This new year brought with it the end of a decade and the beginning of a new one. A ten year chunk of time has come and gone and we are on to a fresh new set of years to fill with precious moments. At the start of this past decade, I don't know if I would imagine myself where I am now and I can't remember what I expected. In all honesty, I don't think I expect much.
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At the start of the decade in 2010, I was 19 years old and about to turn 20. I was excited to no longer be a teenager and to finally be a "real adult" in my twenties. I was in my sophomore year of college making new friends and living it up (as much as a sober Christian school student would) with no idea what the next ten years would bring. Back then I was much better about living in the present and not constantly looking to the next thing.
Looking back to that time still feels very weird, if I am honest. My life has changed immensely since then, with one of the biggest differences being that I started the decade off being single. Granted, I did meet Aaron in 2010 (we didn't start dating until April of 2011), but towards the end of the year, so pretty much this whole decade of my life has been spent being with Aaron. But because I was single at the start, there was no pinpoint place that I saw myself.
Was I going to go into mission work? Was I going to write a novel? Was I going to be married with kids by the end of the decade? I had no idea. I wasn't even out of college, so there was no way of having any idea what my non-school self would be doing.
I was free. Free to be whoever I wanted to be with no expectations.
In 2010, I was interested in another guy at school and was going through the tumultuous throws of that relationship where we were really good friends and liked each other but never dated. We talked at nauseam about what we wanted to do and blah blah blah, but holy cow there is only so much a girl can take. By the time 2011 rolled around, I wasn't sure if I wanted to date anyone for a while because I was so sick of the bull that came with what I had just dealt with. I didn't think I would find someone who loved and cared about me for who I was without always seeming to keep an eye out for the next best option.
That year was also when my anxiety was full tilt nut-so. Nothing says well balanced life like having panic disorder, a relationship that was all over the place, and a weight drop of 20-30 pounds in a few months (sarcasm)! I felt like I was losing my mind and I was ready for a change.
But 2010 was also the first time I went to Europe with a two week trip to Assisi, Italy through an international journalism seminar at Gordon (check out our work here and look for my maiden name, D'Adamo)! I had no interest in journalism, but we did cover part of the Amanda Knox case and I got to meet an incredible artist named Massimo Cruciani. I got to see Massimo twice more after this class when I visited Italy in 2011 with my family and in 2014 on my honeymoon with Aaron. He always calls me "the Journalist," which I absolutely love.
So along came Aaron. A steady, down-to-earth guy who calmed my stormy seas. In 2011, I loved and was loved in return. My anxiety and anger ebbed and I stopped listening to so much hardcore music.
2012 brought college graduation and my first job out of Gordon which was, funny enough, at Gordon in the Development Office. It was a temp job, which started the string of my multi-year bouncy house of jobs. I would bounce into one job, then hop on out after about a year and bounce into another. It wasn't until 2016 when I landed my job at HubSpot that I finally left the bouncy house and stayed at that job for two and a half years.
In March of 2014, Aaron asked me to marry him (literally three days later, I left with my parents to go to visit my brother in Ireland) and on November 8th of 2014, we got married! It was the most beautiful day and I loved every minute of it! To this day, my wedding has been my favorite, but I feel like maybe every bride feels that way. It's not a crime to be biased, right?
After our wedding day, we went directly on our nine day honeymoon to Scotland, Austria, and Italy. It was also Aaron's first time to Europe! We had an incredible time, but dubbed the trip our "Foggy-moon" since everywhere was very foggy with it being November.
2015 started off with some difficulties as my grandfather on my Dad's side passed away two days before my birthday. Two weeks later, I was laid off from my job while Aaron was still in grad school. That same week, my Dad got word that he would be laid off in a few months as well. There were a few months of hardship, but we made it through and Aaron and I both ended up getting jobs within a month of each other.
These new jobs were also located in another state! We lived in Beverly, MA separately until we got married (close to Gordon), and then together in the apartment Aaron had been living in. However, our new jobs took us North to New Hampshire where we briefly lived in Londonderry. In 2016, Aaron's maternal grandfather passed away, leaving behind a tiny little ranch in Bedford. It was certainly God's hand working in that situation.
In 2016 we moved into and bought our first home! It was a fixer-upper for sure, but it has been so worth it to see this house absolutely blossom. We love this house and it is a perfect starter home for us. The day we closed on the house is the same day we left to go to the beautiful country of Norway! We loved visiting this naturally beautiful spot in the world and can't wait to go back someday.
2017 is the year I graduated from my 200hr yoga certification and got pregnant! I literally graduated from my program and found out the week after that I was going to have a sweet little baby, which was such an incredible moment! I started teaching yoga at the studio I received my certification from and taught all the way up until I was 37 week pregnant.
In 2018, we geared up for the arrival of our bundle of joy and had to wait an extra two weeks before she arrived! We did not know the gender of our baby so when Lydia came into the world, Aaron got to tearfully say "It's a little girl!" as he put our child on my chest. To this day, that has been the best moment of my life where we got to meet our incredible baby girl. It was a joyful year of our family becoming a family of three!
2018 is also the year I started teaching prenatal yoga, which has been an absolute joy! I love getting to help moms find a place to get some peace and relaxation. I really do feel like I have found my yoga niche with prenatal!
2019 came with a lot of change for our family with Lydia turning one, me leaving HubSpot, and Aaron starting his new job as well. It was also the year we paid off my student loans, which I am incredibly proud about, since I wanted to have them paid off by the time I was 30 and got it done a year ahead! We have learned and grown an incredible amount this year as we tackled many goals and worked hard to accomplish what we set out to accomplish. I started this blog and my photography business with comes with so much joy and so many things to learn.
So coming into 2020, I don't have many expectations for the next decade. This past decade has held so many surprises for me that I would never have expected. I never thought I would teach yoga, write a blog, have a growing family, and a house by the end of the decade! However, at this point in my life there are definitely things that I know I can expect since I am in a much more stable place at 29 than I was at 19.
I can expect to have at least one more baby. We will be moving to a new home. I will continue to teach yoga. I will travel more. I will work for myself and accomplish my career goals. I will continue to love and appreciate the amazing man who is my husband. I will always love and cherish my amazing firstborn. I will take so many more photos. I will read many more books, including Harry Potter. I will strive to always be in a state of growth and learn from everything. I will give back to my community. I will be present.
2020, I have a feeling you are going to be very bright.