When I was eleven, I thought I was pretty grown-up. I spent my free time geeking out on Prodigy message boards, writing proposals to the mayor, and working out what I could make that turtle do. When I finished reading every Agatha Christie, Poe and Bradbury, I devoured psychological thrillers and biographies about people who triumphed over all the shit life had thrown their way. I knew I was going to graduate from Baylor law and become an environmental lawyer. And I was definitely NEVER getting married.

Eleven years later I had regressed tremendously. My bombastic speaking skills and willingness to take up anyone’s challenge that I could not do something had landed me in management, leading the premier team in a key market selling booze. I learned the significance of eleven from a boss who taught me to play craps. I worked hard and played hard. A couple of transformational events later,  I started to believe I needed to settle down and maybe, one day, get married.

And here we are now, eleven years after the most insane party I’ve ever thrown (with 100 times the investment in limes as a  normal Gwyneth excursion). I could soliloquize about the life lessons I’ve learned in the decade plus one, but Kendra Alvey already covered that ground (#10, yup). I could explain how sometimes it has felt like the Eleven Years’ War, with a once independent force fractured into a hot mess because it can’t work out where its loyalties lie, but I’d get lambasted for historical inaccuracy and unnecessarily trampling others’ feelings. Or, I could say that marriage, like EVERYTHING in life, is not the same for any two people, goes through different phases, and can deliver equal measure happiness and hassle, all depending on your perspective.

Lucky me, I hitched to someone with nerves of steel. In honour of the Steel Anniversary, I’m judiciously testing those nerves, with a return to coding, founding, and continuing to let my gypsy soul lead the way to the next destination. What gift is a fitting thanks for enduring all that? There’s only one answer. Return to the roots that sparked this whole affair, the exchange of a mixtape.

Gold Steel?

11 Songs for the Steel Anniversary

  1. Into the Mystic | Van Morrison
  2. Steel Crazy After All These Years | Paul Simon
  3. Steel Raining, Steel Dreaming | Jimi Hendrix
  4. Steel the Same | Bob Seger
  5. Steel | Macy Gray
  6. Steel Into You | Paramore
  7. Steel | Jupiter Jones
  8. I’m Steel Standing | Elton John
  9. Steel I’m Sad | The Yardbirds
  10. Steel the One | Orleans
  11. These are the Days of Our Lives | Queen


2 Thoughts on “Eleven Years: The Mixtape

  1. Where do you donate said penny?

A penny for your thoughts. Literally, I will donate a penny for every (non-SPAM) comment.

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