Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Reflections on a Decade

A friend posted today (and yes, I recognize that my last 2 posts have been prompted by social media!) about the fact that a DECADE is ending this year. The post was a challenge to sum up the past decade in six words. I chose: "Found community and call to teaching."

I remember where I was at the end of 2009. I had left the convent a year prior, I was living with two awesome friends from college in a house outside DC, but I was still working a non-profit job that I hated and was looking for my "purpose" in life. (I actually started this year reflecting on the past 10 years in regards to yet another social media challenge. I might have a problem).

Here's a pic of NYE '09-10. Please note my CAMERA in one hand and my Motorola Razor phone in the other!

November is often the month that I pause to reflect. We start with All Saints and All Souls Day, we wind back our clocks and the nights get longer. The weather gets colder and we hunker down for a long winter's nap. Lots of time to sit and stir and reflect.

The liturgical year is coming to an end and I always take a look back on the year on the Feast of Christ the King that is coming up in a little over a week. But prompted by my friend's post today, I want to take a look back at the things that have taken place for me in the last 10 years that meant the most:

- my sister got married to my brother in law who is great
-  I went to so many weddings. So. Many.
- we lost my uncle, my Grandma Strukely, my friend Dan, and Babci
- My niece and nephew came into the world
- I very haphazardly took a job to start teaching at the end of 2010. My life has certainly not been the same.
- I met and maintained some of the best friendships of my life.
- I obtained a Masters Degree.
- I stopped living with roommates and moved out on my own.
- I left the DC area and moved to my "happy place" of Richmond
- I started to dabble in art!
- I learned about wine!
- I drank a lot of wine!
- I had many failed attempts at dating and online dating but many life lessons learned
- I learned you have to work two jobs to afford life as a teacher.
- I traveled to Greece, Turkey, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Israel and Palestine.
- I got my summers back and learned how to spend them in the best ways: doing whatever the heck I want!

I'm sure as I continue to reflect, this list will continue to grow. All I can say is, none of the above things were part of MY plan. None. I did not plan to be a teacher. I did not plan to move to Richmond. I did not plan to travel the world. I wasn't sure I would get my Masters or what in. I didn't plan to be living on my own. But all of these things have made me the best version of myself. I have been thriving.

 In 2009, we had my 10 year high school reunion (above) This year, we had our 20th! (below) I think my friends and I (granted, different friends pictured in both) are even happier and healthier at 38 than we were 28.

I am so, so grateful for the last 10 years. And just like I couldn't possibly plan all that happened in the last decade, I have no ideas for the next. But I am always hopeful.

I will be recapping 2019 and The Feast of Christ the King soon! Favorite time of year! I love an end of the year reflection!


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