Ten Years

I was poking around Facebook one day, not doing anything in particular, when I came across a handful of my classmates from high school talking about reunions. They were discussing what was to be done for our 10-year reunion, and whether anyone wanted to take responsibility for it (around here it’s the graduate’s responsibility to organize a reunion if they want one). A few weeks later I got an invite to a Facebook ‘group’ whose purpose is planning the reunion and spreading the word.

I have to admit, I’m still working out just what that means in my head. I’ve been out of high school for ten years. Where did that time go?

If you had asked me ten years ago, upon graduation from high school, where I saw myself in ten years, my answer would have been definite. I would have said I’d be working with computers (don’t you love it when people give that broad spectrum?), and that I’d be married to my high school sweetheart, Frankie. At that point in my life those were the only two things on my mind: what I was going to do for work, and my boyfriend. And really, how much else is usually on the mind of an 18-year-old?

Instead, in the past ten years I:

  • applied for one college program,
  • ended up in a different one after the first one was cancelled,
  • suffered heartbreak at the hands of the aforementioned high school sweetheart,
  • had my heart mended by someone I never would have expected,
  • experienced living away from home, both with friends and alone with my new boyfriend,
  • experienced what it’s like to have to scrape pennies together to buy groceries,
  • dealt with what it feels like to sincerely doubt your career path after wasting a hell-ton of money,
  • somehow graduated from college,
  • suffered at a call center for several long months while I searched for a job that utilized my four years worth of degree,
  • celebrated like a crazy person when I finally got the job at the paper mill,
  • moved 90 minutes away from home, without my boyfriend, who was still finishing his college program,
  • dealt with the ins and outs of the paper mill and realized that even though I had a degree I knew positively jack sh*t,
  • celebrated when my boyfriend was finally able to move back in with me,
  • celebrated even harder when he too got a job at the paper mill,
  • got engaged,
  • bought my first (financed) car,
  • got married in a beautiful outdoor wedding,
  • bought a house after months of looking at the worst places ever and finally finding a jewel in the rough,
  • got pregnant and enjoyed all that that entails,
  • gave birth to my beautiful baby girl and never felt happier,
  • returned to work just in time to be told that the paper mill was shutting down indefinitely,
  • survived through months of nonsense over the purchase of the paper mill,
  • watched my husband get on a plane and fly out west for work to keep supporting us and our daughter

The moral of the story, I guess, is that a lot can happen in ten years, and chances are there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs that you never saw coming. And before you know it you’re looking back, wondering where the time went, and listening to people you haven’t seen in ten years making plans to get together and have drinks and catch up.

Ten years. Have I stressed that enough?

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