May 26 2007

10 years ago today I was being surprised by my family as I walked down to take my seat at graduation. They stood – blow horns and all – spelling out my name in the stadium crowd each with a letter on their shirt. I got extra tickets for the ceremony for “my brother’s girlfriend’s sister and boyfriend” who turned out to be another amazing surprise – my favorite cousins all the way from Mexico.

The week leading up to graduation my friends and I set out to go out every night. Each place was picked for the significance (drink special) it had on a specific week day. We completed the task knowing we would never return to these college bars.

Since my house was next to campus, all our families and friends gathered there the morning of graduation, drinking champagne and taking pictures. Then everything happened so quickly. I tripped on stage getting my diploma, went sight seeing all around town with my family, ate endless amounts of foods, sang along at a piano bar – went out one last time and woke up on my air mattress needing to pack up and move out. I fit as much stuff as I could into my friend’s family’s van, then we drove to meet my family for one last meal together at our favorite burrito spot – and we were off. The next day I was on a plane to Europe.

My life has been non stop ever since – in 10 years I’ve traveled to more than 24 countries, worked for one of the most prestigious hotel groups in the world, lived alone in a beautiful downtown studio in San Francisco, backpacked the world for almost a year, managed a night club, became an aunt, paid off all my student loans becoming completely debt free, gave back and paid it forward, ran a couple of marathons, got engaged to the love of my life and stayed close to my family throughout.

That was fun! Thankful for the past 10 years.

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