Jesse Stoddard

Life After High School: Interview with Megan Murphy

Today’s interview with Megan Murphy is part of my ongoing blog-to-book project: Life After High School: Secrets To A Successful Life By Those Who Have Had Twenty Years To Think About It (or) What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. If you missed the last post, click here, otherwise, you can start at the beginning here.

Megan Murphy

(Formerly Megan Otterstedt)

Anacortes, WA

My Life In High School

Megan Otterstedt AHS 1996

Who were you in High School and how did you feel about it?

I would say I was just an average person, I hated going to school it was boring to me, I would rather find something fun to do.

What did you think your life would become when you graduated?

I didn’t really know. I thought about going to college, but since I didn’t like school, I figured it wasn’t the best option. The only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to be a wife and a mother.

My Life After High School

Megan Murphy on waterfront

What happened in your life to you, for you, and by you in the last twenty years (how have you used your time and who have you become)?

After high school, I worked for my aunt at her daycare during the day and at a restaurant at night. Everything was going well until I received a call telling me my little sister was being airlifted to children’s hospital in Seattle.

They didn’t give us very much information, so I grabbed my mom, hopped in my car and flew down the highway. It was very bad news when we arrived. My sister had been at a party where everyone was drinking and she had gotten very sick.

Instead of calling an ambulance like any normal person would do they threw her in the woods. Luckily a friend of a friend found out and called the cops, but it was too late. She didn’t make it. It was definitely the worst day of my life.

I think that made me a much stronger person than I thought I would ever be.

Two years later I got engaged to the love of my life, Kelly Murphy, on Christmas morning. We were engaged for two years then married in the summer of 2000.

We briefly moved to Seattle for his work, but as everyone knows this town has a curse—you never get to leave forever. We moved back two years later so I could take care of my grandmother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Kellen was born in march of 2005 and that when I finally felt that my life was going as I wanted it to.

Now I just work at a local restaurant and my husband works for the port. We love to spend every free minute together, especially if it’s camping or traveling.

My Life Lesson

What were the major life lessons and wisdom that you gained during your journey over the last 20 years?

I think the biggest lesson that I have learned is that everything happens for a reason. I try not to dwell on the past or worry about things that I can’t control.

Letter To My High School Self

If you could write your 18-year-old self (or however old you were when you graduated) a letter, and send it back in time, what would you say? What lessons or wisdom did you learn? What encouragement or warnings would you give yourself?

I guess I would say to try harder at school.


In the next couple of posts, I will continue with a couple more interviews, like this one with Alejandra Meza-Tabares, before I conclude.

Are you from Generation X? I want to hear what you think! Please comment below and participate in the conversation about What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. What do you wish someone told you when you were eighteen?

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Jesse Stoddard


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