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11 Years Out of High School

To the day, 11 years ago, I walked across the stage that was set up in my high school football stadium and received my diploma.  What do I remember most?  My friends and I were sat alphabetically so we were pretty close to one another since we were all within the same few letters of each other.  And a beach ball.  I definitely remember a beach ball being hit into the sky repeatedly by classmates.

We hollered and cheered with blinding excitement as each of us waltzed across the stage.  Honestly, we couldn't wait to lose the gowns, show off our impressive tans in our coordinated neon after party outfits, and hit the many dirt road gatherings in store for the class of 2004 that night.

                        White during graduation, neon pink afterwards, all to show off those tans!

In the grand scheme of life, 11 years out of high school is not terribly long.  Yet, it was worlds ago.  So much has changed while so much is the same.  At the very least, most of us don't thrive on 3 hours of sleep anymore, but the Nelly Pandora station is our go to for any given workout.  What can I say?  They just don't make hip hop like they used to.

                                               Izzy and I as seniors in high school, 2004 
                                              Senior year homecoming dance

I've learned a lot in my 11 years of adulthood this far and I'm excited to keep learning.  It's incredibly important to me to reflect and challenge myself to continue to do so.  That's the thing about learning; there's enough for everybody.  And really, Google is so much more accessible than it was when I was a kid.  When I was a girl, I had to use dial up, in the snow, while sitting at a desk top computer.

11 Important Facts About Life After High School
1: Sunscreen.  Girlll, let me tell you what.  Lather it on and embrace natural tones.  No one looks good with orange fake bake skin, nor do extra sun induced wrinkles do any good for any body.  Don't get me wrong, there are good wrinkles and bad ones, just like witches.  Which brings me to...

2: Laugh a lot and earn some laugh lines across the ol'people greeter.  You laugh loud, snort, or turn colors?  Perfect, you're hired!  These are blessings that we should all be thankful to receive.  It is so important to smile so hard it bursts into laughter!

3: Less fried and more fresh. Seriously just stop with "quick and cheap" food because really it doesn't take all that much time or money to prepare your own.  Plus no one has ever compared eating a spinach salad to feeling like there's a brick in their stomach after consumption.

4: Choose kindness.  There's no reason to be catty or cruel.  Done.

5: Speak up for yourself.  Yes, you in the back of the crowd who is afraid of their shadow, domineering friends, or terrible bosses.  Always, always know your opinion matters.  Show the same respect to those around you.

6: The value of your word.  Your word should be as good as any legal binding contract.

7: Encourage growth whether for you, loved ones, or the grocery clerk who confides he wants to be an astronaut.  It's always nice to build people up.

8: When you love, love so hard it creates ripples in the universe.  People are better when they love and are loved.

9: As Lee Brice says "don't outsmart your common sense". Praise the lord for good country music lyrics.

10: Send cards just cause and fill them with glitter sometimes.

11: Education, vacations, relationships, health, finances, family, housing, it's all up to you. Give your all to each situation you undertake and completely embrace the fact that if you try and it's the best you've got, then it's a success.  Despite if certain ends aren't what you think they should be initially.

Simple right?  I thought so too.  Happy living!

Until we meet again,


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