One of my favorite things about New Year’s Eve is reflecting on the last year. This has been such a year of growth for me, but I can’t discount all that has gotten me here over the past decade since we are also rolling into a new one.
I started the decade as a 20-year-old college student with truly no idea what life looked like after college, even though I was 5 months away from facing that reality. I had no idea it would shape out the way that it has, and though it has not been easy, I truly know that I would not have changed a single thing.
In 2010, I graduated college and shortly after I met my now ex-husband. Part of me wants to think I would un-do that meeting, but I wouldn’t. Not in a million years. It would lead me to 2011 where I would start my master’s degree and later that year, become a mother for the first time, and give my life more purpose than I knew I was meant for. It would lead me to 2012 and getting married. It seems like I would want to undo that event too, but, again, I would not make that decision either.
I celebrated the end of 2013 with my master’s degree complete, and a beautiful little family. While the military caused some strains on our “perfect” family life, it would be put back together in 2014 in a new state and every new opportunity I could ask for. What I wasn’t prepared for was the changes that would come in that new life and location. June of 2014 is when I was diagnosed with MS. In September I separated from my husband, and then in October found out I was also going to be a mom again. Whatever life was supposed to look like, 2014 was not it. But this year also led me back home to my family, to a job that would become a career, and the most solid relationships I could imagine in friends both new and old.
2015 is the year of the most growth for me. I faced a pregnancy alone, became a mom to two little boys alone, launched full force into a job that I didn’t know I would succeed at, and this time 4 years ago, I finally accepted that this was my life. It was time to stop worrying about what everyone else had in their life and enjoy what I had in mine.
2016 I bought the perfect little house for my boys and me. In becoming a homeowner and learned just how much adulting was not all it is cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong, I had a ton of fun and we have so many beautiful memories in this home, but I really regret all the things I took advantage of before this point in my life, like someone else to handle home maintenance and help with bills.
2017 L1 started Kindergarten and has since started creating a life of his own. He immediately gained friends and confidence that I didn’t know he was capable of. It really is strange how independent children become at such a young age, but he has rocked the school thing since day 1.
2018 I got to welcome so many more children into my life as my friends all finally started to catch up with me in the mom game. I felt like I missed out on so many experiences by having L1 so young. As I have had time to look back, I am thankful that I started early and could 1. Give advice when needed and 2. Watch my friends blossom into the wonderful parents that they are. It is really cool to be able to sit back and watch rather than be consumed with the struggles that came with being a first-time parent. One of my favorite things is watching my dearest friends and family navigate this new journey and be able to be fully present in it.
2019 is the year that I decided that it is time to really take care of myself mentally and emotionally. I had this new relationship develop and decided maybe I am not meant to be alone forever. With that, many new and exciting experiences as well. I also finally decided that it was time to actively work on my relationship with God. In 2014-2015 I was so angry that I spent the next couple years not focusing time or energy on that. 2019 opened this back up for me, and it has been such a welcomed change.
It has been a really eventful decade. I hadn’t really thought about just how much has happened in it, and I know for a fact I would never have predicted this would be my life 10 years ago, but I would not change a thing. I have learned so much and changed even more. My take away as I enter this next decade:
- God is always there, even when it feels like he isn’t.
- Do not stay in any situation not meant for you, even if the other option seems hard.
- Quality is better than quantity.
Cheers to 2020, and a lifetime of continued learning and growing.
❤ MS Andrea Jackson