Ten years is a long time to think ahead when you’re a teenager. Ten years to a teenager brings you from being a kid to being an “adult”. From high school to University graduate (for some). Living in angst with your parents to possibly being homeowners. To single & thinking boys are weird creatures to possibly in a committed relationship/engaged/married. Ten years can see a lot of change. Personally, mentally, emotionally, physically, geographically. The changes can be endless.
Now what’s got me all philosophical today you might ask? My 10-year high school reunion took place in Montreal this past weekend and I've been left thinking about the last 10 years (a bit heavy I know). I didn't attend my reunion because honestly I have no desire to be back where I was 10 years ago. I didn't love high school, I had few friends, and I was itching to do something new & different. Fast forward nearly 4 years and there I was,bag packed, moving across the country to a town I had never heard of, filled with strangers after thinking about it for a few days. There I was, it had taken a little longer than I wanted but I was doing something new & different. And with that started 6 years of new & different adventures that would bring me 10 years past my high school graduation never wanting to look back. I never understand when I hear people say "I miss high school", I would literally need to be given millions of dollars to even just consider going back to high school, and up until just a few days ago I haven't given any thought to those 5 years of my life. I would take those millions of dollars to go back to high school to find my younger self to tell me that things are going to get better.They'll get amazing, then it might fall apart & you'll work your ass off to build a way better life than you could have imagined. I would tell my younger self that the things you're going to experience over the next 6 years after you graduate will be things you never even dreamed of. The places you see & will call home, the people you'll meet & become friends with will forever change your life & your high school days will turn into a speck of dust in your brain.
But seeing as my life isn't a made for TV movie or a teen drama on MTV that's not possible, so what I can do is look back and realize how far I've come in the last 10 years, mentally, physically & geographically. From Montreal to Jasper, Alberta. From Australia to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama & New Zealand. Finally returning back to Canada, for longer than a week's visit, to Vancouver. The last 10 years have seen dozens of holidays, about the same amount of cross country & international moves. They've seen the Great Barrier Reef. They've seen sunrise from the most Easterly point in Australia. They've witnessed the Northern Lights & the brightest night skies. They've experienced travel through countries where my language was not theirs. They've seen me flying down an active volcano at 50 mph screaming my head off, they've seen class 5 rapids in a National Geographic awarded river. They've been spent swimming in the ocean with new friends at 3 am, sailing 1400 ft above the ocean, and hiking some of the most incredible trails a person could think of. The last 10 years have witnessed some insane things (good, bad & ugly) and to make it all even more memorable ; these last 10 years have met the most incredible people. Some I've had & lost, some I've found in new countries, and some I've found & lost, and found again. I'm grateful for all of them, and my life is better for all the people I've met (again the good & the bad). I've experienced mind blowing personal highs & to that the opposite of gut wrenching lows. I've spent some of these last 10 years surrounded by incredible people, and completely alone. I've thankfully have only had my heart broken into a billion pieces once, and spent more times enjoying my freedom to do what I please & be happier for it. I've spent time working at jobs that fueled my passions and others that completely blanketed that flame. I've learned about what I absolutely do not want or need in my life & a lot more of what I truly want & need to have the happiest life for me.
10 years is a long time. So much can change in a decade. And at the same time so much can stay the exact same. I don't regret any of my choices since leaving high school (some of my outfits and hair styles? sure who doesn't regret at least one bad perm or flared jeans?). I am glad I left and never looked back. I'm happier for it, even though I've gone through some seriously rough patches. The idea that if I hadn't felt this insane urge to leave & explore and not listened to it that I would still be where I was 10 years ago is absolutely cringe to me. There are lots of people I know from that time in my life who are still there and if that works for you & you're happiest in that life then good on ya! To each their own & I'm not trying to belittle anyone else's life choices or brag about the last 10 years of my life. Trust me there are some parts of it I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Just hearing about the reunion this past weekend was something that gave me the chance to think back on what has happened since being that high school graduate. From 17 to 27 life has been an insane ride & I know it's not over yet. A new ride is in the works for the coming year...and who knows where I'll be 10 years from now. I can only hope that I'll be headed down this same path of new & different. Exiting & adventurous. Unfamiliar & passionate. Far from where I was 10 years previous.