Ten years ago today, I was sitting in the now-Toronto Centre for the Arts at my high school graduation. Unlike many people, I had a fantastic time in high school and couldn’t believe it was really over. My oldest friend Claire (we've had adventures since we were five) was sitting in front of me. She turned around and said, “This is it, Ilana. Are you ready to grow up?” The possibilities overwhelmed me, and I cried.
Ten years later, I continued to have a fantastic time at Princeton and Columbia. I have two degrees with honours. I’ve worked for the tiniest theatres and the biggest theatre celebrities. I’ve made art and world premieres, and written some things I’m really proud of (but never enough). I’ve made friends with some of the coolest, most gifted people on the planet, and kept in touch with the equally cool and gifted people I had the privilege to meet in HS. I now work as a professor for a living, and I have learned to love the combination of academia and performance. I have had amazing opportunities to sing and play music, for radio, rock stars or just for fun.
To make this vaguely relevant to this blog, in the past ten years, I have also come a really long way in conquering my diabetes demons. Here, I was ready to grow up. High school me would never have imagined that I'd be wearing a pump now (I was vehemently against it), testing several times a day, and that I'd have A1cs in the 7s, instead of I don't even want to remember what. High school me would be amazed that I was blogging about diabetes and that I have a social media presence regarding it, rather than either trying to hide it or trying to exploit D-crises to get peoples' attention, particularly attention from boys. (I blame the whole "men love a swooning girl" trope.) Seriously, ten years? That's two whole cures ago!
Speaking of things that happened today, ten years ago, I'm not sure I'd have guessed it would take a decade to "grow up" and strike down DOMA, but thank goodness for that. I also had no experience living in the US. Seven years there, even in liberal enclaves, opened my eyes to many realities (particularly those of the healthcare system).
In any case, I’m getting married next year to my great love, who I had no idea I’d meet within 15 months of graduating high school, and Claire will be a bridesmaid in my wedding. And if she asks me again, “Ilana, are you ready to grow up?” I don’t know what the answer will be. I still don’t think I’m ready. But I know I love my life right now, and I want to see what happens in the next ten years.