For whatever reason, as I was poorly drifting off to sleep last night, I thought about perspective. I thought about how hard life can seem in a moment but how easy it is to look back and feel stronger or at least have the ability to laugh it off or shake your head at the struggles of your past self.
I graduated high school ten years ago and so much has changed in those ten years. It would probably be pretty weird if they didn't change, right? I was pretty nerdy back in 2004. And, well, not much has changed there. But it's funny to think of who I was back then… and how little life experience I had. The version of myself in 2004 seems so simple and innocent compared to who I am now… but I still feel like same person at my core. Know what I'm saying?
I thought it'd be fun to look back at the different areas of my life that evolved over the last decade.
Relationships. By the time I graduated high school, I had never been in a relationship. I had a boyfriend when I was fifteen, and he was the first person I ever kissed, but I was fifteen! Our break up was so subtle that I didn't even know it happened, so I had never had my heart broken. In the next ten years, I hung out with a guy who refused to date me and repeatedly broke my heart. (We're still friends.) I dated a guy who I was really excited about at first and then I realized he was the worst person in the world. (We are not friends.) There's been ups and downs in my relationship journey, but I've obviously learned from every situation and matured a lot, so it's no surprise that the last two relationships of the last ten years were, and are, pretty damn wonderful.
Ten years ago, I envisioned what living with a guy would be like - and what it would be like to be in love. And now that I've felt it, I know that living with someone is hard (and awesome, but also hard) and that all those times I thought I was in love, I was an absolute idiot. And all the dumb things I did while I was drunk were fine. You live, you learn, you love, you lose. No big deal.
Work. My first job was ten years ago… at Build-a-Bear Workshop. I got fired. So, needless to say, my job life has been nothing but UP ever since. I've worked at the Museum of Fine Arts which was really boring but also really cool, I've worked in theater, I worked in advertising (and still do) and obviously, I was a full-time improv and sketch comedian for two years. I had no idea where I'd end up ten years ago. But I had dreams of performing and I thought marketing wold be a good fit for me. Looking back, my trajectory is kind of all over the place, but it was all beneficial work and a really fun ten years of my career.
Right now, it's still all up in the air and I have no idea what I'm going to do for the next ten years… or the rest of my life. But it helps to look back at the different paths that I took and think, "Not too bad, I hope my next ten years go as well as the last ten!"
Friendships. I'm very happy to say that I'm still very close friends with the people I was close friends with ten years ago. I graduated with a core group of best friends and while there have been ups and downs in all of our lives - and our relationships with each other - they have remained pretty damn consistent. In addition to them, I've met a whole slew of amazing, wonderful people that I'm happy to call my friends.
The last few years especially have been really eye-opening for me when it comes to friends. I used to put so much weight into my friends and expected way too much from them. I also took everything so personally and got so offended all the time. But now, I'm a little bit more relaxed (at least I hope so.) Friendships evolved and even if you don't see someone every second of every day, or even just as much as you used to, it doesn't mean you're not friends anymore or that someone doesn't like you.
Life. If I could attach a word to the past ten years of my life, it would be "learn." It was a decade full of learning lessons. I grew up and matured so much, but I couldn't have done that without all the mistakes I made and all the trials and tribulations that I had to go through to get to a somewhat comfortable place in my life. If I could attach a word to the next ten years of my life, it would be "grow." I want to take all these lessons I've learned and apply them to the next ten years. I want to make less impulse decisions, less mistakes (if possible) and really try to figure some shit out. I realize that I'm only 28 years old, so I have a lot of time and most likely a lot more mistakes on the horizon, but if perspective has taught me anything… I'll live through it all and be able to laugh about it later.
And every little thing is going to be all right!
Here's to another ten years. And dear God, I hope I'm able to fall asleep tonight. This was A LOT of thought before bed. Yikes.