I spent a lot of time this week focusing on what the coming year will bring. Then, thanks to some wonderful blog posts (which I promise to link to and credit in the near future), I shifted gears and started to reflect on what the past decade has brought into my life. I started with thinking about what I've done, where I've been, who I've met. What I realized is that I have so much to be thankful for. For all its trials and tribulations, the past decade has been a pretty incredible one. Here are some of the highlights for me, mostly inspiring, a few sad, in no particular order:
1. I earned 3 different college degrees, including the last one which I think - at the beginning of the decade - only my dad could have foreseen.
2. I started a career in education that has truly altered the lens through which I view everything in my world.
3. I watched my brother become an incredible adult who not only inspires me to no end, but also makes me realize how lucky we both have been to have the family that we have.
4. I lost two of my grandpas and two of my grandmas, yet because of the intricacies of my family structure I still have two grandmothers and a grandpa alive and well.
5. I visited Europe twice, the first time on a study abroad program in college and the second time with my parents and some good family friends. I learned a lot about myself, the culture in which I grew up, and the inherent beauty of the human spirit.
6. I competed in my first (and second) long-course triathlon and my first half-marathon.
7. I gained 30 pounds, lost 35, gained 5, and finally began to develop a better sense of both who I am and how amazing this body is that I inhabit.
8. I gave up eating turkey and chicken. Then I gave up fish. Then I gave up dairy. Then I became a vegan. Then I realized that there is no way I think I would ever NOT be a vegan again. I know too much. I care too deeply.
9. I loved a lot, lost a lot, and found someone who completes my soul. In the process, I also quit my job and moved across the country.
10. I learned that my mom can not only be my inspiration, but can also be one of my best friends. And I learned that my dad will be my biggest supporter... no matter what.
11. I've stood by some of my best friends, including my brother, as they exchanged wedding vows. I also gained an incredible sister in the process.
12. I've learned that life is forgiving and for giving, that nothing hard will last forever, and that time really doesn't wait for anyone...
I could go on an on, but instead I think I'll stop. Happy New Year. Here's to a wonderful decade past and an exciting one ahead. Now it's 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I think it's time for bed.
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