What can happen in a decade?

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. One of the things I really like about it is the On This Day feature, and today reinforced that.

You see, 10 years ago today I graduated with my Masters, and seeing the pictures of all of us grinning with accomplishment (and exhaustion) in our caps and gowns got me thinking about who I was then, where I am now and all the things in between.

I initially thought, “that couldn’t have been a decade ago! I’m not that old!” But it was. And as I sat in exhaustion, with my tepid cup of coffee looking at those pictures, I started thinking about all the things that have happened.

I traveled. A lot. I explored several countries (Italy, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Canada, Turks & Caicos, Mexico, Cayman Islands,  Jamaica) and states (California, Texas, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, Tennessee, Illinois, New York and Iowa to name a few). And the experiences of each of these trips fanned the flames of my wanderlust more than the last.

I got married to my best friend in Key West, overlooking the ocean and danced the weekend away with our closest friends and family.

I got my hands dirty and gained so much work experience in non-profits, start-ups and technology organizations. Which helped me launch my freelance career.

I paid off my student loans (and was broke as a joke every month until I got that monkey off my back)

I bought a new car (which is now 8 years old and not paid off)

I started saving for retirement.

I got rejected. A lot.

I kept going.

I uncovered a love for cooking that I never knew I had.

I made amazing friends and connected with great mentors.

I earned my sandan.

And of course we had our twin girls, who are growing, thriving and forcing me to keep up my fitness so that I can chase them all over town while they giggle in delight at my exhaustion.

Not so bad for ten years! I have to say, there are many parts of life that I didn’t expect to happen, but I’m glad I experiences every up and down and twisty windy roads that have led me to where I am today.

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