The decade of change and what’s still the same:

 

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Photo by Sarah Warden Photography

I’ve written and rewritten this blog post a few times. How do you summarize a decade? Especially one that started when you were fifteen and ended when you were twenty five. Those years are massively transformative. It seems like everything possible has been fit into the last ten years, from learning to drive to buying a house and getting married.┬áThe past decade has taken me from a child to a woman. It’s seen hard times and joyous times. It’s been remarkable in every sense of the word.

Maybe it’s strange for us as humans to take time and break it down into chunks like we do. It seems so logical to celebrate the new year, to be able to hit refresh, and to re-calibrate. But too look back over longer periods of time and try to make them a season of our lives just doesn’t work as well. So much happens in ten years time. So much changes. We are in every sense of the word, different.

So I’m going to do something a little different. I’m gong to focus on the parts of me that have stayed the same, because I feel like that says more about me than anything else. The people around me have changed. My place in the world has changed. My daily activites have changed. But there are also quite a few things that have stayed the same.

  • I still want to have a family. When I was 15 I wanted to grow up and get married and have kids, now that I’m older and married I still want to have kids and I was right when I thought that marriage would be one of the most influential things in my life. To marry is to gain a life partner and I’ve managed to find that in the last ten years, and though it didn’t happen at all like I planned, I started down the road that I only dreamed of at 15.
  • I still have a lot of the same morals, though God and society has slowly been fine tuning them. I’ve grown a lot and I’ve become better in a lot of ways, but my want to be better has not ceased. I have not drifted from my moral compass even as it has matured and changed. This is actually something I’m pretty proud of, because though I’ve made mistakes like every other person I’ve stayed true to myself through most of it. I haven’t faltered in major life altering way.
  • My hobbies have endured. I have gained some new ones over the last ten years, but I have also more thoroughly explored the ones I’ve had since I was young. This is amazing because not only does it mean that I’ve been able to approve, but those hobbies I started with when I was fifteen have led me into learning programs that help me in my job. They have helped me through some hard times when I had little else to do and lean on. And, as someone who has creative hobbies, they have helped me express myself and process my emotions. And there have been a lot of emotions to work through in the last ten years.

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Creating goals for 2020 and reflecting on those from 2019:

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First, let’s look back at my goals for 2019. I got about half of them, and the ones not finished were about half done. I don’t know whether to consider that a success or not, but progress is progress and I had a really busy year, so it’s remarkable I got any of it done. Let’s break them down:

  • Plan a wonderful wedding fit for my upcoming marriage: I did it! And it was fabulous. It was honestly the best night of my life. You can see some pictures from it here.
  • More time of hobbies, less time online: Eh. Okay, so I spent less time online but it was because I was spending more time hanging out with friends (yay) and doing daily tasks that increased when I moved out and got married. I did spend time on hobbies, but I don’t know if I did more than in 2018, so I will call this one a half win.
  • Start barrel racing again: Things got really busy in the spring season, so I didn’t start going to races again, but I took all the necessary steps to start next season. I’ve been taking lessons and we’ve finally purchased a horse trailer.
  • Read more than 20 books: Check. I’ve read over forty books year, so I’d say I went above an beyond on this one. Audio books have drastically altered my reading progress, though I still love those paper books!
  • Buy a house: We did it! It’s beautiful and it feels like home. I’m so proud of it. We’ve gotten it all decorated and I’m so excited to come home to it at the end of the day!
  • Send birthday cards to everyone: I started out the year strong and I got birthday cards to people I saw in person. As for the rest… well I got all my wedding thank you notes out? That counts for something, right?
  • Pray more: I’m doing much better at this then I was at the start of the year, though I still have room for improvement.
  • Finish a novel: I didn’t, but I have been making progress on one after months of not writing at all. It feels good to break my writers block.

Now as for the coming year?

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