Nine years ago this week (edit: I originally said ten years, because I totally fail at math! Thanks Joe!), I started my freshman year of college. Yep, niiiiiine years ago. But instead of feeling all old and depressed, I’ve been feeling amazed at how much I’ve grown and changed in those years. Sure, I finally figured out what to do with my hair and realized that fashion was more than just for people in magazines, but the internal changes are the most staggering. Nine years ago I’d never been on a date, never obsessively followed coverage of New York Fashion Week, and certainly never walked up to a total stranger to say hello. I was shy, I was awkward, and I was terrified when I thought about the future.
I go back for my five-year college reunion this October, and I’m simultaneously apprehensive and exhilarated thinking about it. It’s hard not to go a little Romy & Michelle thinking about seeing my classmates. I’m certainly not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life, and I honestly don’t know what the future will hold. But that’s why I wanted to look back and to remind myself how things have a way of moving forward, even if you’re not sure how they will.
When I look back at my 17-year-old self and then fast-forward to almost 27, I feel pretty good about the path I’ve taken. The most surprising part is how much my life plan and intentions for my future changed, and how fantastically ok that is. I remember feeling positive at 17 that I’d have my whole life figured out at 27 and that I’d already be several years into a career that I’d pursue forever. But clearly, life hasn’t turned out the way that I thought. I left a career I’d spent half a decade pursuing, and now I’m going down another path that’s as uncertain as it is exciting. But honestly… I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So when I’m walking to my bus in the morning and walk past the handful of high schools that dot my neighborhood, I can’t help but smile. Everything seems so black-and-white when you’re seventeen, but as you grow and the shades of grey start to come in, that’s when life really gets started.