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I graduated from high school 10 years ago. Not like ten years ago...actually, ten years ago. A decade.

A lot of my friends are older than me - most are married, some have kids - so when I say something along the lines of, "Wow, I can't believe it's been 10 years." They respond with, "10? It's been almost 20 for me!" and I instantly feel a twinge of, "Well, I guess 10 years isn't that long then..."

But, in reality, it is. And a lot has happened since then.

The summer after graduation, when I was an old 17, I finally got my license. I don't know what took me so long; I even had a car! But I was going to be commuting to college, which meant I had to be able to drive.

When I was 18, I finally broke up with my high school boyfriend for good. Even though we were young (we started dating when we were 15), I feel like I learned a lot from that relationship. Most importantly: dating the jock is really only cool in high school, and even then, it's questionable. If I could give my high school self one piece of advice, it would be to DATE THE NERDS. All of them, Alissa! Date all of them...just not all at once.

I always thought 19 was going to be a great year. I remember when my friend's sister was 19, and I used to think, "How fucking cool is she? I cannot wait to be 19." Well, nothing exciting happened that year for me. Womp.

20 brought some big changes. At this point, I had graduated with my Associate's Degree and transferred to a 4 year school, where I quickly learned that most of my credits would not be coming with me. I have a vivid memory of sitting in the admissions office, holding back my tears as the random guy who worked there told me I'd be starting as a sophomore, instead of a junior, like I had planned.

But hindsight is always 20/20 (right? right?) and what I first thought was terrible news, turned out to be the deciding factor in me switching my major back to what I wanted to go to school for to begin with - communications, advertising, web design, film, and all that jazz. So at 21, I was happy - truly happy - for the first time I can honestly remember. I loved the classes I was taking, I loved my job, and I had found a great group of friends - many that I'm still close with today.

Oh, and I could legally drink. Let's get real here, that made everything better.

22-23 was kind of a blur. Between trying to find a job after I graduated from college, and starting a new relationship that had some major ups and downs, those years went by quickly.

I was 24 when I started this blog, and it continues to be the best thing I have ever done.

When I was 25, I started having issues with my right eye. I saw doctor after doctor, and no one could tell me what was wrong, but a few of them talked about the possibility of a brain tumor. Between that initial talk of a tumor and the results of my MRI (that was clear, thankfully), about a month had passed. There's no doubt in my mind that that month is what triggered my quarter-life crisis.

26 started drastically different than it ended, and I truly feel like I lived 5 years within those 365 days. When I first turned 26, I was desperately looking for a new job, which I finally landed. Once my professional life was somewhat in order, I could no longer ignore how unhappy I was in my personal life. So, halfway through my 26th year, "I cut the ties, and I jumped the tracks" and gained the freedom that I now hold with a white-knuckled grip.

And here I am, now an old 27 (aw, yuck), and in someways, I still feel like the 17 year old girl, too scared to get behind the wheel of the car, and learn how to drive. (So, yeah, fear was the real reason it took me so long to get my license) (I died in a car accident in a past life, didn't you know that?) (I made that up). I'm still learning about myself, what I will accept and not accept from others, and there are still so many things I want to do and see.

But I can tell you one thing I won't be doing - and that's showing up at my 10 year reunion. No way.

Enough about me (I think that's more about me than most of you know). How long have you been out of high school?