Rather than blabbering on about my new goals in 2020. I decided to list 10 things that I learned over the course of this decade. How much has changed in 10 years? Well - like everyone - a whole lot. In 2010, I was only 1 year into University, I still lived with my parents and siblings, and I was about 40 pounds lighter.
Throughout the years, I landed my first real "grown up" job, I purchased my own car, I learned the meaning of true love, I moved away, and I can now count my friends with one hand! There's so much that can happen and so much more that will come. Which is why I wanted to share a few pointers, my journey, and some real life knowledge for you all!
1. A lot of people made fun of the fact that I was going Vegetarian
(2019) Although this was only last year, I learned that if it's out of the ordinary, you're bound to get hit with criticism. I learned that majority of filipino's cannot cook without meat. I also learned that a lot of people have no idea what Vegetarianism actually is. My sister and I knew going into it, we would get bombarded with questions. But what we didn't know was that some people would just outright not understand it, why we were doing it, and judge us for it. Cracking up jokes that we can't eat this and that was easy to handle because it wasn't the fact that I couldn't eat it, it was that I chose not too.
2. Friends will come and go
(2013) Take care of those you know you can't live without, and treat them how you want to be treated. Support them, always root for them, and appreciate them. I read some quote years ago that "We met for a reason, either you're a blessing or a lesson" and that is 100% true.
3. Your job can and will replace you
(2018) It's always good to remind yourself that although your job pays your bills - You are giving your time for it. Never overwork yourself or stress over things that happen at work. Don't take it home with you, and always remember the harsh truth... You're employer can and will replace you if they need too. Finding something you enjoy doing, finding the right environment, finding our passion in your work - That should be your end goal. Remind yourself that when times are tough, and you're aiming for something bigger and better for yourself, that the job you currently have - is temporary.
4. Don't skip date night & always communicate with your partner
(2016) When Ron and I moved to Calgary, it changed the vibe of our relationship. We would communicate more, we spent a lot of time with each other, and we learned a lot of new things about us as a couple. However, when we moved back, that type of time became time for our friends, our family, work, honestly everything else except time for us.
(2019) One day we decided to go to Grand Forks and spend a night there to just be away from everyone else. We caught up on past conversations we never had and we were able to reconnect. I know it may not be the healthiest relationship, but we do what we have to do, and if we're both working at keeping our relationship alive - even if that means having to drive a couple hours out of the city to do it - then so be it!
5. Vulnerability doesn't mean you're weak
The whole part of vulnerability is accepting your why. It doesn't only mean that. It can mean multiple things... Like most of us, we lose a whole lot of people in our lives. But before we move on, we hit that grace period of grief... And that becomes the most important. (2016) When I found out that my friend and mentor, Jen, had passed away only after a few months we left the company where we met, I was sad. I cried for hours, felt better than moved on. (2012) When I felt like I had no one to turn too when my group of friends at the time stopped talking to me, I cried for days, felt better, then moved on. (2017) When I failed my mom and told her I wasn't going to go back to school, I cried for weeks, felt better then moved on. (2016) When I would have those long arguments with my brother about my niece - that eventually ended in a feud - I cried for months, felt better, then moved on... There are so many people out there or things that can make you feel absolutely incompetent. Times that will make you feel like you're basically having a heart attack, where you just want to curl up in a ball, and never want to see the sun rise again. There are times where you'll be so vulnerable it'll literally take a side of you no one has ever seen. But like every corny quote suggests - after all the grey dark clouds, there's always a silver lining. The sun eventually will rise again, and you will eventually move on. So, take that period of grief for yourself, and take it for as long as you need.
Vulnerability never means your weak. It means your growing.
6. Traveling with my dad after 10 years
(2019) The last time I travelled with my parents was in 2010, and just this past summer, my dad and I decided we would long drive together to Chicago. Let me say, after all these years, he still drives the whole way through, stops are limited for pee breaks, and I can sleep all day in the car. After all these years, he still listens to his rock music while chewing ice cubes to keep him awake! I forgot how fun it was to do things like that, and how nostalgic it was to be back in the car with him long driving on hot summer days.
7. Opening your home & answer your phone to your loved ones
For as long as I could remember, my house was always a sacred place. I welcomed so many people whether they were family, friends, friends of friends, acquaintances.. Seriously everybody. I always wanted my home to be a place where they could go to. For a few years, my best friend had been dealing with his own personal health problems. On his darker days, he would call late at night, and ask if he could come by to talk. I always tried my best to welcome him in, and although those nights turned my mornings into long and tiring ones, I knew if I didn't do it, who would? It wasn't until recently that I found myself also going through my own personal hardships, where I would just feel exhaustion take the better part of me. After long days at work - and honestly - even harder days at home, I'd head straight into bed and feel comfort by turning on the TV, cuddling with my dogs where I would eventually fall asleep. There were days - I admit - where I knew my best friend needed me, and I would turn him down because of my own exhaustion. I wasn't welcoming, nor was I opening up my home to him to feel safe. One time, turned into a few more times... Until finally I realized he was deep into something that I could have prevented... If I just opened my home to hear him out, listen to him, and have him vent when he needed too. I know now that it isn't my fault for also feeling tired and wanting to be alone. But the fact that he needed me and I wasn't there has been one of my biggest regrets.
8. Having a degree doesn't always mean success
This one is a given... Being successful doesn't always come with a degree. And having one doesn't mean your any more qualified. I have met so many people with different scenarios. People that have gone back to school 2-3 times more and still work at the same place, and people without that are doing things that they love. You should never compare yourself to someone that looks good on paper. Prove your own worth, learn from your mistakes, and "success" will be on your own terms.
9. Credit Card Debt
I opened my first credit card in 2014. I landed a really good job, I was stable (because I didn't pay for anything at home), and I felt responsible enough... Or so I thought. Credit cards are great to have, easy to use, and difficult to pay back. So instead of racking up a good lump sum of money that you know for a fact you can't afford, rack up the credit score by paying it off right away.
10. Be open to possibilities
After reflecting my past 10 years, I noticed how many choices I've made and what that meant for me now. I'm still trying to figure myself out, what truly makes me happy, what I want in my life, and what I want to accomplish. In the past 10 years, I have felt that sentimental value of relief... Like I took in a breath of fresh crisp air. When we climbed up R's garage roof to watch the clear bright stars, when I left my serving job at Sushi Maru, or when I pulled an all-nighter with my best friend to see the sun rise in my backyard. I feel like growing up where bills matter more, groceries runs become date nights, and requesting time off to go on vacation, becomes all too standard and we get lost in it all... I've always been adventurous, I love trying new things, and I learned that being open to the possibility that something great can come out of it, then why not? My next 10 years should be the same. I will be open, open for growth, open for more adventures, and open for more opportunities. Our priorities change, but it shouldn't stop you from doing things out of the ordinary.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much I loved sharing it with you.
Cheers to a new decade!