If I’m being truly honest, 2019 was not my best year. At least I don’t feel like it was. But as this year and the decade come to a close, I feel it’s important to look back and reflect on everything that has happened during that time.
Over the last ten years I’ve:
Moved to a new state where I had no biological family or friends of my own
This was probably one of the biggest accomplishments/achievements of the decade. I love my in-laws, but they weren’t technically my in-laws yet. They were my boyfriend’s family. And I was moving into their house! We were only supposed to be there for six months – maybe a year…three years later we FINALLY found the right house and made it our own home. I’m so thankful for the time we lived there and forever grateful that I never felt like a guest or a burden; just, their daughter.
This was also a pretty big achievement. When I started college right out of high school I had grand visions of finishing within four years. But life had other plans and threw some twists and turns in there. After a grueling semester in my fourth year, I was burnt out. I was working multiple jobs, taking upward of twenty credit hours (DON’T do this, btw), and was in a relationship that probably wasn’t healthy and had fallen apart (more than once). Then I met “some guy” while on a trip to Dallas and that guy turned out to be “the guy.” I walked away from a life I thought I knew to start one I knew I wanted instead. And that included a break from school.
Fast forward to the beginning of this decade and I started school again, took a few classes at a time and graduated! It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. And I had such an amazing support network.
Been laid off three separate times
This one sucked each time. But, I learned and grew through each of them. I learned who you can trust. I learned that jobs aren’t secure no matter the industry. I learned what kind of leader I wanted to work for. But I also learned what I really wanted to do, the industry I wanted to be in and the type of organization I wanted to be a part of.
I’m starting my fifth year at my current agency and I’m the happiest I’ve been job-wise. I found a career path I love and an organization who helps, encourages and empowers me to use my passions to make a difference. I have a boss who knows empathy and compassion are far better tactics for employee motivation than toxicity and negativity. I have coworkers who get me and keep me in check. And a lot of those coworkers, from my current job and past jobs, are people I consider friends.
Gotten engaged and married
These milestones are probably some of my favorites! In the same year (2012) I graduated, started a new job, bought a house and got engaged. All within three months; it was a productive summer!
After six years of dating, Brett proposed, I said yes and the rest is history. We spent a year planning our wedding and it’s still one of my favorite days. I felt so much love and happiness being poured on us and remember vividly standing at the back of the room waiting for a drink and turning around to take it all in. The dance floor was jam packed with all our friends and family having a blast, laughing, dancing, and just living their best lives. It’s one of my favorite mental images from the day.
Traveled (parts) of the world
Over the last decade we’ve been to Mexico, Jamaica, France, England, Ireland (twice), Northern Ireland and Scotland. In the U.S. we’ve been to Pennsylvania (multiple times), California, Missouri (multiple times), Colorado (twice!), Oklahoma (multiple times), Florida (twice!), New York, Texas, New Jersey.
I’m a conundrum when it comes to travel because I really love to experience new places, but I don’t like to be in the car longer than two hours and air travel gives me anxiety because I’m afraid of heights. It adds levels of complexity to plans, but I’m glad I was able to explore some wonderful places with my favorite people.
Getting to take #BabySuddreth to Ireland and Scotland was awesome and I’m looking forward to going back in a couple years with all three kids! Looking ahead I think most of our travel will be domestic for at least a couple years and since the oldest kiddo loves the beach as much as I do, I see Fort Lauderdale becoming our family vacation spot for many years to come.
Become a mom
This one means a lot. Maybe the most. Because it wasn’t a guarantee and was really hard to accomplish. It involved a lot of tests and tears and doubts and grief and anger and disappointment. But, as we close out this decade, I’m staring at two amazing kids, while growing a third. And adding a new human to our crew in the first year of a new decade seems just about as perfect a start to it as possible.
There are so many more things that happened during this decade, some big and wonderful; some big and awful. But the one true constant in all of it has been Brett. No matter how big, awful, amazing, overwhelming, the situation – Brett is there. And is always there. Cheering me on. Supporting me. Loving me through my happiest highs and my worst of lows; through pregnancy hormones, overjoyed elation or illogical anxiety. He’s there for all of it.
I stated at the beginning of this that 2019 wasn’t my best year and I mean that. I let hormones, emotions and anxiety control a lot. But I’ve learned that I am more than my bad moments and that I have a partner who meant what he said when he promised to love me through the hard times.
So here’s to 2020 bringing more calm to the inevitable chaos and to loving each other through hard times!