I have begun photographing grade 12 students of the 2011 graduating class and my 10 Year high school reunion is on Saturday. I think it goes without saying that this is a natural moment in time for me to stop and think about where I have come, what I have done, and what I still want to do. I have been planning both the photo sessions and reunion since May, so it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, but it still is a bit of a shock… does that make sense? Probably not, but then not much does these days!
I had fun in high school. I genuinely enjoyed myself. I had a great group of girlfriends and we were always up to something fun. I had a boyfriend whom I loved with all my heart (and still do- don’t tell my husband, wink-wink). I enjoyed learning and I had teachers who enjoyed teaching. I found one of my life passions: photography. I was given the gifts of guidance and time to be able to practice and learn as much as I could. My high school movie would not be the sad one with an emo soundtrack and I know that I am lucky to be able to say that. Not everyone comes out of high school happy. I think we all know what a negative high school experience can do to someone thanks to Jerry and Maury.
I looked through my yearbook a few days ago. I was searching for tidbits to share with the guests, things we voted each other, things that were popular and that sort. I started reading some of the write ups that we grade 12 students did. I read mine and actually remembered my “mmm’s” (most memorable moments) and giggled at my youth and predictability. My heart instantly warmed and my eyes pricked with tears when I read the last line… what I wanted to be when I grew up. Do you know what I wrote? I wrote that I wanted to be a photographer and a good mommy. I kid you not. So you can probably guess why I had the reaction that I did; I have become what I wanted to.
This realization is heady yet humbling. I am proud of myself for accomplishing what I wanted to when I was 17, along with a few bonus items to boot; my formal education, marriage, travel, my career in Infant Development. But I also know that this is not the end of those dreams. Up to this point I have been able to gather the pieces of my life that I want, now I need to work on keeping these dreams alive and well; growing them and making them stronger. I have opted into all of these experiences willingly. Sure you could say that I “drunk the koolaid” by choosing the traditional time line of school, career, marriage, child. But I drank that koolaid willingly. I wanted the koolaid. Some people would say that’s because I am socialized to think that’s what I want, to those people I say sure, fine. All I know is that I am happy with the life I have, the life that I have made for myself.
So bring on this 10 year milestone and here’s to another 10 that are just as event filled and character building!