Corey Costelloe mug

Corey Costelloe

Usually around this time of year, it’s the typical "year in review" writing for those of us who put things to paper that folks read, or at the very least, skim. But this week is different because as you already know we’re not just starting a new year, but a new decade as well. I’m not sure about you, but the 2010s were pretty life-changing and in many cases career-defining for yours truly.

We don’t think about 10 years as being a long time until we take these moments to look back and reflect. Then what was accomplished 10 years ago seems like ancient history. We’re only blessed to see a limited number of decades so it’s nice when we have the chance to make the most of them.

The 2010s personally were rather interesting. I essentially changed careers twice, leaving the private sector radio gig for a broadcasting and public relations position at Cal State Bakersfield in 2011. Then six years later I would pretty much do a career-180 that has brought me home and placed me in the position to do work I was destined to do. It sometimes takes a decade or two before one realizes that you were in fact on the road less traveled the entire time.

But seriously, the things I was a part of in the 2010s make my head spin. I was fortunate to experience the NCAA Baseball Regionals in 2015, the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the 2017 National Invitational Tournament, where my team made an improbable run from the lowest seed in the tourney to the final four at Madison Square Garden in New York City. When I look back to the last 10 years and realize all those life-altering experiences occurred, it’s exhilarating, exhausting and humbling all in one take.

There were things that many people, dare I say most people, won’t get to experience. Things like standing on top of a ladder and cutting down your own piece of an NCAA net after winning a conference tournament and punching a ticket to the Big Dance. I still get chills when thinking about the game-winning shot that happened in Las Vegas in March of 2016 and laugh when I see the video of an overweight announcer sitting courtside jumping in the air, while still on the air himself. Sometimes you can’t help but be a fan, especially when one shot can change your life.

The 2010s were accomplishment driven in my book. There were things like professional moves, promotions, degrees, certifications, things that really lay the groundwork for who you want to be. Near the end of the decade I realized where I wanted to be was home. Near my family, to properly start my own family and raise kids in Tehachapi, with a support structure and a village to lend a hand.

This allowed me to take those moments, experiences and accomplishments from the 2010’ and the decade prior and put them to good use here, where it all started. I’m one of a growing number of “returners” that have made our way back to the mothership, so to speak. They’ll be plenty more to come in the '20s, you can be sure of that.

I don’t know if the 2020s stand a chance for me of living up to the 2010s. I mean I had career changes, three unique experiences, a prodigal son moment and added two kids into the mix. I’m all for making tomorrow better than yesterday, but I have my work cut out for me in the next 10 years as long as the Lord sees fit to keep me on the wake-up list each morning.

Is there a goal or a resolution to be had as we hit 2020? Not really. I just want to continue using the experiences of the past to help make my current situation even better for my family and community. I hope you will do the same and we can start another decade together, with the hope of making it even better than the last. We shall certainly find out, because that’s what makes life the ultimate cliff hanger.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. A THS graduate, he now resides in Tehachapi. He can be reached at corey.costelloe@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.