PR guru and all-around cool guy Peter Shankman wrote a post yesterday in which he gave advice to this year’s graduating class. And it got me thinking about my own experience as a high school graduate 10 years ago. Ten years ago TODAY, to be exact.
Wow. Ten years. Exactly 10 years ago today I said goodbye to the first (and most lengthy) phase of my education, grades K-12, high school diploma in hand.
And boy, was I ready to get out of there.
I thought about the future then, but on a much more short-term scale. At the time, graduating from college seemed light years away. Getting married, buying not one, but two houses, starting (and sticking to) a career… these things weren’t even on the radar.
And yet, these are some of the significant, life-changing things that these past ten years have brought.
It’s amazing how quickly time passes when you’re busy living life.
The high school years were not the best years of my life. At some points, they were downright horrible. Even back then, I remember thinking , “It has to get better than this.” Once I had that diploma in hand, I was ready to begin the next chapter of my life, leaving the rest behind. And I did.
I went off to college. I took 2 years off in between my sophomore and junior years. I transferred to Brown. I became an aunt. I became a first-time dog mom. I started dating the man who would become my husband. I graduated from college. I started my first real job. I bought my first house. I got married. I bought my second house. I helped start a company, Pinks & Blues and have watched it grow… so much so that we’re renaming and rebranding it as Mom Generations (like, soon!). I started a new job as the Social Media Manager at Mom Central.
All of these things – college, career, marriage, family – they were floating in my mind 10 years ago today as part of the future… but the way that they would be concretely reached within the decade could not have been determined. And I kind of like it that way.
Regrets? I don’t believe in them. Sure, sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I had done something differently. But there is no other place I would rather be in my life right now, so somehow everything turned out as it was supposed to.
In many ways, I am the same girl I was back on June 11, 1998. But time and experience has made me a bit more sure of myself. A bit more confident. A bit more assertive.
There are some things about that girl that I have held on to. Her penchant to root for the underdog. Her empathy for others.
Her excitement about the blank slate known as the future, just waiting to be filled with experience.
I didn’t attend my 10 year reunion last month. I felt no need to relive that uncertainty and insecurity that 10 years has taken me to the other side of. If someone had told me then that 10 years from now, things would be better, things would work out, things would be good (actually, maybe my parents did tell me that…!), I may not have completely believed them (or been listening).
But I do now. Because now I know.
My senior portrait
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