A Year and Decade In Review

Although 2020 is technically the last year of the decade (I fought this battle in Y2K and 2010 as well), it feels like a good time to start with a clean slate... start fresh and reflect on days and years gone by.

This year was one of tremendous growth, even more so than in 2018 which was also transformative. I may not have accomplished all the goals I set for myself, but I did prioritize my mental health which was desperately needed. I'm still a work in progress after the breakup and some other significant relationship breakdowns, but I'm a lot further along than where I started. I've made some big revelations about each of them, and I look forward to making even more progress in 2020.

Over the course of just this year, I made some incredible new friends, accomplished huge goals in my career, and got to celebrate Thanksgiving with my extended family for the first time in over a decade. I even ran a 15k! What?! But somehow our memories often have a way of augmenting the bad stuff... when I first thought about the year as a whole, it felt like the challenges far outweighed the positive. But with detailed reflection, I realized that fallible memory phenomenon had clouded my judgement. Not to say I didn't have my fair share of challenges, because I did... from a car accident, to hurdles at work, to some unexpected dog drama, and several interpersonal conflicts. But every challenge presented an opportunity to learn and grow. The work I've done this year both on my own and in therapy has allowed me to see that more clearly.

I got to spend time with my extended family, not once but twice this year. I will never be able to fully express what my cousins have meant to my recovery since 2017. That year nearly broke me. But when I reached out for an escape, they were there to take me in no questions asked. When you're an only child, that sense of true connection and familial bond with people your own age is pretty foreign. I'm forever grateful to have rekindled that with them and look forward to more time with them soon.

Thinking back on the decade is even more overwhelming, especially when those ten years kick off with your 21st birthday in Vegas. This decade was monumental, but typically your twenties are. I graduated from college and planned my 10 year high school reunion. My grandmother died which has shaped me every day since. I got my beautiful dogs, Crosby and Harrison, who have been the source of light in my darkest moments. I got my first job and apartment... then four more jobs and two apartments later, I bought a house! Those crazy jobs (some better than others) led me to the one I have today which I'm so fortunate to have found. I've now discovered a new career path I never saw for myself, but fits me like a glove.

I went on my first solo vacation to Vancouver and then to Calgary twice after. Those vacations still stay with me as Canada is one of the most stunning places I've ever seen. I've traveled to the Bahamas, Boston, LA, New York City, and Colorado and Chicago more times than I can count. I got to see incredible concerts and musicals, including Hamilton six times! HA!

I've watched cousins and friends get married and was lucky enough to be the best man at one of them! I even had a great love of my very own. It was messy and beautiful. And although that ended in heartbreak, I learned more than I could've ever imagined and don't regret it for a second. Meeting and loving him completely changed my life.

I've made and lost some incredible friends... even ones that spanned over the decade. I'm thankful for the lessons learned from those who are no longer in my life, and I'm forever inspired by the ones who have stuck with me through it all. I could go on for pages, but just know each of you are beyond words. I'm truly grateful for you all.

With all that said, every event and interaction has led me to where I am today. Life will always have its ups and downs, but it's the downs that make the ups even better. I've set my sights on 2020 with my heart full and excited for the opportunities to be authentically myself each day, ups, downs, and everything in between. Wishing you a successful and fulfilling new year and new decade. Let's crush the twenties!

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