WOW. Thank you end of 2019 for giving me a great motivator for a dramatic sounding blog post! End of a decade. I usually do end of year posts, I rarely have looked back on a huge chunk of time. 10 years? Basically my 30s. I remember spending a lot of it feeling “stuck,” but when I start thinking of this list–it is really amazing how much went down. It just never happens fast enough, you know, or the way you plan it. But turns out life still does happen. Here is a list of 10 things from the last 10 years that rocked my little world (this list intentionally leaves out stuff beyond my little world–didn’t think you wanted to hear long political rants, etc).
- I started a scavenger hunt business I had been dreaming of for years. At the end of 2010, I had a small launch party with some of my dearest friends. I was so clueless in about every way possible. I didn’t even know that much about scavenger hunts–the very service I was providing! I made myself a website. I hung up flyers. And I started getting actual business. It is not some crazy success story that I thought I would be telling (like those I hear on Shark Tank), but I am proud of creating something out of nothing. That feeling is pretty cool. Every single year there have been new challenges, new developments & new high points. It is also mixed with downtimes & the insane anxiety that comes from not knowing where or when business will come. There is nothing like starting a business that will reveal to you all your strengths and weaknesses in the glaring light of day. I learned that I am good at building client relationships, as much as an introvert as I am. I learned that I am terrible at internet marketing, no matter how much I read about it or how many youtube videos I watch. The biggest thrill is bringing a bit of joy into lives of others, which is the whole point of the business. I am grateful I have been able to do that for 10 years. I look forward to keeping it around in whatever form it takes.
- I met the guy that would become the father of my child! Like, what? Who ever thought that would happen? Not me. I am so bad at years, I can’t even tell you when that happened LOL. I am not a person that is very “good” at relationships, though I promise I have a good heart & am loyal to a fault. So I thank him for being the guy that finally let me take him on all my little and big adventures without questioning any of it. My obsession with choosing the perfect rental home or finding the most beautiful mountain-bike route or the most dog friendly restaurant–all of it I could do with someone else who trusted I could plan an epic trip. I will always remember him as the one I locked eyes with while getting an emergency c-section while scared out of my mind. Not romantic, I know, but so vital. He loves our daughter as much as anyone could, and the love she has given both of us is a gift we are forever grateful for.
- A couple of years before Kenzy happened, I had a miscarriage. This was one of the more painful years in this decade (hey not everything is roses you guys). I kept writing about it here & was always unable to post it. I had no idea at the time just how many women have miscarriages–many of them MULTIPLE & I rarely heard people talking about them and how painful they are emotionally and physically. I heard the heartbeat a few weeks before I found out, so I thought I was in the clear. I will never forget sitting in the doctor’s office as she brought in a second doctor to “confirm” that the baby was no longer breathing. I remember staring through the mini-blinds of the room–unable to hear what anyone was saying– with tears filling up my eyes, feeling like I failed the one who was totally dependent on me. I add it to this list because it gave me so much compassion for other women, and everything we go through to try to have a baby, to have a baby growing inside you only to lose it, to have healthy babies or babies with complications, or to decide not to have a baby. While it was happening, I thought, “Wow, you have to be so tough for this.”
- I had Kenzy! #3 on the list helped me understand the true gift it was to give birth to a healthy baby. I was so anxious during pregnancy (is she breathing?? Is everything OK??) that I can’t really say I enjoyed that part of it. And I was nervous about how she would change my life, one I was pretty happy with at the time. In the 2 1/2 years I have known her, she has given me a purpose like I have never felt before. She has brought me immense joy on a daily basis. And I mean every. single. day. I didn’t know how much I needed her until she showed up. She continues to help me grow and transform to a person more capable of being an AWESOME MOM, basically one of my top goals in life now.
- I kept a job at Inner-City Arts. In my 20s, I just didn’t do that! I got a new job every year and was in a different house, city, state, etc every other year. At times (like at least weekly), this inevitably gives me a “stuck” feeling. But it also gives me a great sense of security and belonging. Where there hasn’t been outward change, there has still been growth. I have become a really good teacher. I can say I know what I’m doing and not be lying about it. I have been able to work with thousands of kids and hundreds of teachers. I have learned so much about teaching, storytelling, filmmaking & so many other art forms. I laugh at work all the time. I have made many of my best friends there. I have learned how to speak up for myself and for others. Even when I went part-time with my business, I couldn’t quite leave. And this year I will be going back full-time for an even greater sense of security (turns out childcare is expensive!!). I am lucky to have a dysfunctional family there.
- I lived in L.A. the WHOLE decade! Hooray. I love this city as much as I hate it–which is probably what most people here would say. Culver City in particular holds a special spot in my heart for that hometown feel in a gigantic spread out metropolis. The perfect weather helped me stay active and outside, which makes me happy. The diversity helps me develop more empathy towards others & their experiences. Exploring the city through developing my scavenger hunts has helped me to always see what’s around me with a fresh set of eyes.
- I had some crazy anxiety. Childbirth brought it roaring back & it created some definite struggles for me as I tried to adapt to being a new mom. When the crazy chemical/hormone/etc slowly normalized, I still felt a lower-level anxiety that has yet to fully go away. Turns out having a kid doubles your responsibilities, and for someone that already struggled with that–wow–it’s an adjustment. I have had to let go some ideas of being “perfect” or “pleasing” in order to stay sane. I have to make myself do stuff that sounds obvious for self-care like “relax” or “watch a TV show.” I hope the next decade is more CHILL in my head.
- I was super active in different ways! I was working out before 2010, but I believe this decade I did the most events & had so much fun doing them. I did a century bike ride, the L.A. and New York marathon & other cool races that always make me feel like I’m most myself. I was slower much of the time for a variety of reasons, but this decade it didn’t matter much. It was more about getting out there and continuing to move and continuing to be grateful for the ability to move.
- I got HUXLEY! Huxley my big boy my love my doggie!!! I love being a dog mom. He is sleeping right next to me as a write this monster of a post, and he’ll be by my side when I go out on a run shortly. Touching his fur instantly lowers my anxiety by at least 20%. I have written entire posts about him, so I won’t go on too much. But having him as my daily run buddy has been a dream come true. He is more sensitive and needy than an average dog, but I appreciate that about him, too.
- Family and friends is a pretty vague one, but how do I not mention that when they are so impactful in my life every decade? If you are reading this, you are one of them! Thank you for all you have given me in 10 years and beyond: the grace, the laughs, the forgiveness, the space, the love, the help, the open arms. I needed it all. Thankful that you stuck through this post & that you cared enough about me to read it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Looking forward to a little more lightness in 2020!