I went to prom with one of my best friends, Cole. We knew each other primarily from theater where he was the President to my Vice President of the drama club. My best memories of prom are of eating out at Castle Hill that night (the restaurant was replaced by a Tex-Mex place, which is tragic. I also celebrated getting into NYU there with my parents). We didn't rent a limo, but were happy taking Cole's car, which we had taken to many football games over the years. We both already knew that we were about to live across the country from each other come fall...I was headed to NYU in New York, and Cole was going to USC in Los Angeles. Over the years, Cole remained one of my best friends, and Cole was even a groomsmen at Brendan and I's wedding in July.
I remember being so excited for my high school graduation. A lot of my family came in from out of town for it. I had a job at Amy's Ice Cream, and I remember feeling very grown up that I came home from "work" to find all of my family at my house. If someone had told me at 17 that I would be living in Midland, TX at 27, I would have never believed it! I was New York City bound, and "so over" Austin. Now, I realize what a cool and amazing place Austin was to grow up in. I haven't lived there, with the exception of an 8 month period between college and graduate school, since I moved away at 18.
I think if someone told my 17 year-old self that I'd go to graduate school for creative writing and English and become a college English Instructor, I would not have been surprised. I had already dappled in playwriting and fiction writing by that age, and I loved my high school English teachers Ms. Lardon, Ms. Morgan, Ms. Troy, and Mr. McArthur so much. I was always, always reading at that age (in between classes, at lunch, during downtime at rehearsals), and my mom teaches at Texas State, so it makes sense that I would follow in her career footsteps.
I also wouldn't have been surprised to hear that I'd be married at 27 (I think at 15, I wrote that at 25 I thought I'd have a marriage, a career, and children. Doing all of that by 25 now seems hilarious to me--though I know many people do). I wouldn't be surprised to hear that I have two lovable cats...I've always been a cat person.
I would be sad to know that I would lose one of my two living grandmothers (Mom's Mom) and three very good friends (Neal, Dina, and Jesse), one of whom I did not even know yet (Dina). If I would of known these things, there are things I would have done differently...mostly just spending more time with those people and saying "I love you" even more. The lessons that I learned from their lives about myself and about life in general are ones I won't ever forget.
I would be happy to know that I still have many of the same friends:
I would be thrilled to know that my little brother finished high school and college, and would even be in graduate school!
The 10 years since high school have been a wild ride...I finished 3 degrees, lived in 3 new cities, met many new people, began my career, and married the love of my life. I am hopeful that the next 10 years have just as many great things in store!