August 20, 2012

Where Did Twenty Years Go?

Next month is my high school reunion.  It is twenty years since I finished school.  This has had me thinking all sorts of things.  (Not least of all how to suddenly look much younger and trendier than I am.)  Most of all though it has made me think about how fast time goes.  I don't feel twenty years older than when I left school.  I do feel much more grounded and certain of who I am.  But after twenty years I would hope so.

Sitting here in my grown-up house with my real career and people that call me Mum, I wonder exactly what my seventeen year old self would think about who I am now.

Career-wise I have done exactly what I wanted and can honestly say I have no regrets about wasted dreams in that department.

I always hoped I would have a family and I have been incredibly blessed to have a happy marriage and two wonderful children.  Marrying a man who made me laugh was the best decision I ever made.  I am also still supported by my parents, brother and my in-laws.  From a family point of view, I don't think life could be much better.

Fortunately I have managed to keep old friends and make new ones.  They fill my life with fun and joy.  Some of the girls I went to school with are still my closest friends.  We have spent days emailing and on the phone working out the best way to make sure we get maximum time together over the reunion weekend.

What I never really imagined was that I would wind up on a farm.  And a proper working farm at that.  Actually when I think of my seventeen year old self I can't really remember if I had any idea where my life was going to occur.  Now I can't imagine being anywhere except The Farm.  I feel like I have landed exactly where I am meant to be.

I am vain enough that my appearance gets a mention.   Luckily I can honestly say I have only gained 2 kg since I left school.  I think that for twenty years and two kids that is a very fair swap.  (Unfortunately I think the distribution of where all my kgs now hang out has changed considerably but that is nothing that decent underwear and a well cut frock won't sort out.)  My love of the beach has hit me in the wrinkle department though.  Now I am just aiming for happy wrinkles and getting on with it.  Incidentally, after saying for twenty years that I was not going to wind up looking like my mother, I am starting to see a lot of similarities.  And know I could do a hell of a lot worse.

What does strike me is that while I am very happy now, it has taken me twenty years to get here.  And I think that is the bit my seventeen year old self wouldn't get.

I did all the stereotypical things you are supposed to do in your late teens and early twenties.  Studied (hard), partied (hard) and fell in and out of love with the wrong men (over and over again).   Life was chaotic and random, although looking back now it was also carefree with no commitments.  Sure there were ups and downs but the only person really affected was me.  I wouldn't change one second of those years now.  I think they contributed to where I am now in so many ways.

There have also been some times that have been less than rosy.  I would be kidding myself if I pretended otherwise.  I try not to dwell on the harder times other than to accept that they have shaped my personality and contributed to me knowing who I am.  And, just as importantly, who I am not.

Overall the path from seventeen to thirty-seven has had the odd bump and several unexpected twists and turns.  Once again I wouldn't have it any other way.  I feel like I have grown into my life and hopefully my seventeen year old self would be proud of who I am today.  I know my thirty-seven year old self is.

I have learnt that life is a journey.  A journey we are all lucky to be taking. And one we should never take for granted.

My Little Princess 

My Little Prince (So Small Back Then)
Take care.


Makeminemidcentury said...

What a lovely, honest, intelligent woman you are.

Emma said...

Loved this! Hope you have a wonderful time reminiscing at the reunion!

Anonymous said...

can't wait for the next three to fly by as they do
turning 40 is pretty special and being in italy will be extra special
i might have to take the rods and dive gear so we can get some fresh sea food to have while we celebrate the big day
from hunter gatherer

Fiona said...

A beautiful post AFW.
It's a shame that it takes twenty odd years for us to fully appreciate ourselves and who and what we are, but that's what growing up is all about I guess.
Enjoy your reunion.

Donna said...

Great reminiscing! You're sounding very grown up, grounded and completely satisfied! Enjoy your reunion!

Lisa @ Blithe Moments said...

I loved my 10 year reunion, everyone had become so lovely and interesting. I can only imagine how fabulous all those women will be by our 20th reunion. Have a ball!

Amanda said...

Can't wait to see you there. Totally agree, 20 years is a daunting number! xx

Romy said...

At my 20 year school reunion, no sooner had I arrived than I was apologised to by the school bully. Wonders will never cease. He subsequently worked the room with his remorse and created a lightness of spirit. It must have taken courage, an emotion from which we of course had assumed that he was utterly devoid....twenty years isn't too late! My children love this school anecdote....of course I don't tell them the naughty wagging ones! Have a fab time! Rx

Joolz said...

What a great post - I do hope you enjoy the reunion (bet you are the only one who has only put on 2 kgs!).

"Life is a journey. A journey we are lucky to be taking. And one we should never take for granted." - no truer words spoken.

We were reminded this week of exactly that when my daughter received a message from her 21 year old friend saying that her mother had passed away, aged 45 from Motor Neurone Disease. So sad - a vibrant woman, gone - leaving behind (sooner than all expected) a loving husband and 3 children. They have a hard journey to travel.