An ongoing series in which I ask people what their lives were like when they were about 28 years old.
Soon after I moved to Chicago I met Amy at an event hosted by Saya Hillman (remember her interview?). The event was all about “living a life of yes!” – and I’m thankful that several people there expressed interest in my series, because their energy helped propel this thing forward. Amy was one of them.
Julia: Where were you when you turned 28?
Amy: Hmmm, that would have been in 1996, a year after I completed my Master’s Degree, and I was still living in Milwaukee, WI. From what I can remember, I spent that birthday celebrating with friends in Milwaukee.
Overall, I was very excited when I completed my Master’s degree. I was the first (and only I think) to have completed that level of education – although most everyone in my immediate family has a college degree. At the time, I was very interested in using my degree to advance myself as a human resource professional and I was not interested in pursuing a Labor Relations focus, which was a large component of my education and degree.
I was also feeling very much ready to explore and live in a much different and larger urban city in the US. I eventually did get the chance in 1996 first and then in 1997 to relocate for work purposes to Greenville, SC and then Nashville, TN respectfully. But alas, that was the South and not nearly as urban as I had wanted so I ultimately made a life leap and moved myself out to San Francisco, CA in summer 2002. Stayed there 8 entire years. :)
J: What are one or two or several things you remember from the year or so surrounding that birthday?
A: I remember living on Milwaukee’s East Side in a neighborhood that was being gentrified and watching the community change. Around age 28, I lived in the Brewer’s Hill neighborhood, which is just a little north of Milwaukee’s downtown. This neighborhood had been where the Pabst Brewery had once thrived and was rich with a German history. When I moved there, the neighborhood was shifting from being a predominantly low-income and minority population to a mixed race, mid-to-upper income resident population. From what I could see, there was a resurgence in economic development and revitalization in this particular neighborhood and aldermanic district that focused on attracting more professionals that wanted to live and work near downtown Milwaukee instead of the surrounding suburbs. Here’s more about the Brewer’s Hill neighborhood and a great history lesson on the changing neighborhoods of Milwaukee.
I also remember how dedicated I was then to getting my butt up early on a regular basis to get in a good work out at the gym, lol.
J: Do you feel close to those memories, or far from them?
A: As I recall them, I am feeling fond of the memories – how I was growing into my own independence at the point in my life and how it helped shaped some decisions I would later make about moving out of my home town. A large motivator for wanting to leave Milwaukee, Wisconsin was the fact that I am biracial and wanted to live in a city that was more racially diverse – especially neighborhoods and home dwellings. As you can read from the history of Milwaukee, it was (and still remains) a very racially segregated city.
I had wanted to meet a man who would be my partner in life. This has not happened yet, so I am still accepting applications for the position – smile!!
J: Do you have any advice for someone going through this (supposedly) astrologically tumultuous time?
A: I do believe in astrology and try to follow my horoscope when I can. I think its always best to keep a journal as you plot through your daily life. That way you can always return and revisit yourself and your experiences and keep your emotional memory alive.
Amy, thank you for sharing your memories! Just to put it out there into the universe…if you met your true love through participating in this series, I’d be pretty stoked. Eligibly Chi-town bachelors, I’m looking at you.
Photo courtesy of Amy.
Previous posts in the series: Hannah, #1; Kara, #2; Saya, #3; Cathy (aka Mom), #4; Rachel, #5; Jen, #6; Cathy W., #7; Celeste, #8; Deanna, #9; Kyra, #10; Aditi, #11; Russ, #12; Amy, #13; Ellen, #14; Niec, #15; Anna H., #16.; Ami, #17; Beth, #18; Anna Z., #19.