Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ten Years Ago

This was me.

A high school senior, celebrating after the close of my very last high school theater production.*  Only a few weeks before graduation.  A few months before moving into the dorms to take a crack at living all on my own.  Finishing up what my grandfather told me would be the best years of my life.  I look back at myself, and I think:

Wow, I had a ton of hair.

Of course, that thought is quickly followed by: Wow.  Ten whole years.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday.  Mostly, though, it feels like a lifetime ago.  I had different friends.  Different priorities.  Different dreams.

Yesterday was my ten year high school reunion.  I was unable to attend for a variety of reasons, but it still occurred, marking a milestone in my ever-changing life.  Ten years ago, I was an adult, but still so much a child, in so many ways.  I had not yet held a job.  I had never lived all by myself.  I had never had the freedom - the terrifying, exhilarating freedom - to make all of my own decisions.  I had already met many of my closest friends.  I had already been dating Patrick for almost a year and a half.

But many of the things that define my life had yet to happen.  The loss of so many I held dear, particularly my grandmothers, who each helped shape my concept of what it means to be a wife, a mother, and a woman.  The divorce of my parents, and the ensuing loss of my childhood home.  The things I learned both in and out of class in college.  The births of my adopted nephews.  The bliss of finally saying "I Do" to the man I had loved for so long.  Finding the festival, and all of the wonder and heartache it brings.  The birth of my son, whose existence has completely changed every facet of who I am.

I look at that picture of the happy, carefree, long-haired girl and I see the sheer naive joy of the moment.

And yet, I have no desire to go back there.  Because my life now, at this moment, is even better than it was then.

And I realize, those were not the best years of my life.  These are.

*Girl Crazy, for those of you who are interested.


  1. One of the best things I've ever read. We were so different when we were young. It seemed as though nothing could change it. For awhile, I thought you moving away, mom and dad divorcing, losing our childhood house were all the epitome of what my life had become. I thought that all of those moments were what would define my life. Then I met Russ and a few short months later, my amazingly perfect nephew was born. My life will never be the same. Like you said, it's *these* moments that define our lives. On that note, I miss you, and need you in my life more. I miss my sister and my nephew. I know you are busy, and getting busier by the second... so I'm not putting any of this on you, I just want you to know that I miss you, and am going to do anything and everything in my power to make sure you two, especially, are in my life more. I love you, and though I've never told you this, am prouder of you than I ever could be of anybody else. You are the woman that I have always wanted to be more like, and that will never change!

  2. I am so proud of my girls...all three of them! They all care about others more than themselves..they are all working to make the world a better place...two of them are wonderful mommies ( and the other one will be someday). All of them are working are all working to make themselves even better people than they already are...and all of them have grown into wonderful young women...I am a lucky mama!