My Decade in Review. A lot has transpired.

By: Andrew Switzer
By: Andrew Switzer

This Friday begins a New Year, but it also begins a new decade.  I was surfing the internet just a few moments ago and came across a series of photos on the Kansas City Star website, www.kcstar.com, that chronicled the events of the last decade.  My goodness has a lot happened!?!?!  This got me to thinking...where has my life come from and what have I done within the last decade?  When I actually sat down to think about it and analyzed my life in this the first decade of the 2000s, I was more than pleased with the people I have met, the things I have done and accomplished, and just overall how the whole decade evolved.  There have been some ups and downs along the way but all in all it was a great decade for me.  I count my blessings because I know others may not have been so lucky this decade.  I will share with you how my decade has unfolded and I invite you to share the same with me.  I look forward to reading your comments and Amanda Lanum and I will read some of your comments on the air.  So let me know - what have you done and how has your life changed since January 1st, 2000?

At the beginning of this decade (which was also the start of a new century and a new millennium) I was just a young boy, a sophomore in high school.  I had no idea what I would be doing the next weekend much less where I would got to college, what I would do for a professional career, or who I would marry.  I now know the answer to all of those questions.

I would say there have been three main phases of my life this decade.  The first was high school, which I graduated from in 2002.  The next would be college where I spent nearly half the decade and had some amazing experiences and met even better people.  Then finally would be my professional life which brought me to Topeka nearly 3 years ago and where I will start off (and hopefully finish) the next decade.

This decade I have met and become friends with people who will be friends of mine for the rest of my life.  I will have eight groomsmen in my wedding and I was only really good friends with one of them at the start of this decade, that was my brother.  Through the final 2.5 years of high school I became extremely close with 5 guys and I met and became great good friends with my other two groomsmen in college.  Also in college I met the most amazing girl in the world and the one I will marry next summer and spend the rest of my life with.

My experiences this decade have been unforgettable.  One thing that everyone can relate to is September 11th, 2001.  It will be a question that my grandkids will ask me in 50 years, much like I have asked my parents and grandparents where they were when they heard the new of Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination.  Where was I and what was I doing when I heard about the terrorist attacks of 9-11?  I was in Mr. Flemming's yearbook class learning how to develop photos in the dark-room.  That entire day at school we watched the coverage on TV and I was in Mr. Griffin's English class when the second tower fell.  Football practice was cancelled that day l and I remember how long the lines were at the gas stations as everyone feared surging gas prices.  I remember the patriotic pride that gripped the nation.

The summer of 2004 was when I started down the road to my broadcast meteorology career as I had the chance to do an internship at KMBC channel 9 in Kansas City under Bryan Busby.  Bryan and I remain good friends today as he still mentors me in my young career and is probably the most influential professional figure in my life.  Without that internship I doubt I would be working here at WIBW in Topeka today.

In the spring semester of 2005 I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad.  I studied at a school in Reading, England (Reading University) for one term.  I became excellent friends with one of my best friends today during this experience as we traveled all over England and Europe.  By chance I happened to be in Rome (along with millions of others) when the Pope died.  That was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

I started this decade with 4 grandparents and I am now down to 2 as both of my dad parents passed away within 6 months of each other in 2004.

I am engaged to be married next summer and just recently purchased my first home.

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005.  The Greensburg tornado hit on May 4th, 2007.  Manhattan took a direct hit from a tornado on June 12th, 2008.  We have had paralyzing ice storms and huge snow storms.  As with most decades the weather across Kansas was ever changing and violent.

We have had three presidents starting with Bill Clinton for one year, then George W. Bush for 8 and now the first black president, Barack Obama for the last year of the decade.

So what about you?  How has your life changed?  Have you had kids or grandkids?  Changed jobs?  Married?  Divorced?  Married Again?  Ten years may not seem like a real long time but when you look back at a decade – a lot can happen.  Share your stories and then watch 13 News on Thursday morning and Amanda Lanum and I will read some of your stories.

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