March 12, 2014

One year, five years, ten.

The other day I met a girl serving an LDS mission who was from Utah and happened to go to my same high school. I excitedly said, "No way! That's where I went- what year did you graduate?!" (the exclamations are necessary because I get excited just talking to people in general, but when I find out we have something in common the excitement escalates big time.) "I graduated in 2013" said this baby child.

And then it struck me like a pillow case full of dentures. I graduated high school almost 6 years ago.

So it's been 6 years but it still feels like maybe 2. I forget that I'm 10+ years older than some of the young women I work with because I'm just a young soul. People think it's all hipster or something to say they have an old soul and that they like vinyl records and have a lot of wisdom. Well guess what? I'm a young soul and I can't stand black and white movies, I like my music on my iPhone at the touch of my finger,  and when I pretend to have wisdom I'm probably just winging it.

Anyway, thanks to that experience and this post from the blog Life of Bon, I got to thinking back to my plans for the future when I was in high school. You know, my 1-year, 5-year, 10-year type of plans. I know I have them written down somewhere because that's just how my personality works. (Heck I probably had long term goals written out at the age of 3.) But here are the 1, 5, and 10 year plans of where I thought I would be after high school and where I actually was.


Where I thought I would be:  Going to college- but hard work in class would be balanced out by the fact that I was going to BYU-Hawaii and playing on the beach all day. If you didn't know this about me, my alter ego is a mermaid. I'm in love with the ocean. I think at the time I wanted to do either journalism or broadcast journalism. My ultimate goal was to be a magazine editor (which is still my #1 dream job by the way. Better Homes & Gardens, here I come. Haha just kidding. They wouldn't accept my idea of domestic I don't think.)

I thought that while I was going to school at BYU Hawaii, I would work at the Polynesian Cultural Center because I loved that place (if you're ever in Hawaii this is a must).

Where I actually was: Going to Dixie State College in St. George, Utah- 4 hours away from home. I never used to be very good at taking leaps of faith and as someone just leaving home, I wasn't ready to move thousands of miles away.  For my first two years at Dixie I was a journalism major. I wrote and was an editor for The Dixie Sun. Writing is still a major passion for me but with the economy being the way it was and is, my adult mind came in and I realized journalism wouldn't be the best option for me.

The highlight of my time at Dixie was definitely my roommates and friends at Dixie. I still say that the first year at Dixie was one of my favorite years of my life. Mostly because as I have talked about before, I get on these things called "friendship highs" and that was one year of solid 24/7 friendship highs. Another highlight of my year was my brother. Growing up we never got along. I can't remember a single time that we had fun together or just hung out together. He came down to visit me one week and for some reason that all changed. We had a blast together. He decided to move down to St. George, and over that year we became best friends. He doesn't know how much I cherish that year because of the relationship that developed between us, but I do and I adore the crap out of him.

To me it's important to say that in the year, I hung out with people who partied and drank. I was always designated driver, vomit cleaner upper, shoe finder (my brother always lost one shoe when he was drunk haha), noise controller, but never ever did I drink. When people at work or other places ask me if I drink, they're surprised that I say no. When they ask if I have ever drank in my life, they're even more surprised when I say no. To me there is a big difference between saying "Yeah, I drank a couple of times" and being able to say "No I have never had a drink in my life." I'm definitely not judging people who do drink by any means at all. A lot of the people I still hang out with (friends and family) drink and it obviously doesn't bother me. But in my life I've made some decisions I regret, so this is something that I am very proud of.

(now excuse me while I picture overload because I'm not strolling down memory lane..)
My big brother. I call him Cinderella since he would alway lose his shoe.
My roomies. You hear a lot of horror stories about 6 strangers moving in together. My experience was like the fairy tale of roommates and we lived happily ever after. I love these girls. 

And at the very very end of this first year of college is when I met my favorite person in the world and very unexpectedly fell in love with the guy. And just a side note, my brother (who paparazzi'd this picture) had a huge part in Clint and I starting to date. 


Where I thought I would be: Graduated from college and just starting my career. I probably saw myself in a serious relationship, but not married. I knew that I wanted to go on a humanitarian trip maybe after college or during a summer break. I think what sparked my interest in humanitarian trips was when my family and I visited Vietnam for 3 weeks when I was 15.  We were able to gather toys, hygiene products, and blankets to take to some of the smaller villages there. Going to a third world country is an eye-opening experience to say the least, especially at the naive and self-centered age of 15. 

