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What the heck did I do in a Decade?

It didn’t seem so long ago. I was eighteen, and I had both a car and a job. I had college on lock, and a serious case of senioritis. I was so ready to graduate high school and start a new chapter of my life. I remember being asked the question, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?"

I hadn’t even graduated yet, and I was already forced to think about all the endless possibilities I could make happen within a decade. I was so ready to finish school and head off to college, but I also felt nostalgic about the idea of returning for my ten-year reunion and seeing all we had accomplished.

We would be like a time capsule, presented for everyone to see and hear of the many tales we each had to share about our decade. Now that this part of the journey is over, what the heck did I do in a decade?

I can’t speak for my peers, but my decade was one to be proud of. I didn’t end up exactly where I wanted to be, but I’m definitely not where I use to be.

First of all,

I received an education.

Once I graduated high school, I went off to college. It seemed like the next step everyone should have taken, but I realized that not everyone decides to further their education in higher learning. As a young, eighteen-year-old in Tallahassee, I was away from home for the very first time. After almost five years there, I finally gained my first college degree. Afterwards, I moved back home to receive my master’s degree.

Because of that,

I gained perspective.

I was away on my own in what seemed like a diverse place, at the time. I saw people who looked like me, but somehow, they were also very different. I had been sheltered previously, but college opened my eyes -I began seeing life through the lenses of freedom. The caged bird had finally been freed, and it changed a lot for me.

I saw things and experienced life differently. Even my faith gained perspective. I saw people serve God in many ways, and in different denominations. I began to see my world change and expand, right before my eyes.

I also failed.

One of the first things I remember Professor Lumpkin saying to us young freshmen in our Intro to Architecture class was, “You will fail.” I quickly rebuked him. I didn’t come this far to fail or waste time.

Nonetheless, I failed some classes and lived to learn from those experiences. It was not that my professor was trying to discourage us; instead, he was simply trying to prepare us to understand that failure happens, and that we should learn from it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my failures pushed me to never stop.

I grew spiritually.