Hindsight is 2020 (Part 1)

Cliche I know, but the start of 2020 has me not only reflecting on the past year, but also the past decade. And what a decade it’s been! The majority of my life milestones happened these past 10 years (turned 30, got married, had kids, bought a house) and while those all brought immense joy, there was also a lot of anxiety, tough times, life lessons, growing up, and all that real life, not pictured on social media, stuff that being an adult throws our way.

Inspired by a template I saw floating around Instagram, I started writing out a year-by-year list in the notes section of my phone (where all my most brilliant ideas begin…) of all the things that happened this past decade and well, that list got pretty long so I decided to move it on over to the good ol’ blog. I share this longwinded recap of the last 10 years of my life in order to give myself a little grace, and also to serve as a reminder of all that I’ve achieved, overcome, accomplished, survived, etc. After all, “you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been.” (I think Maya Angelou said this, but Google opened up a rabbit hole of attributions… either way, you get the point, right?)

And now, if you’re still reading….here goes…

2010: I started the decade on a high note, I was in my late 20s, living and working in NYC. I had a boyfriend that also lived in the city, but our relationship was still pretty new. That May I started a new job that I had really wanted and really loved. I had cool coworkers, cool bosses and I got to travel for work. I went to happy hours and Broadway shows and hung out at Bryant Park on my lunch break and finally got to explore the city as only a resident could, a city I had always dreamed of calling home when I was young, but had previously only glimpsed via roundtrip journeys on the LIRR. I felt like I was living the dream. I lived in a “converted” (AKA fake wall) two bedroom apartment (until they became illegal) in a doorman building in Murray Hill, and then after realizing I couldn’t afford even the tiniest of studios on my own, I “moved on up” to the Upper West Side. I lived across the street from Zabars and ate way too many bagels and called way too many bowls of “matzoh ball soup for one” dinner.  That summer Frank moved back to Buffalo as NYC life wasn’t his cup of tea, and I had no idea what the future would bring, but I knew I wasn’t done with NYC just yet…

For two and a half years we’d do the long distance thing as we contemplated where to land next. I’d work a lot and learn a lot, and sometimes I’d get lonely but mostly I’d feel invigorated by my life. I’d turn 30 and celebrate with a party in the West Village and then again with Frank and my family visiting Arizona and seeing the Grand Canyon (my Nanny turned 80 that same year and it was our joint celebration. We lost her in 2019, and she was my last grandparent to pass. I’m so very grateful for 36+ years with her in my life). That job I loved would come to an end, and I’d be faced with some big life decisions. The tentative plan was Boston, but then completely unexpectedly and on a whim, I’d interview for and promptly accept a job back in Newport, RI, where I had spent my early 20s waiting tables and slinging drinks.  Frank would (reluctantly) join me and again, I had no clue what the future would hold…

The day we moved in was one giant bad omen. It POURED. It took us like 7 hours to drive through the pouring rain from LI to RI with our rented UHAUL. My bed literally WOULD NOT FIT up the narrow staircase of our 18th century historic rental that I thought would be so quaint. We slept on the floor and the clincher of the evening was when starving from a day’s move, we ordered in a large pizza and it arrived looking more like a personal pan pizza. I had forgotten what pizza looked like in RI and Frank was visibly disgusted. In that moment I was pretty much convinced we were done. After moving me in, he’d return to Buffalo for the rest of the summer with the promise of returning in August and looking for a job. To my surprise, he actually DID return, and by a twist of fate, he’d make a great friend and secure his current teaching job in the process. The year was 2012.

As 2013 came around, just as quickly as I’d accepted that job I moved for, I’d leave it and decide to take a chance for the first time at “going out on my own.” I scored some freelance writing gigs and then some freelance social media gigs and then after answering a random Craig’s List ad, I’d take a freelance job that turned full time for the next 5+ years. I’d work remotely but spend time on Cape Cod where the company was based. I’d learn about boating and “Cape Life” and make some new friends. I’d take on more freelance work. I’d blog about weddings as part of my day job and then coincidentally, I’d get engaged, and blog about my own wedding plans. The year was 2015.  We’d get married on a perfect sunny day in July on Block Island and then spend 10 days in Costa Rica.  It would be the highest of highs, but then we’d come home and I’d be knocked out for a week with some sort of Costa Rican stomach flu. We’d have like 10 days to pack up our entire life and leave an apartment I really loved with some great downstairs neighbors, because the owners were selling it. We’d move into a new apartment that I was less than enthused with, and I’d get the post-wedding/honeymoon blues pretty bad. As 2015 drew to a close I wasn’t sure what lie ahead. We knew our living situation was temporary and I was always on some level contemplating future career moves. We knew we wanted to start a family, but we weren’t quite sure when…

(Want more? Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!)

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