It was brought to my attention tonight that 20 years ago today, I graduated high school. Suffern High School-SHS Class of 2000. Before I found out this information, I didn’t know what to write about tonight. Then as the realization that 20 years has passed since, well since my childhood-I got out a photo album that I made of senior year-and then I got another one out from the earlier years in high school. How does 20 years go by so fast? How can it feel like a lifetime ago but just like yesterday at the same time? I feel the same way about each of my boys-how are they going to be 13, 11, and 9-when I can remember so clearly the days they were each born. How can high school graduation be 20 years ago when parts of it I remember like it just happened. Granted-the details are a bit fuzzier these days But a lot of parts are clear-the good and the bad. I don’t want to glorify my high school years-they were hard at times-I went through a lot of stuff with my family, ups and downs with friends-made some bad choices-but-those things didn’t define me. And as I look through these photos- the ones that capture the fun and carefree days of my senior year(the road trips, eating out, sleepovers…)-I kinda wish I could go back and tell my 18 year old self a few things.
I would tell her…
to cherish your friendships and don’t let silly drama come between you and your friends.

to look at yourself in the mirror and stop seeing something you are not. Stop seeing fat or chubby or whatever I saw back then, because 20 years later and I would love to have that body!

to not take life too seriously. Laugh, be silly, love and be loved.

I would tell her that if you think life has been rocky so far-hold on to your seat. It will get rockier, harder, and more complicated as you grow.

to hold onto the carefree, the fun, the laughter. Hold on to all of it because as you get older the less you use it the more you lose it.

to dream big and not be afraid to chase those dreams.

to not put things off until later or tomorrow or someday-someday may not come.

to remember where you came from, remember your roots that helped shape you into the person you will become.

On June 25th, 2000 as I accepted my diploma-my whole life was laid out before me. A blank slate waiting to be written. A whole lot of 17 and 18 year olds dreaming and wishing and hoping for everything to come. It’s funny because just last week I wrote about my 12 year old and wanting him to hold on to his childhood. It really is gone in the blink of an eye. But perspective is a wonderful thing and maybe as I reflect on all of the years past it will help me to understand my kids a little better as they enter their teen years. I sure didn’t make it easy on my parents(sorry dad), and I’m sure they won’t make it easy on Kenny and I either but God never promised this life would be easy.  In fact, He told us the opposite-in this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world. John 16:33. A lot can happen in 20 years, a lot can change in a week(I think we all have that corona virus perspective now). So-cheers to all of you who share this date with me, cheers to the next 20 years-hold on right and enjoy the ride❤️

Be well.