This year I am feeling the intensity of graduation season almost as much as I did for my own high school and college graduations. I think because we know several people who are graduating from something, or maybe just because I am especially sensitive to it right now, and my own need to reflect on my past.
I noticed last weekend that it has been seven years since I graduated high school. When I was little I couldn't even imagine being a high schooler, much less being someone who graduated seven years ago. So much has changed since then, since I was 18, and yet certain parts of life really haven't changed at all.
During high school my plan was to go to college, meet someone special during my junior year, get married during my senior year, then go to vet school and have kids during that time (my sense of reality was somewhat skewed). Well, I did meet someone special during my junior year, only we didn't get married until a few years after we graduated, and we have yet to have kids. And I am surely not in vet school...not even close. I always really enjoyed talking about religion and the Bible, but I never would have guessed that I would spend 4 years studying those things. I wouldn't have known what I could do with that kind of degree (and to be honest, I still don't).
Mike finds it very amusing that I wrote in my first study Bible a note about what I wanted my husband to be like. I was probably about 15 at the time. The note was in reference to a passage in Ephesians about how husbands should treat their wives. I wrote that I wanted my husband to "challenge me with the Bible". My perception of what that meant has changed entirely, but the old adage "be careful what you wish for" has never been more true. Mike knows so much and thinks so deeply when it comes to biblical studies, and I have to work to keep up with him- and he loves to remind me that he is "challenging me with the Bible".
By the time I was a senior in high school, I recognized that I was unsure about where I wanted life to take me. I no longer planned on becoming a vet, but I didn't have a good alternative in mind. All I knew was that I wanted to get out of Colorado and meet a guy who would take me sailing in Seattle (apparently, meeting guys was a pretty high priority for me). If someone had told me that I was going to go back to Colorado, or God forbid live in Wyoming someday, I would have scoffed. I was a city girl and there was nothing anyone could do to keep me from some place big and busy. Then again, if someone had told me that I was going to live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, I would have been shocked. Ultimately, I just look back and realize how little I knew then, and how little I probably know now about what's in store for me.
But I do see certain personal characteristics and certain patterns in life that seem to be mainstays. I still have certain habits that I've always had. I still love to come home and talk about my day, only now it's with Mike instead of my mom. I still feel strongly about my Christian background, even if the specifics of it have changed drastically. And even though life has not turned out at all how I expected, I don't think that I could feel more grateful looking back. I can remember countless periods of anxiety or sadness or even panic, and they seem so small now when looking at the big picture. I can only hope that life continues to be such a blessing.