Ten Years Gone

I am just not ready.

I’m excited in some ways, but just not ready.

I was an 18-year-old badass.

I felt like I could conquer the world when I was a senior in high school. I had already traveled more at 18 years old than most do in their lifetimes. I couldn’t wait for college. I wanted to be a big-shot journalist, maybe with a published book or two on the side. I didn’t hate the idea of going on the stage, either. Maybe I could do it all simultaneously. Rolling Stone? Sign me up. A five-book deal? Absolutely. Fame and fortune? I’m in.

Our 10-year high school reunion might as well have been a million years away. I had time, I had talent, and I had drive.

That’s 10 years gone.

Turns out that at 18 years old, I didn’t really have a clue. Life doesn’t really turn out how an 18-year-old plans that it will. I don’t know how I feel about that, because now looking back I can’t say I have many regrets. I am happily married, and very much at home living in Montana. I have great friends and an awesome family. I hold two Bachelor of Arts degrees. I teach. I travel. I’ve had the opportunity to do and see a lot in the last 10 years.

Maybe it’s just hard coming to terms with how much my expectations for my life have changed.

Today I received my first official notice about our upcoming 10-year high school reunion. My first thought was, “I really can’t be that old, this must be a mistake.” But upon closer examination and several mathematical equations later, I realized it’s true. And I’m just not ready.

Sure, I like the idea of catching up with some old friends. I think it will be wonderfully nostalgic, and a good time had by all. I also think it will be therapeutic for all of us to come together and mourn (many of us for the first time as a group) for classmates we’ve lost over the years.

But can it really be 10 years gone?

Trying to make peace with this is tough. But as usual, Led Zeppelin comes through with some inspired sentiments for me to ponder and put to use here:

“Then, as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea.”     Ten Years Gone

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14 thoughts on “Ten Years Gone

  1. I am 22,so I definitely still remember my 18year old days!………..it definitely didn’t turn out the way I hoped,its bigger now!…………you blew me away when you spoke about nat having regrets,I don’t see why anyone should 🙂 Nice post!

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  4. Even though I’m still in college, I can relate to your feelings because I feel like every day, my life keeps picking up speed. I can still vividly remember my high school graduation and then the first couple of weeks at college with some of my classmates from home.

    Now, I’m almost two years in and set to graduate early next spring. When I think about the things I’ve done here, including studying abroad in France, it feels like more than two years– almost like another lifetime– and yet it can’t already be that long! Before I know it, I’ll be going to my first high school reunion!

    Still, rather than be depressed about how short life really is, I rather like your approach to it: Grab it by the horns and milk it for all it’s worth! I have been feeling particularly inspired to be creative and pursue my dreams lately, so thanks for the encouragement and reminder to get out there and live life. 🙂

  5. You’re first class reunion is full of pompous people showing off their degrees, cars, fancy houses, and children. It seems like the twenties are spent seeing how much we can “acquire”. I enjoyed mine, but hoping the next one is better since I don’t have none of the above still 🙂 Be happy in your own tennis shoes. That’s all that matters. Great story.

  6. Beautifully written. Yes, take it from me — as someone who is not at mid-life — those ten year increments do fly by. It is so great that you love your life and family. Honestly, fame can’t compare to that!

    • I am really blessed to have such great friends and family to lean on and love. And I don’t need fame – I still perform, just on a small local stage instead of Broadway. They say time flies when you’re having fun, so I say, bring on the next 10 years! 🙂

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