Tomorrow, me and my sister will both start high school - one of us as a student and one as a teacher. We are both embarking on a scary but exciting new chapter in our lives. I can't describe how weird and surreal and emotional this feels. I remember Ashley starting kindergarten on August 25, 2005 when I started my junior year of high school, and it seems like it wasn't very long ago at all. I remember her in her huge white hair bow and her smocked octopus dress and me in my mini denim skirt and "day one junior girls" shirt. I remember walking her in SW Elementary and her being scared and not knowing what to do and then I drove to the high school and started one of the most memorable years of my grade school career. As I sat in art class and walked the halls, it didn't occur to me how quickly time would fly and how in the blink of an eye, that little girl in the octopus dress would soon be walking those same high school halls. It also didn't occur to me that even if I spent seven years in college, those seven years would FLY and that I'd be on the opposite end of the high school spectrum before I knew it.
It REALLY seems like yesterday that my mom and I dropped Ashley off at SW Middle and I took her picture and smiled, but as we drove off, I burst into tears because it just didn't seem right for her to be growing up so fast!
Now, although at totally different stages in life, we are starting similar journeys as members of high schools. I'm FINALLY starting my teaching career (better late than never, right?) and although this is something I've honestly been nervous about for years, I think I'm finally ready to go at it and give it my all. Yes, I miss college, and yes, I miss grad school. But tomorrow when I greet those high schoolers, and especially those little apprehensive freshmen, I'm gonna see Ashley and I'm gonna see my 14-year-old self, nervous and a little scared of the unknown, but having no idea how great it would be. And I will tell them like I told Ashley, "The first day may not be the best day of your life, but it will be memorable because it will most likely be the first day of four of the best years of your life."
It's scary as everything starting a new chapter.
It's sad, it's making me nostalgic, and it's exciting.
I've been SO reflective today, thinking about high school and college and grad school and doing the, "well what if I'd known then what I know now" and "how did this all happen like this/so fast?!"
Forget about the "what ifs."
Love and appreciate the past.
Cherish and appreciate the "NOW."
Give it all you've got because one day, the present will be what you fondly reflect on.
Here's to new beginnings,
and sharing them with those we love most.