For those of you who haven’t heard, the Decade Challenge is a hashtag taking instagram by storm in which you put some photos side-by-side of you now versus your ten-year younger self!
But me with my over-the-topness, decided to do an entire blog dedicated to the last ten years of my life! I’ve done a lot and even better- grown a lot! I’m a big believe in change being a good thing and a healthy thing we all need to experience in order to grow as people.
If I’m being totally honest, the last ten years of my life have included both the best and worst years of my life. But for there to be good times there also need to be bad- so I am thankful for every single thing that I've experienced and wouldn't have it any other way!
So without further ado, the last ten years!:
In 2010, I graduated high school, got my very first job as a Workout Coordinator at the local “Curves” gym, and started studying at the local community college!
I found a love for behind-the-scenes and started gearing my major towards Film Production and went to my first anime convention.
My sister and I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for three months (January to April) for the experience of a lifetime, at the end of which I graduated from community college with my AA in Applied Art & Design! I worked at Rite Aid for the summer and transferred to Sac State in the Fall.
I had the most amazing college experience at Sac State a girl could ask for! College really brought me out of my shell and I made a ton of friends between working at the front desk of the dorms and joining the Racquetball Sports Club.
I started learning Japanese, re-found a love for racquetball, made the best friends I could’ve hoped for, won two racquetball tournaments (2013 + 2014 Women's WCRC Champ), and met my future boyfriend (This was hands-down the best year of my life so far!)
I became a photographer for the college newspaper, The State Hornet my last semester and then graduated with my Bachelor's in Film Production Spring 2015. I started dating my best-friend Damon, but struggled to transition into working adult life.
I went through an extremely lonely phase as I had graduated first and left all my friends at school. I got out of touch with the things I loved to do and struggled with finding an “adult job” I enjoyed going to every day (I went through three jobs the first summer and fall after graduating).
I injured my right hand playing racquetball, resulting in hand surgery early in 2016. I finally found a job in my major but worked in a high-stress and toxic environment where my talents were not appreciated.
I continued to feel out of touch with my hobbies as I could no longer play racquetball or draw because of my hand and wanted nothing more than to meet new friends I could spend time with. Especially nerdy ones. This year I struggled a lot with losing my identity and falling out-of-touch with myself.
My hand started to heal and I re-found my passion for drawing! I invested in online education and learned how to use my fancy DSLR camera on “manual” mode...prompting me to start my own photography business and gain new direction for my life!
Thanks to photography, I also started attending anime conventions again after about 5 years so I could photograph cosplay. I met my amazing friend Sammy at one such convention by photographing her! We found out we both were obsessed with Voltron: Legendary Defender and became fast friends. I started attending multiple anime conventions a year with her and finally had someone to be my nerdy self with again!
I started playing indoor soccer with Damon and in the spring, and we both traveled to Manchester, England to see Manchester United play in Champion’s League!
I filled up my days with even more online education and enjoyed a new job doing video with a great company in Sacramento.
I struggled with some truly terrible eating habits and that led to being overly-critical of my self-image.
I embarked on a girl’s trip back to Europe in the fall, visited Spain for the first time and signed the paperwork to rent my first ever house with Damon while I was in Barcelona and came home to Rancho Cordova to move in to our new home the very next week!
This year was by far my hardest financially. I learned some tough life lessons about money and running your own business but was enjoying life SO much more by doing what I loved. I had my photography business and 4 side-hustles this year to make up for my financial blunders but came out of 2019 a much wiser business owner!
I joined a Mastermind Group, had my first ever Artist's Alley table at a convention, Damon and I celebrated 4 years together in San Diego and I did a health challenge at one of my jobs and felt transformed and so good about myself!
WHEW, that’s a lot. A lot of accomplishments, a lot of failures and a lot of learning. I’m going to be honest, a lot of it plain sucked. But for where I’m at now and everything that I’ve learned over the last ten years I wouldn’t do it over even if I could but there were some amazing times!
As for the roaring twenties coming up, I have some pretty simple goals: be the best version of myself that I can, and to grow my business as much as I can. I am honestly terrible about specific goals and thinking long-term (hopefully that’s something else that I will learn this next decade) so I have no numbers to present, but I’ve put my intent out there and you are more than free to keep me accountable!
In fact I would love it if you did- you can never have too many friends in life!
So please share with me, new friend: How much have you changed in the last ten years? And what are your goals for the next decade?
Cheers to 2020!