I stumbled across this the other day, and it made me pause.
I'm 31 now. To some that's young, to others it's old. 31 years have come and gone now, and the best has always been yet to come.
Back in 2002, I was sitting at the dinner table across from friends celebrating our last day of high school. SENIORS. Sadness sank in, as all of us were heading separate directions. These people I'd grown up with the past 18 years wouldn't be there everyday anymore. My best friends in the entire world. It's funny. When you are 18 you can't grasp how big the world is. It's still hard to grasp that at 31. Those friends I just knew I wouldn't be able to live without I now keep up with on Facebook occasionally. I'm only close to a couple. I have wonderful memories from high school, but the best was absolutely yet to come.
College came and went in a blur. I loved school so much, I decided to stay 5 years. No real responsibilities. Freedom. Football games. Parties. Late nights, early mornings. Road trips. The best of days. And up to that point, they really were. To think there was more at a point in my life when I just knew it couldn't get any better would have been shocking. And yet, I hadn't even met my husband yet. The man that makes me laugh so hard I cry. The guy that sings Neil Diamond at the top of his lungs, in public, just because. I still had ahead of me falling in love, becoming a Mrs., and entering motherhood. Tell that to the girl that thought half-price wing night was the best that things would ever get. Shocking.
Wouldn't we all love to be able to write our 15-18-20 something year old selves a letter? Mine would mostly include the don'ts. Don't do this. Stay away from that. When that boy calls, RUN. (Run away, that is.) The don'ts. But then I realize the do nots and should nots brought me to where I am today, and for that I'm glad. I'm glad my first sip of brown water made me sick. I haven't touched it to this day. I'm glad peer pressure nearly cost me a scholarship. The next semester I made straight A's. I'm still not so proud of getting that speeding ticket at 16, but it's the only one I've had to date. I wish I hadn't taken out student loans to pay for law school, but we worked hard and made difficult decisions to be able to pay it off in 4 years time, and I learned a valuable financial lesson I can pass on to my daughter.
My daughter. Hard to believe that just 2 years ago, I wasn't even pregnant yet. Just the hubs, Blakely pup and me living in our first house in suburban Atlanta. How could I have ever imagined what Evans' laugh would sound like? The way her hair would curl at the ends? The way she loves bananas and animal crackers? Her dimples when she smiles...the best was certainly yet to come.
What a wonderful thought it is to know that there's still more. It is pretty shocking. Here's to the best of times in the year ahead for all of us.
Happy New Year!