June 15, 2001
The weather was, for once, not raining as it is usually on the "we(s)t coast". It was a cheery, sunny day in Maple Ridge, British Columbia and I was going to be graduating from high school that night!
I left school at lunch time to 'go home and prepare', I didn't really have a lot to prepare as I was not aware that girls spent hundreds of dollars on make up, hair and dresses for the occasion. So in typical fashion (i.e. tomboy), I went to a friend's house and hung out with the "Tech Lab Junkies". My lack of preparation is shown in my grad picture. I stood there proudly, between the school principal and the district superintendent (who were quite dressed up) with my flyaway hair tucked under my cap and my running shoes. I must've looked a little ridiculous when compared to all the other girls who walked up gracefully in their stilettos peeking out from under the gowns. Nobody told me the gown was only going to cover to just below the knee - or I might've tried a little harder to dress up. Ah well, I was who I was and there was no point in trying to fool anyone else.
As part of the school choir I was given the honour of singing a short solo. The Thomas Haney choir and band sang and played throughout our ceremony and at one point in the celebrations the graduating students were invited to take their places among their classmates and we belted out a tune ... only wish I could remember which tune that was! Papi did videotape it, but accidentally taped over it with one of his tv shows. For years I was upset and recently I've come to accept that the footage is gone, which in hindsight is probably not terrible, because my singing sure was.
There were some wonderful friends who showed up to support me, most memorable was Pastor Shawn coming back for the ceremony even though he was pastoring a church in Tsawwassen.
After graduation we had our 'dry grad' celebration that Thomas Haney put on for us and we stayed up all night playing games, writing in yearbooks and making promises to stay in touch forever, no matter where our paths in life would take us.
Fast forward 10 years...
We now have this amazing tool called Facebook which is probably better described as an addiction. With it I've caught up with old friends and can stay updated with their lives, and they with mine. For a while I had a number of old high school friends on my Facebook page until one day I realized that we had nothing in common anymore. A few friends who I keep in touch with:
- Tiffany (still travelling the world and keeping up with her languages)
- Pam (now married and a mommy)
- Russell (still very musical)
- Bronwyn (working successfully as a baker)
- Adam (working in IT, no surprise there)
- Kali (now married and a mommy)
- Tae Eun (got married yesterday)
- Hayley (working as a pilot)
- Katie (now married, in fact she married the brother of my co-valedictorian, Mark, from grade 7!)
- Allie (a mommy)
- Christie brothers (DavE has a little guy and Rob is married, has 2 kids and is in the military)
- Trevor (teaches university)
- Joy (went to school up north and is still very involved in CLA and now goes by her given name, Barbara)
- Tecia (married with 3 kids and is a budding entrepreneur with her in-home Tupperware company)
There are other people as well, but the reality is that we don't keep in touch as much now that we're scattered all over the country. Even the people listed above and I are in rare contact, it's only because of Facebook that I have any clue what is happening in their lives.
Where I am now...
I definitely never believed that I would a) be living in Ontario b) still be single and c) not be working as a teacher. Yet, I am all of those things and love my life.
When I graduated, I had my honours certificate and my teaching prep certificate and was on my way to Canadian Bible College to a) get married and b) get married. I really hadn't planned farther than that. In fact, I bought my prom dress in white with the intent that I'd get married soon and it could double as a wedding dress. Yes, I really did do that. I was optimistic and a bit naiive, but mostly optimistic.
When I got to CBC I got in a fight with my best friend, who was also my roommate, and had a rough first year away from home. I was 17 when I left and had a lot to learn. I made some great friends (and have since reconciled with Jenni) and was rather disappointed to learn that not everyone gets married immediately. So I decided to switch my major from a "MRS" degree to a "B.Ed. Religion" and do a concurrent study program at the University of Regina and get my teaching degree. So I had it all planned out, I was 18, was at odds with my best friend, single but I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
I ended up finishing the ACCESS program and instead of going home for the summer to work, moved to Switzerland.
Many moves and many years later, I've landed myself a job at a progressive accounting firm working as an assistant to the Director of Business Development (marketing). So there you have it, from a high school graduate on her way to get hitched who reverted to plan B of becoming a teacher who worked at a spa in Switzerland, a burger joint in her hometown, a Christian bookstore, a grocery store, a sub shop, a college and an engineering firm in her new hometown to a marketing assistant.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."