Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The last days of my youth (i.e. I'm turning FREAKING 30!!)

For the last 364 days I've been dreading what tomorrow is going to bring. Not only will I add another decade onto my life, but I'll be entering a completely different mindset in life. No longer will I be upset if I'm carded buying alcohol, I'll be upset if they don't card me cause I'm obviously way above the legal age. I don't have to eagerly wait to get lower auto insurance premiums cause I'll be looking for my seniors discount soon. Ugh, 10 more years until I have to have mamograms!! It's just depressing thinking about getting older. 

Although the idea of getting older makes me miserable, I thought maybe if I reminded myself of what my 20's brought me it may help prepare me for what my 30's will bring. 

Summer of 2000 and 2001
Worked as a counselor at Camp Saginaw in Oxford, PA where I met my best friend, Gemma. My summers were spent helping with swim lessons, comforting home-sick 6-10 year olds, folding endless loads of laundry, and meeting some of the best people I've ever met. My "american" accent was made fun of constantly and I learned way more about vegemite then I ever cared to. 

May 2005
Graduated 2nd in my class from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree! That's Dr. Starla to you buddy. Following graduation, I promptly packed up all my stuff and the kitties and moved out to Cincinnati, OH to start my residency at University Hospital. It was scary to move further than a 45 min drive from my parents, but I needed to get my career completed. 

June 2007
Finished two hellish years of residency in Cincinnati where I specialized in Oncology Pharmacy. Two years filled with accomplishment, progress, satisfaction, sadness, heartbreak, and self-renewal. Although those years brought a large share of all the hurt I've ever felt in my life, I firmly believe that the person I am today was created by my need to be myself and find out who I really am. 

March 2008
Traveled to New York City to meet up with my best friend Gemma and take in the city sights. Gemma flew all the way from England to hang out with me in the Big Apple. As both first-timers we successfully maneuvered around the subway system, saw a broadway musical, saluted the giant lady of the country, and took in the never sleeping city at full force. 

July 2008
Became a world traveler for the 1st time in my life by getting my passport and flying away to the "one happy island" in the Caribbean. Aruba was my first taste of life outside the states. I traveled the island in a jeep reaching places not reached by most tourist, snorkeled at a sunken ship wreak, and soaked in the tropical sun while drinking fruity drinks on the tranquil beaches. 

November 2009
Met and fell in love with the man of my dreams. He didn't know it at the time, but I knew by the time this picture was taken at Thanksgiving that he was the one. He's filled my life with adventure, passion, giggles, and most certainly love. 

January 2009
Purchased my first bike and started a hobby/lifestyle that will last until I am shriveled and dead or unable to use my legs. Through Brad I found a group of riding friends,  the Road Rascals, who lead me in developing my biking skills and pushed me to go further than I dreamed possible. Less than 3 months after getting my bike, I completed my first MS 150 ride from Houston to Austin and stood beside my friends in Austin celebrating our achievement. 

February 2009
Shredded for the first time in my life at Winter Park in Colorado. Despite having wicked altitude sickness from going from sea level to 10,700 feet in a matter of a few hours, Brad and I managed to ride bikes down the mountain in the dark guided only by head lamps, snowboard for 2 days, injure my wrist, and drive the jeep in crazy blowing snow. 

April 11, 2010
I lost a part of my heart and soul on this day. The man of my life, my father, was taken away from us this day. My heart aches still so much and I miss him more than words can describe. I miss everything about him and everything that was to come, walking me down the aisle "one of these days" and having grandchildren that he can love. More than anything, I miss my father for making me laugh and inspiring a rivalry passion that noone can ever compete with. 

May 2010
Stretched my wings a little further and ventured over to Europe for a trip of a lifetime. Brad and I flew into London to spend time with my best friend, Gemma, then hopped on the Eurorail to the city of love, Paris. From Paris we traveled further south to the Cote d' Azure in Nice, France. Here we logged our most epic bike ride ever, we climbed to the top of the Col de Madone (975 m or ~3500 ft in 9 miles). 


Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful tribute, Starla. I'm twice your thirty years and still cycling. May your health promote your passion for new terrain, challenges, and friendships. Cycle on, Lady!


Portia said...

Looks like you've had some fun this past decade. I'm enjoying my last year of 20s too. They keep getting better. Glad we were reunited in H-town, and can't wait to see you in Maui Love ya, chica!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the club, HAPPY BIRTHDAY


Megan said...

Wowsers! What a great tribute! I know the next decade will have a lot to live up to, but I think you've got lots of adventures left! Best wishes and Happy Birthday (I'll be following you shortly)