The 2010s: a personal retrospective.

Sometimes I feel that marking a decade or any length of time seems (paradoxically) both important and also arbitrary to me. However, as I wrote this, it made me more aware of all I’ve experienced in the 2010s. So here are some of the big events in my life from 2010-2019. I have some links scattered throughout of blog entries — reading the linked posts isn’t necessary but gives more detail to a few of the mentioned events/experiences.

2010: My first full year of living in San Diego, California with my love. I finished my AmeriCorps VISTA program, paid my student loans, and got hired at the same nonprofit where I had done my AmeriCorps term. I went to Costa Rica for a month-long Spanish immersion program.

2011: After months of struggling with burnout from work, I got laid off from my full-time job at the nonprofit. I was incredibly burnt out and realized I needed to take some time to rest and recover. And then I joined a nonprofit women’s empowerment organization — as a volunteer and client — to focus on that healing.

2012: I moved into communal housing with that same women’s empowerment nonprofit. My grandmother passed away. I got a part-time job at a nonprofit museum — a great fit location-wise, not so much otherwise.

2013: I turned 30. My love and I separated for a while. I discovered I had a tumor growing on my ovary. I completed the healing/leadership program at the nonprofit and took on an in-house leadership role. I had open abdominal surgery and had the tumor, along with my right ovary and appendix, removed. (Full surgery store here and here.) Post-surgery, I began to wonder if I was becoming depressed.

2014: Crash and burn. January-May, everything felt like it was sliding downhill until I couldn’t go any further. I tried to maintain that leadership role and put on a brave face, but both my misgivings about the organization and my depression were growing. In late May, I went from the ER to a psychiatric hospital, where I spent about a week and a half (reflections on my time there here). After some back and forth about what to do, I made two decisions: a) I needed to leave the organization and San Diego and go back to Albuquerque and b) I wanted to stay in a relationship with my love.

I moved back to Albuquerque. I found Nia. I started a DBT program. And slowly, gradually, with support, I started to find my way back towards healing and myself.

2015: After urging from my DBT therapist, I went to an occupational therapist, who agreed that I had sensory processing issues. We began to work together, creating a sensory diet that worked well for me.

Got my Nia White Belt and began teaching here and there.

My love and I visited each other whenever we could, and we officially got engaged over the Thanksgiving weekend. I graduated from my DBT program in December of that year. My dad, my love and I spent several days over the holidays in the Grand Canyon and Sedona (starting the first year of our tradition of going to Sedona for Christmas).

2016: Started vision therapy with my occupational therapist in January and completed it in October — yay for more depth perception! Started teaching Nia more regularly. My love and I planned our wedding and co-created a beautiful ceremony with our friend who officiated. And there was a rainbow on our wedding day (picture here)! Moved to Las Vegas to join my spouse. Started taking an online legal transcript proofreading course.

2017: Lots of settling in to my new city. Took some classes at the community college. Took the Nia Moving to Heal training. Completed the transcript proofreading course and got my first clients. Started teaching a regular Nia class in the fall. On the less good side: one car got stolen and recovered in January and our apartment got broken into in the fall.

2018: Took more classes at the community college. Bought a condo and moved in! Completed Took the Nia Blue Belt training in Portland.

2019: Started taking the biology prerequisites for the graduate program I’m considering and realized that I’m good at biology (which required a bit of self-reflection and reframing). Went back to therapy to work on the trauma from my experiences in 2014 (and, of course, have ended up working on more than that). Took a part-time job at the community college as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader for a section of the introductory biology class in the fall. Celebrated three years of marriage with my love (and 12 total years together!)

I realize these summaries of each years isn’t exhaustive — there are more events I could include, perspective on politics throughout the years, etc. But at the same time, it’s a lot and it’s enough for now.

Happy New Year’s! May your reflections on the past help bring you insights for your present and dreams for your future.

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