So I’m currently a little distraught. It was this day ten years ago that I graduated from high school.
So obviously, I’m feeling a little dated. Slightly weathered. And mostly old.
Luckily, I don’t look old (hands up emoji) and I do think that I’m in a better place emotionally than I was back in 2004. I thought it would be fun to think back on each year on a positive memory from each of the last ten years. Think of it as my version of 100 happy days but done in one day.
2004 – High School Graduation
So I think back to that day and remember it not feeling real. I don’t have many particularly bad memories of high school. I had some great friends, I had a lot of fun experiences, and I felt relatively successful. This day gave me a chance to reflect on the friends I made, the fun moments I had, and thoughts of all of sacrifice that it took from my family to get me to that point.
2005 – Trip to Poland
You know I was mad from the time they announced this trip until we landed back in North Carolina. I had no desire to hit the Eastern Bloc in January. NONE! But on the real, it was an experience that changed my life and worldview. I don’t want to make it seem like a vacation, Auschwitz is not a happy place or a fun place. But it was a trip that made me really take an interest in history and how it actually affected real people. It took the Holocaust from a lesson to real life. I don’t think I would have taken such an interest in international business without this trip.
2006 – Study Abroad
The fall semester of my junior year was insane. I can’t believe I took a trip to Europe alone. I look back at the pictures and it still blows my mind that it happened. This was the trip that taught me to see the beauty in struggling. Now, I’m over struggling. But I do see that there are lessons to be learned and fun to be had in the process of self-improvement and growing up. Plus meeting all of those people was just a wonderful experience.
2007 – On The Road Again
In terms of happiness, 2007 wasn’t particularly distinctive. However, I do remember having my car on campus and having the gas to travel as I please. This meant trips to Greenville and Charlotte to visit my best friends and create new drunken silly memories.
Just remember college broke is way better than adult broke. So much better.
2008 – Internship
I got to my senior year and realized that my resume was looking hella thin. So I set a goal that I would find a job in my field. I set that goal and found an internship at an ad agency in the area. It was such a great experience and really taught me some valuable lessons, especially in the area of self-protection and goal-setting. With that said, the last week or so was terrible but you know it needed to happen. I needed to learn that lesson at that time so that I wouldn’t make that same mistake again.
2009 – The Value of Quitting
So after college, I got an AWFUL job working in customer service. Twas not the answer. So I started looking at graduate schools in order to get out this miserable job. I was lucky to get into graduate school (more on this later) but the best feeling was walking out of that job like BYE ASHY! BYE UGLY! See you never!
But really the lesson was that you don’t have to stay in something that makes you unhappy. You can’t run away from your problems but you can change your direction. This was a change for me as I’d spent most of my life letting other people guide me. I took control, took my GMAT, and got the fudge out of that job.
2010 – A Winter Up North
Now I hated grad school. With every fiber of my being. But the good thing about it was getting an internship in Boston for the company that I left earlier this. Now as someone who struggled with the coursework, I was super nervous about whether I could handle the job itself.
Not only did I do really well in my internship, I got great feedback that boosted my confidence. That confidence drove me to attack my class work and raise my GPA. The work was blah and the hours were long but the confidence from that job was a reminder that I am smart and a great employee. When I want to be.
2011 – The Big Move
I finally graduated and moved to Boston! Whoot! But really the hot here was accomplishing another that I had set for myself.
I had always said that I was getting out of North Carolina only to complete two degrees there. Getting this job and making this move, despite all of the difficulties was a great, freeing feeling.
It was a lifelong dream come true despite the hardships that would come up.
2012 – DC Adventures
After a year at my former company, I received a phone call with an “opportunity.” Anyone who has worked in public accounting knows that schedule is about to fucked when that word happens.
But as it turns out, I was asked to attend a conference in DC for high performing African-American employees. I got there and it was a great experience. Seeing motivated and hard working people of color in my field was a blessing. To be counted among them was another reminder that I can be great when I want and that hard work will be rewarded sometimes.
2013 – Coming Home
Last year was mostly trash. Let’s be clear. But the one defining moment for me was my 5-year celebration of my college graduation. So many people came back, so many drinks consumed, and so much fun was had.
The highlight was a Mexican dinner with some of my favorite people eating, laughing, and just enjoying each other’s company. No drama. Just jokes and fun.
Hope that this made you smile. What are some of your happiest moments over the past ten years.