Colorado: A Graduation

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It feels like I’ve been asking the question “where does time go” a lot lately. Perhaps, it is just turning 30, and now that I have over a decade of “adult” life behind me time seems to be slipping away more rapidly. But there is something particularly strange to me about my baby sister, who is nearly a decade younger, graduating college. I feel like it wasn’t that long ago I graduated college. It isn’t that I think of her as perpetually a child. She is a grown lady now with her own life and ambitions. And I’m super proud and happy to call her a sister. And I love that she’s old enough that we share more and more in common. Pretty hard as a teenage to relate to an seven year old most of the time. But still, I don’t think I ever imagined her out in “the world” as an adult. So it’s a bit strange.

Natalie is also one of the youngest cousins, my Mom being the youngest of her family, and my Dad just having one sister. So its something like the entire cohort of our  family is officially very adult. And simultaneously I finally feel like perhaps, I am a full grown adult. It happened sometime between twenty-five and thirty. But attending her college graduation felt somewhat like a solidification of proper adulthood. Here we all are in this shared space of trying to navigate the world as mostly autonomous, generally well functioning humans. Weird. There was a feeling of nostalgia that permeated the weekend, but mostly, it was also just fun. We as a family have gotten past the turmoil of youth and can now just all enjoy each other’s company without fanfare. We just get to be together and relish in the joy of each other’s company. While that’s been mostly true for a few years now, this trip, again solidified our new status. A place I’m very happy to be.

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Sometimes, of course I miss the little tyrant of a younger sister. The one who would scream from an entirely different room in our childhood house that I had kicked her. Just to see if she could get me in trouble. She also just happened to be absurdly cute, a fact I’m certain she knew and took advantage of. Now that same girl was picking us up from our hotel for graduation dinner, her serious boyfriend beside her, ordering cocktails or beer with measured knowledge, and have valid, educated opinions about the world. Because of our age gap I somewhat missed the transition in between. I knew her as a child, and then spent my selfish teen/college years less aware of how she was changing. Then poof, suddenly, she became an adult.

And now I look at her new life with great hope, excitement, and joy. She has her twenties ahead of her, a time for me that was filled with extremes, constant movement, change, excitement, and unknown. When I was her age I’d barely left the country. Over the next eight years my entire world would shift in such dramatic fashion I could have never predicted it. Coincidently, its also around that time that I started this blog. And while it wasn’t always easy, it was one hell of an adventure and I’m so excited for hers to begin. Though it’ll look different for her, I have a feeling a lot of good is going to happen for her these next eight years, before she turns thirty. She has a great support system and is smart and grounded. I don’t have to worry about her, I just get to enjoy being her sister and sharing in all the new life twists her life will take.

Our brief weekend together was a happy, easy one. We got to celebrate a new chapter, and spend time together. I’m throughly enjoying life right now, everything feels pretty simple and easy. Trying to enjoy this time where everything just feels very joyful and peaceful. I’m so happy to have the family I do, and to get weekends like this that are just pure happiness. It’s a gift to be sure. So cheers to Natalie, to ending of chapters and beginnings of new ones. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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