Tonight, my baby sis graduates, I am hoping that she will grow a lot in the next ten years, during ups and downs. I know her life won't look identical to the plan she had at 18 because very few people have it work out the way they want, but I hope her life turns out better.
I would never want to go through some of my challenges over the past decade, BUT there are also so many memories I would relive over and over again, particularly in the past 3 years.
My life doesn't look like I thought it would 10 years ago. For one thing, I thought I would be living in DC, probably married, working on the Hill or something similar, definitely not living in MS. In fact, I distinctly remember listening to "I'm moving on" by Rascal Flats on graduation night. Instead, I moved to Jackson after graduation temporarilly (and fell in love with it), work in my hometown, am single, and not working on the Hill or in public policy.
I certainly haven't loved every moment of the past 10 years. In fact, a lot of moments have been REALLY hard, but I do think I can look back and be proud. I've gotten a lot done and survived a lot in the past ten years. And, most days, I am pretty satisfied. I have loved the past 3 years in Jackson.
Here's a look back at what has happened in the past 10 years.
I went to 2 colleges and law school. I graduated with honors from both. I wrote an Honors Thesis and was involved in a sorority, student govt and other clubs. I made some amazing friends.
Dinner after my Honors Thesis Ceremony at Auburn
Mom, Me, and Marley at Charity Ball when I was a Maid
ADPi formal at 755 club, 2005 with Alexandria
2005 Rush, in front of ole Berta Dunn Hall. With Ashley.
Jewel Degree Ceremony. Adpi.
Law School graduation with Nana and Papa
The only place I wanted my picture taken was on the field.I spent 3 summers interning in DC and 2 summers working at Kanakuk Kamps in Missouri. I also interned for a judge in Alabama and spent a summer at L'abri Fellowship outside of Boston.
Cabin 12 at kanakuk, 2003
First day of law school, my parents gave me "bar wear" since I was going to be studying for 3 years to be a member of the BAR (cheesy, i know)
Celebrating my first A in law school, Christmas Eve 2006
Paris, Summer 2007I stood as maid of honor at my younger sister's wedding and bridesmaids at several other weddings.
Sister's wedding, fall 2007
Mallory's wedding, Fall 2007
Mary Kendall's wedding, fall 2011
Callie's Wedding, Summer 2007
Ashley's wedding, Spring 2012I've seen 2 undefeated Auburn seasons, several bowl games, Auburn's 6th straight ironbowl win and a National Championship.
National Champs Jan. 10, 2011
6 Iron bowl wins in a row, Fall 2007
Fall 2010 in the grove with Ansley and Mom
Fall 2010 at the Egg Bowl
Fall 2009- all the siblings
I became an Aunt.
I ran a half marathon and did the Warrior Dash.
Spring 2012, Warrior Dash with my roomieIn 10 years, I went to Belize, Europe twice (backpacking and to see my friend Ann Kirk) and went to Africa. All in All, I have now seen 15 countries other than the US (although I had seen mexico and canada prior to 18) I also got trapped in Prague due to a Volcano!
Spring 2009, Safari in Zambia
holding baby Ruthie at the Crisis Nursury in Malawi
Prague with Ann Kirk in Spring 2010 (during the Volvano!)
I have also heard 3 justices speak, worked for Reagan's attorney general at the Heritage Foundation in DC, saw Reagan lie in state, attended a presidential debate, and had behind the scenes tours of the West Wing and the Pentagon.
I've been to Court. I've bought a car. I have TONS of student loans to pay off (though, thankfully a lot less than other people, I am fortunate). I've moved countless times. I've made big girl purchases like a big screen TV (for football duh) and furniture. I've learned to do my taxes and am still learning to budget. I cook a lot better than I used to and I actually enjoy it.
I grew in my relationship with the Lord in tremendous ways.... this took many tears, lots of lonely nights and sometimes even doubt and anger, but I now know its true that those who have been through a lot have a sweeter trust. It takes time and pain sometimes to help us know that the Lord is faithful in all circumstances. I'm still growing but hope that as each trial comes up, I have a renewed sense of assurance that the Lord will walk me, my family, my friends, etc.
I grew as a person. I am a different person than I was at 18. I know that most people are different, but I feel drastically different. My beliefs are still the same, but I think as I've walked through life, I've become a little more relaxed and hopefully more dispensing of grace. I was so uptight, so expectant of life to go as planned, and such a rule follower. I think I've learned that situations are more complicated than one first thinks and that you can't always have such hard a fast rules on how things should go. I am still a planner and still pretty black and white, but some gray has crept in now.