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High School Reunion: The Past 10 Years, The Next 10 Years

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

I have my 10 year reunion this weekend and it just hit me, 10 whole years. What have I done with those 10 years?

I was voted most likely to be famous my senior year, and I sure as hell did not achieve that prediction.

Woah there, ease up on the eye shadow Little Al!

I went to college, graduated, traveled, worked, traveled some more, fell in love, got married, traveled, worked some more, bought a house, and BAM ten whole years have gone by.

Both my parents faced some serious health scares, and my resilience was tested.

I went to UC Santa Cruz right out of high school. I chose this school partly because of their Creative Writing major, the only discipline you had to be accepted in to. But after 2 years, I was too scared to even apply to the program. When I decided to finally finish my degree nearly 4 years later, I had finally mustered up the courage to submit my application to the Creative Writing program. They only accept 20 students per quarter and I was accepted on my first try! This was huge for me, I finally felt confident in my craft and had the most amazing experience while in the program.

8 years in the making, and I finally finished college.

Looking back at the last ten years, I think one of the biggest parts of my life has been travel. I “dropped out” of college after my second year at UCSC to go romp around Ireland, France and England for a month. It completely changed my life. I learned more about myself and the world in that month than I did in my 2 years I spent at a University. I came back, moved home again and started working full time, setting aside money for my next adventures. I would have the privilege of seeing Ireland, England, France, Scotland, Wales, Mexico, Spain, Austria, Greece, Northern Ireland and a handful of states; Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Colorado. Some of these places I traveled with my partner, some with my family and some, to my own surprise, by myself.

That little red case has been all over the world.

I can’t help but think of who I was ten years ago and what I wanted to accomplish by time this milestone rolled around. I wonder if 17 year old me would have been disappointed or proud? What else could I have done in those ten years? Did I pave the right path? Should I have accomplished more? Should I have gotten that teaching degree like I set out to do? Should I have moved to Nashville like I said I would?

So here I am, working at my “big girl job” in advertising, looking back at the past ten years and looking ahead to the next ten. What do I want to change? What would I have done differently? What do I want to accomplish?

Its not very "big girl" of me to call this my "big girl" job. But I will anyways.

I guess my biggest reflection is I wish I could have focused more. I have held down a wide range of jobs from Zumba instructor to nanny. From Real Estate office receptionist to professional musician. I see myself as sort of a “Jane of all Trades, Master of None” and while all these passions enrich my life, I wish I could be really good at just a hand-full of things. Now, is advertising what I truly want to master? In my heart of hearts, the answer is probably ‘no.’ I don’t sleep and breath advertising like my boss does. But I do understand the value and merit. And I do feel really grateful for my job. I digress. This is supposed to be about reflections and holding myself accountable for what I want to do in the NEXT ten years. So here goes;

Getting down with my Zumba self

I’m completely consumed by social media right now, hence the merit of advertising, and I would like to see how far I can take that. I want to hone my skills at creating content and build my brand and my following.

I would like to study photography. I was so in love with the art of photography in high school and I would like to explore that again. I have a nice camera and I think I am doing it a disservice to let it just collect dust.

I want to build my savings. I want to travel more. I want to see which corners of the world the next ten years will take me. I want to continue our home improvements. I want to save to grow our family. I want to take control of my finances, learn to invest and just be better with my money so I can do all the things I want to do.

I want to grow our family. I’d like to add a kitten, maybe another pupper, and within the next 5 years, I want another set of feet running around. I dream about my babies. Every part of my being has always wanted to be a mother. I have a box under my bed with little socks and slippers and dresses. I just know my first will be a girl. She visits me in my dreams, she's perfect. She's just waiting for me to be ready. I think I could be ready now, but Sabas is not quite there.

I want to get a grip on my mental health. This is huge, especially when we start bringing kids into the equation. I have come along way when it comes to anxiety management, but I know I have so much more to learn and overcome. It is a daily struggle, but I will get there.

I want to make room in my life for music again. Its been a hot minute since I played my guitar every day, and I think a big part of me really misses that. When I look back at photos from high school, and I think about who I was then, music pretty much defined me, and I have lost that in the past ten years. I'd like to find that part of me again.

This feels like looking at a totally different person.

To be honest, I'm a bit nervous for the reunion, and I can't really put my finger on why that is. Was high school the best four years of my life? Hell no. If given the chance would I go back and do it again? Absolutely not.

But I do look forward to seeing old faces this weekend, and learning where the last ten years has taken old friends. I’ve also really enjoyed this serious self-reflection. When I set out to write this incredibly personal post, I was scared to analyze the past ten years. The question that made me most uncomfortable to ask myself was “Would my 17 year old self be proud of who I am today?” And I think the answer is yes. Do I have all that I desired when I was a young dumb dreamer? No. But my life has been enriched in so many ways that I never thought possible, and what is important to me now, is so much greater than what I thought was important back then. I love my town, I love my house, I love my friends, I love my family. I am happy.

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