Ten Years, Man. Ten YEARS.

Naturally, a lot of people are talking today about the end of the decade and where they were at the beginning of it. I thought about the enormous party we had at my Tacoma apartment where I lived with a very dear friend. It was a party so big that we were still finding confetti when we moved out 10 months later. It was a rager, and not just because it was the beginning of a new millennium. I was graduating from college in the year 2000. I was excited and terrified. It felt like real life was going to start then and though I was looking forward to it, I kind of wanted to be a kid a while longer. Part of this was because I had NO idea what I was going to “be”.

My career aspirations were all over the map. I was going to receive a degree in English Literature. How the hell that was going to translate into a job, I had no idea. There was much I didn’t know that night. I didn’t know that I would be living in London a year later. I didn’t know that I was going to fall in love again several times. I didn’t know that I was going to have my heart broken seemingly beyond repair and somehow find a way to recover. I didn’t know that I would have an unpaid “career” making movies that would be tremendously fulfilling from a creative standpoint, but utterly unfeasible from a monetary standpoint. I didn’t know that this career would take me around the country meeting loads of amazing people, some of them famous. Or that I would make several lifelong friendships because of it. I didn’t know that I would also make ends meet by working crappy day jobs. Or that I would eventually have the confidence to trade in a high-paying, unfulfilling day job to work at a scamtastic internet “startup” before finally realizing that writing about other people’s films is a lot more fun and less stressful than trying to make your own.

I certainly didn’t know that I would fall in love again, this time beyond measure, with a man who is perfect for me in every single way. I would not have suspected that I would allow this man to knock me up. I would not have believed that I would be sitting in front of a computer on New Years Eve 2009, stone cold sober and full of baby, trying not to care about feeling like a manatee in a cocktail dress, about to drive to a party with some of the most amazing people I have ever known. Part of me is sad that I won’t be able to party like it’s 1999. I’ve definitely been feeling a bit left out of the fun lately. But I know I couldn’t stay there. And I can’t stay here either. The next 10 years is probably going to bring a whole lot of things that 2009 Baxter can’t currently conceive. It’s about to get weird. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy New Year, everybody.