June 28, 2010

a walk down memory lane

Yesterday was my brother-in-law's high school graduation party. While it is mind bending to simply accept the fact that he is a high school graduate, it is equally strange to recognize that it has been ten years since my own high school graduation!

Since having a child of my own, I have really noticed that time has this weird way of simultaneously flying and crawling along at a snail's pace. On one hand, ten years seems like a long time ... A full decade! On the other, it seems like only yesterday that I said goodbye to high school and all the drama therein. Even so, after all of the experiences that have come since then, it is somewhat difficult to put myself back in that moment ten years ago ...

What I do remember are three main things:

I remember being excited about going to a new place, on my own. As the only one from my high school heading to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, I knew that I wouldn't know any of my new classmates (and no one would know me), so it was truly a new beginning. It would be up to me, and only me, to find my way. I wouldn't have any of my old high school friends to fall back on. I couldn't just tag along and hope to connect through others ... I'd have to actually go out and get it done myself. A challenge, for sure, but one that I was ready to tackle.

I remember looking forward to studying my major. Originally, I had planned to study Communications, but, almost on a whim, changed my mind at my campus visit. It would be easier to start at Biology and change from there without losing any ground, our guide had insisted. She made sense, so I went with it and never looked back. As one of the earliest decisions I had to make, choosing a major was both fun and frightening. This one thing would impact so much of my college experience ... Science would certainly be no picnic. Chemistry (both introductory and organic), Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, and many other difficult classes would follow. Could I handle them? I would have to ... And, looking back, I am so glad that I did!

Lastly, I remember the anxiety of leaving my then-boyfriend (my now-husband) behind. We swore that we'd continue dating, that we'd make it through four years of phone calls and weekend visits, but we knew that it wouldn't be easy. It wasn't. Probably even more difficult that my most demanding science class, our relationship would test us. It would test our trust in each other, our resolve to persevere through all of the difficult moments, and, probably most profoundly, our love ... A love that would grow from high school puppy love to something much deeper ...

All of these snippets of long ago, these three experiences that still seem so vivid, have shaped who I am today. As I sit in this current "now," I wonder how things will seem ten years from this point ... Again, on one hand, these coming ten years are a long distance to travel. On the other, they are merely a blink of an eye.

In either case, I am ready and excited to see just what they hold!

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