I am no longer 18 years old. Yesterday I was reminded of that fact in a big way when I received an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion.
In some ways I cannot believe that it has been an entire decade since I graduated from WHS. Time has passed so quickly. On the other hand, my life has changed so much since those days. Of course, being the old woman who I am now, it’s fun to think back about what 18-year-old me thought I’d be up to these days.
One Year — 2005
What I thought: Having already been accepted, I assumed I’d be finishing up my freshman year of college at Mizzou (Go, Tigers!). I would be majoring in chemistry and taking classes to fulfill the pre-med requirements. I would still be madly in love with Michael.
Reality: I was finishing up my freshman year at Mizzou, but not without a lot of work. I quickly realized that my rural high school in no way prepared me to attend the largest university in the state. I struggled, especially with chemistry. Have you ever taken a university-level chemistry course? Don’t. I quickly changed my major to psychology. I still had vague intentions of going to medical school, but those dreams quickly deteriorated with every math problem and chemistry equation I did.
I was, though, still madly in love with Michael.
Five Years — 2009
What I thought: We’ve already established that I was an arrogant teenager with lofty dreams. By this point I assumed that I would be finished with a Bachelor’s degree from Mizzou and would be finishing up my first year of medical school. I figured Michael and I would be married by this point, but kids would be the last thing on our minds.
Reality: This is where my real life is much different from the big dreams of a teenage girl. I was right about being married to Michael. We exchanged vows in June 2008, one month after we moved from Missouri to Illinois. In May of 2009 we were about to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and had just purchased our first home. I was working at Lowe’s at the time, which was great since we had a 100-year-old home that needed some work.
Oh, and about college… I never finished my degree.
Ten Years 2014
What I thought: Remember the girl with the big dreams? She thought by now she’d be wearing a white coat, doing a residency at some fancy hospital. She thought she’d be married to Michael and starting to think about having a family. Maybe.
Reality: My reality is so much better than anything 18-year-old me could have ever dreamed up. I may not have finished college (yet!), but I have been blissfully married to my wonderful husband for almost 6 years. I am a stay-at-home-mom to our two beautiful children. We currently have our first house on the market and are seriously considering building one that we love rather than buying one that we like.
There are a few things over the years that I am not proud of, but without those experiences I wouldn’t be where I am today. I happen to like where I am today, so I can’t say that I have any regrets.