So the maths definitely works out and it should have been no surprise when a few weeks ago, one of my girlfriends mentioned she'd received the invitation to our 15 year school reunion.
15. year. school. reunion.
This is in no way an original thought but, seriously, the time has passed SO quickly I was honestly shocked. There must be some mistake? We're too young to be going to that sort of reunion. Aren't we?
If nothing else, a school reunion is a time for reflection. On the time that's passed and what you've done with it. Where you are in your life, whether you're happy or not and what direction you want to go in or goals you want to achieve before the next 15 years go by.
I'm pleased to be who I am and where I am. I achieved academically, got my law degree and my Bachelor of Economics at the same time. I work hard and have done well in every job I've ever had, which has given me financial security and confidence, something I know not all women my age have been in a position to experience.
Because I was extremely dedicated to my academic goals, I didn't travel much. I suppose because travel is such a personal ambition and I was focussed personally on things that essentially tied me to my hometown. But I don't view myself as missing out while my friends travelled, because I was granted a very great gift by staying close to home: I got to spend so much time with my grandfather before he sadly passed away in 2010. That was the same year I bought my apartment and got my Masters (all at the same time). Looking back on it, it was a monster of a year for sure and I was emotionally exhausted and raw by the end of it. I felt like I literally could not keep going, when in early 2011 my parents separated and my mother became ill and Brisbane flooded and our business was at risk of closing in the aftermath. I stopped thinking I would ever feel anything beyond a frantic desperation to keep my head and my heart above water.
I believe the universe put me through all the challenges of the first 10 years after I left high school, because I needed to go through those things to become the person I was when I met M. It meant I received the love and passion and energy and excitement from M and I falling in love with gratitude, rather than a sense of expectation. It meant that by the time a serious relationship was on the cards, demanding time and energy the way relationships do, I had kind of sorted all the 'me' stuff out. I was, for the first time in my life, completely free of academic demands to devote my time to getting to know someone, falling in love with them and starting to build something permanent.
I am a very different person today to who I was when I left school. But I have kept many of the same friends. We didn't end up going to the reunion - we spent the night at our favourite pizza bar drinking wine, sharing stories and lots of laughs :) xo