Today, I turn 30. This year is my “golden birthday” as I’m turning 30 on the 30th of September.
For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that this birthday has caused significant reflection. I look back at all that has happened in the past 10 years of my life.
In 2000, about the time I turned 20, I switched my second major from mathematics to philosophy… and my life was never the same.
In 2001, I turned 21 shortly after all our lives were changed on 9/11.
In 2002, I met the woman who would become my wife. I asked her out. She turned me down.
I graduated from Bethel in 2003. I also had a mishap with a Diet Coke, a couch, some carpet and The Never-Ending Story. (As seen below.)
I started dating my wife in 2004. I also moved to Ohio and got my own apartment where I lived by myself for two years.
I rang in 2005 by leaving my gall bladder in 2004, having it removed on New Year’s Eve afternoon.
2006 was a big year.
My wife and I got engaged January 14. Yes, I made her breakfast in bed to propose. No, she doesn’t know I’m posting this photo. However, it’s my birthday. I think I can get away with it.
I graduated with my master’s degree in philosophy from Ohio University in June.
I got married to my wonderful wife, Jessica, on August 5, 2006.
And we moved across the country 10 days later to Waco, TX, where I started my PhD at Baylor University.
I also lost my first grandparent. My grandpa Valier Amstutz died in September. I was lucky enough to live the first nearly 26 years of my life with four living grandparents.
In 2007, I got another sister (as Josh married Stacy), celebrated my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and became an uncle to my adorable niece Sophie.
In 2008, Jess and I did our first vacation with friends, visiting Memphis, TN with Nate and Grace Patterson.
In 2009, I ran my first half-marathon with my brother Jared.
I also reached a new pinnacle in teaching, as students made t-shirts for my class. The shirts say “I ♥ Fun Fact Friday” on the front with the course number on the back as well as “Kant get enough”! Needless to say, it was something I’ll never forget.
That brings us to this year, 2010. This year has been a year of seconds rather than firsts. My second grandpa, Joe H. Schwartz died in June. My second niece will be born any day. Jess is in her second year of grad school. I’m in my second year of working on my dissertation. I have a second responsibility as a graduate fellow at the Academy for Teaching and Learning at Baylor.
I’m realizing that I’m moving into a new phase of life. I’m in my 25th and final (hopefully) year of being a student. Next year at this time, I will be able to go by Dr. Joel A Schwartz. Next year at this time, I’m planning on being a full-time faculty member of a college or university, teaching students in philosophy. Next year Jess and I will probably not be living in Waco, and may be out of Texas. Given that we moved to Texas 10 days after getting married, Texas is all we’ve really known as a married couple. Next year at this time, I won’t be spending multiple hours every day in front of the computer working on my dissertation.
10 years from now, I’m sure my life will look quite different than it does now. I’ll be a professor, living in a different place, and hopefully a dad. The last 10 years have been eventful. So much more has happened than I could begin to blog about. To all of you who have been a part of the past 10 years I thank you for the conversations, the fun and the memories. Those years wouldn’t have been as great as they were without you. I hope that I have been able to play a memorable role in your lives as well. To all of you who will be a part of the next 10 years, I look forward to seeing what lies ahead!