We went to a relative’s high school graduation party, and it seems like there were parties EVERYWHERE.
Which makes me a bit nostalgic for the summer after High School Graduation where I was finally DONE with Day Care (I mean High School) and eagerly looking forward to college. I had no real responsibilities, and everything was SO EXCITING! It was a new millennia! I was an adult! I could DO ADULT THINGS! I was moving to a BIG CITY, and I already had made some amazing friends.
When I finished college in 2008, it was a whole ‘nother story. It was a slog to get to the end, and I didn’t even walk because it would have been four hours or more in the sun waiting. I didn’t have it in me. Instead, I got my graduation photos done while everyone else was busy graduating, and then I went home.
I had a job.
My ex and I had just gone down in flames. Which was good in the long run, but it still really hurt. We broke up in March or April, but I had to live with him still until July because of the lease.
I was sick.
My friends had all moved out of town.
I had nothing to look forward to except grind.
Thankfully, I met my husband about a year later, and while my health had degraded enough that I ended up on disability, we were together. My dad fired me from working with him, and I ended up living at my in-laws while my husband finished college.
It was really rough, but I wasn’t alone anymore. I had my husband, partner, and friend.
I found a program to buy a house (USDA Rural Development), and we bought this little house for $49,000, and then in less than a month we got the dog we’d always wanted. We found him on Craigslist of all places.
I got my husband a job working for my dad, and they love working together.
By 2015, my health had stabilized thanks to being on SSDI and being able to get the medications I needed. I wasn’t improving anymore, and I figured that was as good as I was going to get, so I reached out to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. I started looking for work.
2016 was a hellish start to the year. My neighbor’s house burned, killing their two daughters. We were home that night, and there was nothing we could do. It was devastating. I felt so guilty that I hadn’t done better, that we were too late.
Then my mom had a stroke. We had a rough couple weeks before they figured out what caused it. She got better.
And in May 2016 I found the job I have now with the amazing people I know now. I transitioned off of disability in 2017. We got better cars, ones that aren’t junkers.
So I guess, the point is that even though it was really dark for a long time, we made it through.
I’ve grown a lot since High School, grown a lot since College.
And attending my relative’s party, surrounded by people that had known me my entire life, for good or bad, I was really happy that I’m where I am now. I wouldn’t redo it for the world.
Have you been attending graduations this year? Am I the only one relieved to be where I am now? What was your path to today? Inquiring minds want to know!