In the last few days of 2019, I spent most of my waking hours lost in thought. In between fun outings that included a day trip up into the snow covered San Bernardino mountains, dancing with my in-laws at an outdoor concert, and generally enjoying the stasis between Christmas and New Years, I couldn't help but reflect on the decade that shaped my life.

Here are some quick highlights:

2010: I graduated with a BA in Human Development from Cal State San Marcos
          (First in my family to attend college)

2011: I moved in with my boyfriend of a few years and he proposed during a birthday trip in Las Vegas
          (I had no intentions of ever getting married after my parents divorced)

2013: We got married and bought our first condo
          (We ultimately sold the condo, a regret we now have. It could have served as extra income)

2016: I quit my job of 6 years without any real plan
          (The anxiety was too much, but I miss working with the kids)

2019: Nate started a business, a dream he's had since he was a teen
          (A huge risk, and only time will tell what happens next)

In between the highlights, there were plenty of lows as well. Even in looking at my list now, it seems rather lackluster on the page. So much of life is routine, and milestones become rare as you move along in adulthood. All we can hope for is to keep advancing, improving, and evolving. Time has a mysterious way of propelling us forward, even when we feel stuck. I have felt stuck more often than not, but something I've definitely learned in the last decade is we are never truly standing still. Life goes on.

I don't have any sweeping changes in mind for 2020. I'm just not giving into the pressure. Every January we are inundated with articles and ads about losing weight and getting fit, creating positive habits in our daily routines, drinking more water, setting new goals. Realistically, we should be doing these things year-round, constantly re-evaluating. So what is it about a new year that makes us want to do and be better versions of ourselves? Psychologically speaking, I think it's all about the perception of beginning a new year with a blank slate, starting over on January 1. It's a powerful force, one that fills us with hope and promise. Even if you feel like you're doing well in your life, there's always room for improvement. If you're not content and had a tough year, the wanting of transformation is even stronger. I get it, I really do. I'm all for making positive changes, and I do believe that we have the power to change what we want to. The problem I have is that in the past, I focused on trying to reinvent myself. "Oh if I do x, y, and z, then I'll finally be successful and happy!" Instead of improving myself, I really just started turning away from myself - trying to act in ways that weren't me. Looking back, I think it actually hurt me. I want to become more of myself, not less. I want to be proud of the person I see in the mirror.

As for this blog, I'd really just like more interaction with you. It's always been my favorite part about this community, but I'll admit that I haven't been as engaged as I used to be and I'd like to correct that. I'll begin by replying to every single comment I receive, something I neglected to do last year. If there's ever anything I can improve on, don't hesitate to let me know. I spend a lot of my days alone, and hearing from you always brightens my outlook and helps me feel less lonely. I hope this year is wonderful for all of us.

One week has already gone by in 2020. What will the rest hold?

1 comment:

  1. What a thoughtful post, Noelle! The new year and new decade are definitely an interesting time for reflection. I don't have any huge goals this year, either. I'm just trying to get by! And as a side note, I'm always impressed with your landscape photography. You have a gift for that. :)


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