10 years ago, in January of 2000, I was in the second semester of my junior year in college. And yes, my life was SO very different! I hadn't met my husband yet--that would come the following year--and I lived on a diet of beer and pizza. I viewed an early bedtime as anything before two in the morning, and a night out was always less than $20. I had a horrid fake ID that I bought on the internet, that said I was from Vermont, but was never questioned.
I remember that I laughed a lot, as I had some of the best roommates and friends. Five of us lived in a two-bedroom apartment with a tiny walk-through kitchen. Sure we'd have fights over who didn't do their dishes and the amount of the electric bill, but it was a small trade-off to be continually surrounded by my best friends. And yes, many stories from this time period have made it into my books, in one incarnation or another and I gave my roommates proper credit in the acknowledgements of both.
At twenty years old, my dreams of publication continued to grow. I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew someday, I would be a writer. I figured I'd write a book when I had something more to "say" and when I had more free time. (Insert laughter here, as I had about four million more minutes of free time than I do now!)
I was an avid reader, although that nasty thing called school work often got in the way. It was around this time that I first read Marian Keyes' Watermelon, a book that really changed the way I viewed the publishing industry. Her book reminded me that writing should be fun, rather than a vicious, difficult process. (Although it still is, many times.)
I think the most surprising thing is that, although my life has changed in so many ways via a husband, toddler, mortgage, book deal, I'm still pretty similar to the girl who sat in her apartment ten years ago, eating Papa John's pizza and watching Friends. When I recently visited my sister at school, the same school I attended, I wanted to ask all of her friends what they were doing on campus, as they were clearly too young to be in college. My friends and I are supposed to be the ones bar-hopping and walking to class, right?
But then, true to sister-form, she reminded me that I'm thirty years old now, and have a child, so I should feel lucky that I even blend in with the real college students. I think I ignored her and ordered a pizza.