Decade Down

Decade down.  

2009 was the last year I remember living in relative happiness. I was 21. Life was simple. The decade to follow would face me with devastation beyond anything I could imagine (of course I preface this with my own perspective, I realize there are real people suffering far more tragic things, but I am not invalid for feeling what I feel)… 

My heart would get ripped out by my first love with little warning or reason why; I’ve accepted that I’ll never get that closure but it’s haunted me ever sense. I would come to allow this to define me for the next decade. Stifling any potential relationship that attempted to come my way. 



My childhood best friend would desert me. In that hour of need. Another scar unremedied.

My depression would fall to an all time low, inhabiting the darkest places. Panic attacks would increase with veracity. I’d gain nearly 80lbs trying to calm these with meds.

I’d live below the poverty line. Graduating college at the heart of the recession, I’d work odd jobs for years before opportunities for an actual career utilizing that hard earned degree would exist again. I’d struggle to find a career nonetheless a purpose. And the career I’d fall into was never what I wanted to be (a teacher– which was at least Plan D). I was mad at the world for not handing me what I thought was due to me after doing what I was always told: “Work hard, get good grades, and you’ll have a fruitful future.” I’ve since learned that was all a gamble that didn’t pay off and nothing is a guaranteed. That school of thought was no longer the way of the world for my generation.

I felt such shame and failure, I logged off all social media. I never intended any stretch of time, but I didn’t come back for 6 years. I couldn’t bare the comparisons to YOUR lives. What I was supposed to be. What I was supposed to be accomplishing. Even as a millennial, the expectation as a woman to get married and bare children before a certain age is expected. Despite what is said and thought. That expectation still exists. I thought myself a failure. No one wanting me. No career, no spouse, or potential future to flaunt. I couldn’t bare to see all of you succeed, while I regarded myself unsuccessful. So I cowardly shut down all social media. To hide. To heal.

This decade was something I wished to be over every minute of the past few years. I knew I probably was just feeling bad for myself, but it all still felt very real to me, no matter your perspective on my life. I’ve been told I’m spoiled. That I’m a brat. That I’ve been handed everything. And by those that I hold most dear. They are entitled to their opinion, as am I. But that does not excuse the fact, that despite what anyone else may think, what I felt was real. And I’ve learned and finally accepted that I can feel whatever I do. Period.

Luckily, in the past few months, I’ve felt a mindset change. I don’t know why, but I welcome it. And to be honest. It’s about time!

I’ve realized that letting relationships define me made me a shell of a human. I wasn’t my own person. I was so worried about making someone else happy and want to stay with me. With that poor sense of priority, I didn’t truly allow myself to ask what made ME happy. I’ve since allowed myself to find my own voice for the first time in my life. I’ve spent the past 2 years single and finally started to value myself and actually, possibly, maybe even love? Myself.

I’ve STARTED to accept that people come into your live for a reason, a season, or forever. I said STARTED to accept. I haven’t fully come to terms with that just yet.

As for depression and anxiety, I’m heavily medicated and glad to be. I know how to control it. And now I’m helping my students learn to combat their own demons. I’m not an authority on medicine or psychology. But I AM an authority on being so lost and so sad that I couldn’t get out of bed many mornings. I’m happy to share my struggle with depression with anyone who will listen, because more people should talk about it, and I want to help anyone I can from suffering the same fate.

Since last December, I’ve lost 55 of those 80 lbs. Only 25 more to go! And I KNOW I can do it. I don’t think I can anymore, I KNOW I can!

I’m still very, very poor. I have a career and about 3 other side jobs to make ends meet. But I’m doing it. On my own. I’d say “I don’t need no man”  but that sounds like basic white girl shit. Honestly, I’d sure like a man, but I’ve proven to myself that I don’t need one.

I became an educator. Like actually made something of myself, even though most days I feel defeated by the job and the money keeps me over drafting my bank account at least twice a month. And I’m actually good at it! But I know my days are numbered in this profession because I can’t make ends meet. In a system that is failing. Odds stacked always against the teachers and students. But my students gave me purpose. And that’s been far and away the greatest gift of my career. Even though it’s not sustainable. Most kids just want to be loved. And I burn so badly to love someone. We fill the gaping holes in each other’s hearts.


NYE 2020

“Cause I’m my own Soulmate. I know how to love me. I know that I’m always gonna hold me down.”


I found the courage to start my travel blog, a dream, I never thought would come to fruition. I was afraid of what people would think. And that I’d look foolish for attempting. But it’s my dream, why should it just stay that way? I literally have NOTHING to lose! And whether or not it succeeds, it’s a hobby that makes me happy! Even better, I’ve been met with nothing but a gush of love and support from so many of you (the opposition of my fears!). My heart’s feeling just a bit more full and mended these days.

After my best friend (who I thought was my future and forever) walked out of my life (the second and most meaningful relationship I’ve ever had–for those still reading), I thought I couldn’t recover from yet a second blow to the heart. But I’m 10 years older and wiser. And I’m living proof that if not one but two blows to the heart don’t kill ya, nothing will. I wish that things were different and that my fear of abandonment wasn’t continually reinforced. BUT. I wouldn’t think ALL these things if it didn’t happen. And THAT was a gift.

Adversity seemed to be the theme of my decade. BUT. I’ve realized I’m still here because I was supposed to learn a few things. I have depression to help others who have it too. My relationships failed because I needed to learn to love ME first. I’ve been abandoned by others so I could learn to make it on my own. I fell into teaching so I could learn to teach others about my struggles and how to evade this same path. Every one and thing that has happened to me happened to force me to stand alone, find myself, and love what I am and where I’m at right now. Not in comparison to others. Not because of WHO I’m with. Or how THEY make me feel about myself. These past 10 years happened so I could learn that I’m enough.

If you’re still with me, then learn from me. You should be enough for you before you care about anyone else. During the airplane safety drill, they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs. That’s LIFE! If you don’t do you first, you ain’t gonna make it! What I’ve learned from the 2010’s is that you are your own number one and NOTHING and NO ONE else can come before that. Find the good and the lesson in everything. The worst and best thing that’s happened to me this decade is that someone(s) I’ve loved put a mirror in my face and forced me to take a real, good, hard look at myself…..and I couldn’t thank them enough!

Cheers! To the start of a decade with clarity, good fortune, and most importantly, LOVE!

And if your struggling to get started. Just put on some Lizzo.

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