As the sun sets on another decade, I thought it would be good to take a minute to pause and reflect on this incredibly transformative time in my life. Decades are usually not really a thing when you get right down to it. If you look back on nearly every decade, their defining characteristic almost never takes place in the first year. Sometimes it doesn’t even take place within the decade at all!
The 2000’s didn’t really “start” until 9/11. The 60’s didn’t really “start” until the Kennedy assassination. The 90’s really “started” with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. And you could probably make a case that the inciting action of the 2010’s was the global financial crisis in the Fall of 2008.
But for me, everything about this past decade started on January 5th, 2010 – the day I left my old life behind and started over.
For the first time in my adult life, I had no job, no real responsibilities, and had no real idea what I wanted to do with my life. In the previous couple months I had left a job that I’d been at for almost 10 years (since I was 17!), had a relationship end in a spectacularly explosive way, and lost one of my closest friends. I had basically firebombed everything that had defined my life in the previous decade.
In the end though, this past decade was very good for me. In the 2010’s I…
…discovered my love of travel, and went on several adventures I could never have conceived as possible in the previous decade.
…I met and married Ariel, the love of my life.
…we found Sammy, the most amazing dog that ever dogged.
…we brought Jacob in to the world, who fills our lives with love and joy and pride every day.
…I finally graduated from Rutgers, 11 years after I started!
…I started my own business, which is now in its fifth year!
…I went on en epic road trip, that spanned 34 states over nearly two months.
…I reached 49 US states, which puts me within striking distance of getting to all 50.
…I visited 18 countries I had never been to. 18!!! And a bunch more than I had already been to.
…Ariel and I went on the trip of a lifetime to Middle Earth (ok New Zealand but whatever).
And that really isn’t all. So many more amazing and transformative things happened during this decade for me.
For many people though, this was a very difficult time period. Even for me, things could have gone very differently if the ball had bounced in just a slightly different direction. And there are a lot of things about this past decade that were terrible. While things were very good for me on a personal level, on a global scale, there are many things to be upset or concerned about as the calendar flips over to 2020. And unlike other decades, I suspect the 2020’s will be defined in large part by events that transpire next year.
But that’s a discussion for another time. Tonight we reflect on the past and hope for the best for the future.
Here’s to 2020 and beyond.