Where I actually was: Crazy to think that 5 years after high school, I had already been married for 3 years. This is so cliche to say, but we've had such a fun marriage and have had so many great opportunities and people in our lives. One of my favorite memories is when we were still living in St. George and we had a scooter gang (yeah, you read that right) that we called "The Sawblades" with my brother and his girlfriend at the time, and one other couple. We would just ride around on the best St. George nights on our little scooters. We would ride up big hills "Dumb and Dumber" style because our little scooters had a tough time making it up that slope.

Clint and I had lived in Utah, The DFW area of Texas and Philadelphia by this point (actually we technically lived in North Delaware, but Philadelphia sounds much more exciting). 

I think that if I would have known that I would be married for 3 years by this point, I would expect that I would have a baby, but the years fly by so quickly and the time just hasn't felt right yet. I've never talked about this on my blog, but I did have a miscarriage at the beginning of our marriage and that threw us through a loop. That was one of those big milestones and our first big trial in marriage that brought us closer together. I realized the depth of Clint's love for me during that time and it changed my whole view on our marriage.  

Within that 5 years, I was also graduating from college with a bachelor's in psychology and had no idea what direction I wanted to go with it. Clint had just received a job offer in Texas working for the government. I did get to go on a humanitarian trip to Belize for two weeks and work in an orphanage with one of my best friends and college roommates, Mary. It was an amazing experience and I feel beyond blessed to have been able to do it. At this point in my life I think it is safe to say I was and am much better at taking leaps of faith because that's what life demands.

Just me and my guy getting married.

This wasn't our scooter during our "Scooter Gang" era but close enough.

Sunday boardwalk trip in Delaware

One of my favorite pictures of us in Downtown Philadelphia

The Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Graduation from Weber State in 2012.

My Belizean Babies
If you've never seen 12 people packed into a 5 seater car, you've never been to a third world country.

I shouldn't have had favorites but I did. It was hard not to when this little boy would greet me by my door every morning with a big hug yelling "Good Morning Miss!" He was my little shadow during the two weeks I was there and that little Asher had my heart.
Our one day getaway to the San Pedro Islands in Belize. Absolutely beautiful.

I realize I have never blogged about my experience here. I've tried, multiple times. But it's one of those things that you can't put into words without sounding cliche, and it's hard to put two weeks into a single blog post to accurately describe my time there. It was the experience of a lifetime, as hard as it was, and I hope to be able to do it over and over again in my life. Maybe someday I'll blog about it. I kept a journal every single day I was there so it may be something that I just remember and reflect on for myself.


Does it freak me out that ten years since high school is only 4 years away? Yes. Time Flies. The biggest reminder to me of how fast time goes by is my little sisters who just aren't so little anymore. The youngest one Mariah, turns 15 this month and it always throws me off when I see her because when I moved to Texas she still had that little girl baby face and now she's a beautiful woman. Mikayla will graduate high school this year and is going to come live with me afterwards (right, Kayla?) and Shantelle is getting married in July. 
Left to right, Shantelle, Me, Mariah, and Mikayla.

I don't know why I went on that rant but I did. But you should know by now that I'm obsessed with my sisters so just love the rants. 


Where I think I will be in 4 years (ten years since high school):

I definitely think there will be a baby in the picture. My Pinterest boards of baby clothes can only get so full before I can't handle it anymore. So calm down, mom ;)

I will be a couple of years into dental school. Juggling school and pregnancy and then a baby will be tough, but I told myself when I started school that I will cross that bridge when I come to it. "Come what may and love it." 

I hope we'll still be living in our little Texas town, but Clint is convinced that we will eventually need to move to San Antonio to be closer to my school. 
and civilization haha. 

You realize (and I especially realize after writing this post) that life doesn't go as planned. My 18-year-old self thought that my 24-year-old self would have a lot more figured out than I do. But I don't think you ever completely figure life out. Unless you are Betty White, because that lady knows what's up. 

So here's to the next 1, 3, 5, 10, and 60 years. May we all conquer them like my girl Betty White.

-xo natasha.

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