There is something about making New Year's resolutions that is so empowering and discouraging at the same time. The start of this new decade has me reflecting on the 2010s and the question people love to ask at the beginning of any decade: where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I knew my answer in 2010, halfway through my freshman year of college. I was hopeful to be a translator for a diplomat or an engaging, passionate teacher. I would be married to my then-boyfriend and we would travel the world during holidays. We would wait until we were well established and in our 30s before thinking about children.
Surprise, surprise... None of those things happened.
I decided I hated teaching halfway through a semester of student teaching. My relationship ended. I didn't become a translator or travel as much as I thought I would. But I did spend a summer on the other side of the world. I met the love of my life in the most unexpected time and place and married him a few years later. While we planned to wait to have kids, I gave birth to our first daughter months before our first anniversary. A couple years later we welcomed our second daughter. In a very uncharacteristic decision, I gave up working to become a stay-at-home mom, something I never imagined for myself.
The reality is: things change. People change. The things we value at the beginning of the decade or even the beginning of the year may shift. Tragedy and opportunity will show up unexpectedly that will connect us to unique experiences and help us discover different aspects of ourselves. We continue to grow, with or without our resolutions.
So for this year, I will be open to new opportunities when they come my way. I will focus on time with the people I love. I will do away with my plans and expectations and be grateful for whatever this new year (and decade) will bring.
Photo by Di Lewis