I don't know what it is about June, but it's honestly my favorite month. June means the start of nice weather here in rainy Oregon. June was my grandmother's birthday. June is summer solstice and the official beginning of summer. June is also high school graduation.
Ten years ago today, on an evening where no one was sure if it was going to rain or not, I walked across a stage at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer and received an empty diploma holder. (Trust me, it's always a joke. They give them to everyone for show then after the ceremony the graduates have to wait in line to get their actual diplomas.) I walked into the ceremony with Josh, who was my "boyfriend" in 2nd grade and someone I grew up going to school with, Megan, who I met in 7th grade, and Denise, who along with her twin sister, was born on the same day as me and our Mom's met in the recovery room so I've known her and her sister since the day we were born. Graduation day was also Megan's 18th Birthday!
It's crazy to think that it's been ten years since I finished high school. To think about where I've been and, ironically enough, to having to move back home, it makes me feel like I've come full circle.
I graduated before September 11th and all that came after in a post 9/11 world. Our country wasn't at war. The economy was booming. And I had no idea what life had in store for me.
It wasn't until the fall of 2001 that Amazing Boyfriend returned from US Coast Guard boot camp and I realized that the man of my dreams had been my best friend all along.
Since I've graduated from high school, I've grown so much. I may not have finished college, but I feel like I'm constantly learning new things, and I'm happy with that. I've written a pretty awesome love story with my Amazing Boyfriend that isn't nearly finished yet. I've learned to love myself. I've found my spiritual path and finally feel at peace with it.
And yet, some things are still the same.
I laugh a lot. I always have and I truly think I always will. I still love being creative and always have some project that I'm working on. I still love my family more then most people can truly understand. I am optimistic and always look at the positive side of life. I'm still probably one of the palest people you'll ever meet, and I don't think that's ever going to change.
My life hasn't always been easy. ABF and I have done the long distance thing a couple times through our relationship and survived it. I've moved a couple times to places where I didn't know hardly anyone (but made some of the most amazing friends.) And most recently, dealing with ABF's cancer diagnoses has been a real challenge. But I'm dealing with it, and learning what I need to do as I go.
The most important thing I've learned these past ten years:
Life is what you make of it.
It's all about how you look at life, how you deal with the things that come your way, and how you learn from those things.