Lessons from a Decade
Long time, no see.
Seriously though. It’s been nine months since I really visited this blog, which simply is what it is. I have made goals for myself over the last couple of years to blog more, but I think I always underestimate the difficulty of this for me when my full-time job is, you know, writing.
I’m not sure what my blog will be going forward, but I would like it to be something. So as we enter a new decade, I’m just going to take it one day at a time. No specific goals for the blog, just that it’s here if I’m feeling inspired. Maybe the lack of pressure to do something with it will ultimately result in me visiting it more frequently. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about the last decade a bit. What I’ve experienced and what I’ve learned as a result. For no reason other than to document it for myself, I thought I’d share some of those lessons from the last decade here.
The Days are Long but the Years are Short
People mostly say this about having kids, I think, but I get it now. I started this decade by graduating from college, and I remember thinking those four years flew by. I really had no idea. Everything since May 2010 has been a whirlwind.
I moved back to Omaha from Lincoln, held multiple jobs, chased dreams, adopted dogs, met my fiancé, celebrated plenty of big life accomplishments of friends and family, mourned the loss of friends and family… The list goes on.
I’d be lying if I said I was good with time. There are moments I lay in bed at night before I go to sleep and just wish for time to slow down a bit. If I could only live certain moments just a little longer, just to hold on to them for a bit longer… The reality is that you can’t. Time keeps going, so you just have to do your best to enjoy every moment as you can. It won’t be perfect and there will be plenty of days you’re wishing time away, but mostly it’d be nice to have a little more time.
The last decade showed me just how true it is that the days are long but the years are short. I hope to keep learning how to appreciate the time I have a bit more in the new decade.
You Won’t Be Perfect
You will disappoint people. You will hurt people, both intentionally and unintentionally. You will make bad choices and you will make them again. You will fail.
All of this is OK. It might not feel like it, especially in the moment, but it is. Hopefully you learn from all of those things and find a way to be a little better tomorrow.
I made plenty of mistakes over the last decade. Some I regret. (Because I’m not a believer in not regretting things. You can regret without letting it consume your future.) Others I simply acknowledged and moved forward from hoping I’ve learned to be a little better.
We’re all imperfect. Accepting that was a big lesson for me in the 2010s.
You’re Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea
No, but seriously. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, not even if you try. And this was a particularly hard lesson for me to learn over the last decade.
You see, despite not being a perfect person (as noted above), I’ve always wanted to be liked. I think most people do, but it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to think you’re great. I know there are plenty of people who don’t think I am, and that’s OK. Really.
With that said, I think there’s often this thought that if someone doesn’t like you, it’s completely on them and not you. That’s true in some cases but not all. I know I gave some people a reason not to like me. It is what it is. See above.
In the last decade (thanks in large part to Twitter), I slowly learned to stop caring so much about what other people think. I still do a bit, but I can’t let it consume me like it used to. The reality is that some people will like you and some won’t. All you can do is focus on the people that matter to you, try to be a good enough person for yourself and let the chips fall where they may.
Never Stop Chasing Dreams
If you had told me in May 2010 that I would be a sports reporter by the end of the decade, I would have never believed you. I didn’t think it was possible for a number of reasons.
Yet, here I am.
But I’m not done. I want to keep growing in the new decade and be better at what I do. I want to keep pushing boundaries and testing limits (to the point I’m comfortable) because I love what I do. I don’t know what life will look like a decade from now for me but I’m excited to see how it turns out. I have big dreams ahead and I’ll be curious to see what shape they take.
So never stop chasing your dreams, no matter how big or small they may be. You can do anything, at any point in your life. You are not defined by time or expectations.
And with that, I wish you a happy end to 2019 and an even happier beginning to 2020 (and the new decade).
I’ll see you next year.