I just had a minor freakout. Okay, not a freakout, maybe, but a weird jittery feeling in my chest for sure.

Because (why else do these things ever happen), I got caught up on my Facebook-stalking-people-from-high-school duties, which I had been seriously neglecting for months.

Everyone who wasn’t married or engaged or pregnant is definitely married or engaged or pregnant now.

And it just filled me up (this is stupid and maudlin, get ready) it just filled me up with this sense of how much time has gone by since then. Since eighteen. And yes, there are so many possibilities still ahead, but some of them are gone.

College, that’s supposed to be the best time, right? The best story. And it’s already written, for better or worse. (The cliches are just going to get worse from here on out, I apologize.)

Anyway, so I thought, what have I even done with my life? What has changed about me? I still feel so eighteen sometimes. I don’t have many Facebook-photo-worthy things to show for my time since high school.

So I had to make a mental list and, even though I couldn’t feel it all the way, I realized I have done plenty.

I set my sights on a career and chased after it like an absolute cutthroat crazy person and I worked hard and good things happened. I screwed up as many times as I succeeded, but good things happened.

I lived by myself. I ironed my own clothes and cooked microwaved my own meals and bought my own medicine when I was sick. I worked every blue collar job you could imagine (clerical, food service, child care, retail, check check check & check). I survived.

I accepted myself or, no, that’s not accurate…I started the long, scary, probably-never-to-be-completed journey of accepting myself. And it was hard and I’m proud of myself.

Since high school I have started and ended friendships, learned the hardest lessons of my life, felt the happiest and the saddest I’ve ever been.

Let me be clear, lest this list sound braggy, I have made ten times more mistakes than victories. For example, I just used “lest” in a sentence. But I have been very, very alive.

Maybe I don’t need an update to my Facebook relationship status to show that.

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