I cannot believe this decade is about over. There are about 14 hours left of it and it's got me thinking about everything that has happened in the past 10 years. It really has been a crazy one!
This year I graduated high school and started college at Iowa State University. I moved into the predominately freshman dorms with one of my best friends from high school (do not recommend that) and fell in love with ISU. I started out as a journalism major and even wrote for the Iowa State Daily that semester but soon fell out of love with being a reporter. I had a couple of stories printed but it just didn't trip my trigger anymore. I wanted to do something else! But what?
After my first year at ISU my friend from high school moved out of the dorms and into an apartment leaving me alone. I didn't mind though, I had met a group of girls that I would soon call my best friends and still do to this day. I also joined a sorority with one of these girls and fell in love with the sisterhood and passion that these girls had for their house. This is the year I also got back together with my ex from high school Looking back now I have huge regrets, but at the time I was very happy. I have chosen a new major and decided I wanted to be a buyer in the fashion industry. I began work on an Apparel Merchandising and Design/Production degree.
Now, I am still living in the sorority house with my best friend and still loving it but having concerns that it's not what I want for the next two years. I have my doubts and know in the back of my mind I will probably deactivate. I am still off and on with my ex and wasting a lot of precious time pining after him when I could have been out meeting wonderful guys... like CY! We were both at ISU at the same time and didn't know it. We actually had the same exact favorite study spot. In the basement of the Memorial Union across from the cafeteria is a small (and I mean tiny!) little library that was always super warm and cozy. I would always go in there to study before class and apparently, so did Cy! I am positive we probably saw each other and campus and didn't realize it.
This year I turned 21. Need I say more? I could legally drink in bars now and I was taking full advantage. My AMDP degree was well underway and I was doing great. I was finally getting A's because I was studying something I actually enjoyed. We also had to participate in a field study and could choose between places like Chicago, NYC, Paris and Guatemala. NYC was the one everyone wanted to go on and offered the most experience so I chose that one! I spent 7 days in NYC visiting places like Banana Republic/Gap and the Polo Ralph Lauren mansion. It as so cool. I fell in love with New York and decided I wanted to live there as soon as possible. On this field study is where I landed my internship with Ralph Lauren Childrenswear and would begin work on it that summer. During this time I met a great guy in Kansas City, and spent my entire senior year traveling back and forth from home to KC almost every weekend to see him.
Ahhh, the year I graduated college. In may I would graduate college with plans to move to Kansas City to be with the guy I met over the summer. I did not have a job and I had no idea how I was going to use a Fashion degree in Kansas City, MO. Right after arriving, the boyfriend and I broke up. I was devastated. Devastated and also mad at myself for putting so much of myself into him. I was working in a restaurant and hating every second of it. I knew I needed to start looking for a job immediately. In college we always made fun of the fashion majors that ended up working at the mall in retail but one of my sorority sisters that was also a fashion major and living in Chicago told me about this great company that she was working for called Club Libby Lu. I decided what the hell? I'll go check it out. Little did I know that CLL would be a huge and important part of my life post college.
I worked for Club Libby Lu as an assistant manager for about 6 months before being promoted and given my own store to run in Overland Park, KS. I fell in love with the concept, the products, the company... everything. In love, I tell you. I threw myself into this job and loved going to work everyday. My boss had to make me leave at many times because I was always there. My first store in Overland Park was like my baby and I still hold it very close to my heart.
Club Libby Lu knew I was from Iowa and asked me if I would be willing to move back to Iowa to help with the store they had there that was struggling. It was a much smaller store and was a hard decision for me to make, but I really wanted to live in the same city as my friends and family before moving on to somewhere else. I had high hopes of working in corporate for CLL in Chicago and considered my time in Iowa only temporary.
We all know many times our long term plans do not work out and mine definitely did not pan out. I planned on moving to Chicago and being a buyer for CLL, instead they decided to open a flagship location in Myrtle Beach, SC and wanted me to run it. At first, I turned it down because it was too far away. Then they sent me there to be the opening trainer and I fell in love. I knew immediately I had to run this store and live in this adorable beach town. So, in April I packed up my things and made the trip across country with one of my best friends to South Carolina to live at the beach. Living on a coast is something so surreal to me and I will never get over being able to look over to your right everyday and see the ocean but it just wasn't worth being so far away from my family and friends so at the end of the year I made the hardest decision of my life and quit CLL to move back to Iowa.
I had found a job with a local college in administration that was your basic desk job. It was with one of my best friends and I am so grateful that she got me the job but I despised going to work everyday. I hated being on the phone all the time (which was predominately my job) and being chained to a desk. I hated the office gossip and the cattiness of the women employees. I knew I wouldn't last long. Almost the entire year I was there I was looking for another job, looking for something that I would love just as much as CLL. Then in August my old boss emailed me to say that she was searching for a new manager for the Iowa store and wanted to know if I knew anyone. I replied and jokingly said yeah... me! I was half joking, half serious but she replied and was serious. She wanted me back! So I came back to CLL and couldn't be happier! Then... a month later I got the worst news of my life. The company that owns CLL has decided to discontinue the chain and liquidate all 100 stores. It sounds crazy now, but I am grateful that I could be a part of the end of such a wonderful company. It truly was a special part of my life and I will forever miss it.
At the beginning of the year all the CLL stores closed. I was now unemployed and depressed. I felt like I was losing a great friend and would never get her back. But, I knew that I needed to be an adult, chin up and start looking for a job. At first I planned on going back to school for a Masters in education. I figured I would love teaching elementary school since I loved that age group with CLL. Then I found out that the Limited Too in my mall was looking for a store manager and I thought, what the heck? Maybe I should check it out. I interviewed and a week later I had the job. Didn't hurt that I knew their district manager!
So, I started working for them back in March and that was basically my year until I met Cy... and I think you all know how that is going! Wink, wink! :)
So, that is how my decade has gone. How was yours?!