answer the question, my life has not gotten better or worse. My life has gotten… different. I guess that’s how life operates.
That’s also a good lesson to take into the next ten years. My life will for certain be different in 2030 than it is in 2020. There will be ups, there will be downs. There will be disappointments, there will be achievements. Regardless, life goes on. Live for today, and plan for tomorrow. Expect great things, but brace for hardships. The only thing certain in this life is death and taxes… but we will most likely see some great and wonderful and terrible and horrible things in the next ten years. Try to roll with the punches, and remember the good when the bad comes. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.