There is one more day left in the decade spanning from 2010-2019. I never payed attention to the passing of the decades before, but this past decade has been the most monumental of my three-decade life. I began the decade as a 21-year-old senior at the University of Notre Dame and I’m finishing the decade as a 31-year-old budding entrepreneur and member of a workforce with a proud history.
It is incredible to me the amount of growth and learning, love and tragedy, and absolute wonder that the 2010s has brought my life. This is the decade I started my career. The job market in 2010 was abysmal. Unlike some of my classmates, I did not have a job lined up after college and had to humble myself and work in retail so I could pay my student loans. My time at RadioShack will remain in my memory as another hustling part of my life. It’s crazy to believe this company does not exist anymore and I am grateful that they gave me my first job after college. While working at RadioShack I landed my first corporate job. I learned what it was like to work overtime daily and get your money taxed severely. For a brief period of time I worked my corporate job Monday through Friday and RadioShack on the weekends. I felt proud to earn my own money, to make my loan payments and be able to save a little money. However, I was neither fulfilled nor content in my work. My frustration with my work situation led me to pursue graduate school. I stopped working at RadioShack by the time I started graduate school as that was a full-time commitment along with my full-time job. Graduate school taught me grit; to work towards a goal diligently; as well as the beauty of family and friends who pick up the slack and have understanding for your absence. I was blessed to travel to China during the program and make connections and memories with the best cohort.
I have held five jobs since I graduated from college; each teaching me lessons about myself, working with others and the working environment. I have learned to make observations when entering a new environment and not rush to judgement; to be weary of people who offer unsolicited information especially when it pertains to other personnel; work friends can become real life friends; terrible situations or toxic work environments will reveal your values; never be afraid to use your voice; take time to understand the politics of a place. Most importantly, when you are feeling frustrated about your current employer, remember at some point you prayed for this opportunity and were excited for it. The arch nemesis you have on the job might just be there to help you learn how to conquer future battles in the workplace.
This decade I have said goodbye to several people I have loved. One of my coworker’s turned sister-friend told me that sometimes we experience death in seasons. This helped me to manage my understanding of their deaths and my grief. I have also learned that if you remember someone, they never are truly dead. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, then tell stories about them and share the love you have for them with others.
Contrary to my 17-year-old belief about my twenties, the 2010s were not the decade I met and married the love of my life. Being unmarried used to bother me – I felt I had failed a goal every twenty-something woman should aspire to accomplish – now I am grateful for my position. If I had married anyone I dated this past decade, it would have been the wrong person. I am enjoying my singleness and am thankful for this time to focus on me and my goals. I have much that I want to achieve before I share my life with a husband or children (and have to include them in my decision making). This period of singleness afforded me the opportunity to travel and explore the world, to have late nights and early mornings and grad school definitely was much easier not having a child depending on me.
This decade I stepped into womanhood. I am grateful for the way my life turned out although it was not the vision I had for my life when I began this decade. Today I am excited about life: both my present and future! I work in a place that shows appreciation for my work; I started the product side of my business this quarter and will grow it in the coming decade; next month I will celebrate one year of Curly Roots blog. The future is bright and the present is too. Thank you for walking this journey with me. I know I have not been consistent with my blog posting this past quarter and I am grateful that you continue to follow and read my posts. May God bless you abundantly in the 2020s and beyond. Cheers to us!