Oh, How I Have Changed!

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” -Gail Sheehy


While attempting to figure out Time Machine (something that backs up all your precious files if your computer spontaneously combusts), I found myself clicking through some of my old writing stored on my hard drive.  I read through my poetry, old writing assignments, journal entries, and random lists of things. I cringed at my overly dramatic tone in much of the writing, laughed at my overuse and mis-use of big words, and as hours slipped by, I fell into nostalgia thinking about how my life has changed over the years, and how many of the experiences that inspired my writing feel as if they happened just days ago (I guess that’s the magic of writing). There was one document though that I did not recognize titled “My Top 5”. I clicked on it and immediately remembered what it was. My Top 5 is an activity where I gave myself a category and then wrote the top 5 things that came to my mind in response to the category. For example, if the category was favorite foods, my response would be the top 5 foods I love! Does that make sense? Well anyways, I apparently did this activity in 2011 and 2015.

It is 2017. Meaning I must play the game and update my answers! Below, I have shared some of the categories from My Top 5, as well as my responses.

My Top 5
1.  Memories From The Past Year

May, 2011 (10th grade)

  • First kiss
  • Fall Play: Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Homecoming Dance
  • First boyfriend
  • Lincoln High School Music Department Trip to Worlds of Fun

October, 2015 (2nd year of college)

  • Living a month in Malaysia
  • Making new friends
  • Having 2 jobs and going to school
  • Moving out of both my parents houses
  • Doing a long distance relationship

April, 2017 (21 years old)

  • Graduating college
  • Getting my first “adult job”
  • Applying and getting accepted to teach abroad in China
  • Experiencing that wild, reckless summer romance that you read about in fiction novels
  • Dancing A LOT

2. Things I Am Looking Forward To Next Year

May, 2011 (10th grade)

  • New friends
  • Driving???!
  • Sweet 16 birthday party?
  • Link Crew/Scribe (high school clubs)
  • New relationships

October, 2015 (2nd year of college)

  • Graduating UNL
  • Maybe moving out of Lincoln? (May I note, I still live in Lincoln LOL)
  • Finding an internship
  • Not having to be in school anymore!
  • Seeing xxx (the dude I had a long distance relationship with) again

April, 2017 (21 years old)

  • Learning Chinese
  • Running my first half marathon in May
  • Potentially teaching in Vietnam over the summer
  • Applying for grad school in the spring

3. Things I Love About My Life

May, 2011 (10th grade)

  • My personality
  • My dog
  • My parents being financially stable
  • I can text/facebook
  • My passion for writing and drawing

October, 2015 (2nd year of college)

  • Friends
  • Living on my own
  • Dancing for the UNL Ballroom Dance Company
  • Working out on a regular basis
  • I have a boyfriend

April, 2017 (21 years old)

  • I love that I no longer have to wake up at 7AM for class, or stay up till 5AM studying, or working part time jobs at weird hours
  • I love that I keep a full schedule every day
  • I love that I am only 21 years old and can say that I have graduated college, have a full-time job, pay my own bills, and continue to make goals for myself
  • I love that I dance weekly
  • I love that I enjoy my current job

4. Activities

May, 2011 (10th grade)

  • Facebook
  • Hang out with friends
  • Texting
  • Writing Poems
  • Sleep

October, 2015 (2nd year of college)

  • UNL Ballroom Dance Company
  • UNL Cultural/ Diversity Ambassadors
  • Reading
  • Drawing/painting
  • Writing

April, 2017 (21 years old)

  • Dancing
  • Running
  • Writing
  • Eating
  • Meeting new people

Rereading the thoughts of 16 year old Heather makes me want to crawl into a cave and hide. But also, makes me laugh hysterically inside. I love how the differences in my responses represent different chapters of my life, as well as how I have grown into who I am today. If you want to be amused by how much 360 days can change you, open up a Word doc and type out some categories to answer. Then, in a calendar that you daily use, make a note 1 year down the road to remind yourself to fill out your My Top 5 again.

Enjoy laughing at yourself, reminiscing, and getting the feels.

Until next time,
Heather Mei

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