High School Reflections

Last weekend I attended my high school alma mater graduation ceremony to watch my cousin receive her diploma. After listening to the graduates give some speeches (which were insightful and smart) I decided that I’d pen a little letter to the graduating class on my blog this week. Then I changed my mind. Then I found this post by Kelly Lorene & I was inspired.

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pre-college, marriage, and adulthood Audrey… bold necklace choice, kid.

What kind of student you were in high school (popular, nerd, sport obsessed, choir, etc)?
I spent all four years of high school living in the band room. Socially that might’ve made me a nerd… but I never felt like I couldn’t say hi to the “popular kids” or partner up with a non-band kid in the science lab. I had a core group of best friends in band but I had many friends outside of the music world that played sports, sang in the choir, or participated in other activities.

About your school. Was it private? Public? How many in graduating class? Mascots? School colors?
I attended a public school. I think there were about 230 kids in my graduating class. Unless they were super new or in and out of the building, I knew everyone’s name. (I assume everyone knew me, too.) Our school colors were/are red & black and we were “The Quakers.” Yep… like the guy on the front of the oatmeal box.

About some of your favorite memories of high school or what stands out the most. Any teachers? Specific classes?
I think all my memories center around band and band trips. I remember my first WGI World Finals experience. I remember marching in a parade in Disney World. I remember visiting the “Top of the Rock” in NYC. For most of high school I had three best friends and I have so many memories with them. Those are bittersweet since we’re not really friends any more.

A piece of advice you would pass on to your children or any child entering high school.
I would advise them to be nice. Teenage years are hard and when I think back to moments that I’m not so proud of it’s the times that I was unkind. Be nice to your friends and the kids that aren’t so popular. Be nice to teachers and administration and your parents. If all the fish in the sea aren’t being nice, swim the opposite direction and show some kindness. Also- these four years are meant to be fun and educational. Pay attention in biology. Break curfew once or twice. Learn how to do laundry on your own. Take these four years of child-adult limbo and learn a few lesson.

A piece of advice you would pass on to your children or any child exiting high school.
To be 100% honest, it gets harder from here on out. But it’s also so rewarding. Whether you go off to school or the military or join the workforce or start a family- work hard and show some grace (toward yourself and others) and don’t be afraid to treat yourself. The world will try to convince you that you’re not good enough: as an employee, as a mother, as a boss, as a father. You are good enough, but you have to work for it. Surround yourself with good people. Strive to make a difference. Don’t forget to breathe.

Quite frankly, those questions were more fun than a letter 🙂 How would you answer them?

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Reflections on 2015

Today is the beginning of a three week past/future/present series. It’s nothing big or grand, but I think it’s a good way for me to wrap up one year while preparing for the next. So today, next Wednesday, and two weeks from today I will cover:

  • Reflections on 2015
  • Goals for 2016
  • My word for the New Year

(Is it a sign that I’m already writing “2016” when I only mean ’15?)

We didn’t experience much change this year, but I think there was a lot of growth. Our best friends grew their family by one (actually, they adopted a dog, too… so by two!), K’s business really took off this summer (huzzah!), and my brother proposed to his girlfriend, adding another permanent member to our family.

K and I didn’t travel much this year. We spent our anniversary at Niagara Falls and we went to Tennessee for the NASCAR race. I took a beach trip with some wonderful gals to South Carolina and he spent some time in Texas on business. At home we finished the basement bathroom and put central air conditioning in (praise the LORD).

Career-wise, I didn’t make any changes but K’s company has tripled in size and we’re now moving into a new office/warehouse space. (I’m so proud of my husband.) My thought have officially turned to nonprofit & dogs so I’m hoping to make progress in the years to come.

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So what can I say about 2015…

This year K and I found that tough conversations about money and the future and children and goals became a little easier. We tend to be on the same track as far as 5-, 10-, and 20-year goals go. When you’re starting and growing a business a lot of time and energy gets put into that… so this year it was amazing to see the efforts pay off. I think that next year we will have a little more balance.

Our dogs kept our hearts full and glowing. Our family stayed healthy and happy. Our troubles were minimal. It was a very low-key year.

2015 was my first year of consistent blogging. I used this space every week and met amazing people through the blog world. It’s really been life changing for me. (So thank you! ❤️ )

I’ve tried to be more self-reflective and aware. I’ve tried to avoid drama and excuses- if I wanted to do it I did it and if I didn’t want to do it I declined (tactfully). I took a few Facebook/news hiatuses because the violence and hate in this world is crippling. I’ve focused on faith and healing and the encouraging grace of others. I’ve tried to lessen the sarcasm and up the genuineness. Overall, if I were charting this past year, I would say that I’m a little higher on the graph than I was on January 1st.

And now I think this is good place to stop. Next week I will talk about my goals/resolutions for the new year.

What did you think of 2015? How would you sum up the year in review? Was it a year of change or growth? Maybe it was a year of exploration or discovery? I want to know!

-Louise