Some reflections on the past year and decade

As I currently write this post, it is the last day of 2019! What better day to take some time to look back and reflect on the past year!

This kind of post has been popularized by famous bloggers like James Clear, and I’ve been doing a similar thing over the past several years in my own journals. Even if no one else reads this, I find it personally satisfying to take some time to reflect on some of the major milestones, struggles, accomplishments and learnings of the past year. And since tomorrow is not just the start of a new year, but of a new decade, I wanted to take time to reflect how life has changed over the past ten years!

As I was thinking about my last ten years on planet Earth, these years of ages 18-28 have closely coincided with what many people would call their most formative years, or as Meg Jay likes to call “The Defining Decade” (which I found to be a pretty great book to read in my early-twenties btw). These “growing-up” years have included lots of major life milestones like:

  • Completing my bachelors degree
  • The birth of my two amazing nephews (at different points in time)
  • Starting and finishing my Masters Degree
  • Starting and growing my career in the energy industry
  • Going on my first big solo international trip (Spain! followed by many other amazing destinations including Thailand, Portugal, France, Peru and Alaska)
  • Building amazing friendships with people who are kind-hearted, open-minded, adventurous and driven.
  • Learning how to rock climb, mountaineer, back-country ski, and going on countless amazing adventures in the mountains!
  • Buying my first home
  • Adopting the best dog in the world
  • Meeting, dating, becoming engaged to, and marrying my now-husband!

That’s not to say there weren’t (many) moments of struggle and sadness, which were just as important in growing me and teaching me, such as

  • Saying goodbye to both of my grandmothers
  • Struggles with depression and anxiety
  • Breakups and heartbreaks with past-boyfriends and friends
  • Arguments and disagreements with my parents

Looking now back at these lists, I’m so encouraged and heartened to see that the good things significantly outweighed the “bad”. And everything on the “bad” list has a silver lining. My grandmothers are now free from the pain they experienced near the end of their lives. Depression and anxiety have made me more empathetic, breakups have made room for the best people to be a part of my life, and I learned my relationships with my parents is rooted in unconditional love.

Of the past decade, 2019 has been the most important year for me. It too has had its highs and lows, but like the past decade, the good has far outweighed the bad for 2019. The year had a rocky start with my dad falling extremely ill and having to be hospitalized and my Grandmother passing away. But in the second half, Ryan and I got engaged, I travelled with my mom and my fully recovered dad to Alaska, and at the end of the year, I was surrounded by friends and family as Ryan and I joined hands in marriage.

My Grandma Iris and I, celebrating Mother’s Day

I am so incredibly grateful and somewhat astounded that I will be starting 2020 with so much good and positivity in my life. I have a husband who loves me like crazy, a career in an interesting and evolving industry, friends and family who support me and cheer for me, a warm house to sleep in, fur babies to cuddle with, a healthy, strong body that can climb up mountains and ski down them, and so much more.

In 2010, I was obsessed with getting perfect grades, and planning out what I thought would be a successful life. 18-year-old me imagined 28-year-old me would be married (check! But to a totally different person!), having a super awesome, talented kid (nope, but my dog is pretty great!) living in some big exciting international city like New York or Hong Kong (nope, but I visited lots of cool cities!), living in a mansion and having loads of money (I’m still all for financial security, but less materialistic).

I have nothing against 18-year-old me and her dreams and goals, in fact, a lot of them were the same as they are now – wanting to find true love, develop a fulfilling career, live a life of adventure, and make a positive impact in the world in some way. But the past ten years have taught me to value and cherish the things that truly matter in life:

  • Family and true friendship
  • Being generous, compassionate and kind
  • Loving others, and myself, deeply
  • Saying what I will do, then doing what I say
  • Being a steward of nature and respecting the planet
  • Pursuing my passions and sharing them with others

With 2020 around the corner, I wish you all a new year filled with growth, love, joy and adventure! After reflecting on the past decade, the next step is to make plans for the new one – so check back soon for my goals, dreams and more for 2020 and beyond 🙂

New year = new adventures!! See you in 2020!

6 thoughts on “Some reflections on the past year and decade

    1. Very inspiring! Glad we stayed connected since we met in 2012(????)! Looking forward to more to come in the next decade : )

      Happy New Year to you and your family!!


  1. You are an amazing young women with insite to the importance of connection to people. Face it if more people viewed their surroundings this way world peace would be a possibility in our lifetime!
    I can see how you have matured over the past decade and on New Years Day 2020 I will tell you how very much you mean to your new Mother in Law! I can’t imagine my life without you in it, Christina XXOO Mom Shaw


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