When I was in college, my girlfriends and I (lovingly known by the upperclassmen as “The Gaggle”) would sometimes sit together and talk about what we expected or hoped to do during our “decade”: the ten years between age 20 and 30. Now, I am 42 days out from my 30th birthday and I find myself thinking back over my decade.
During my decade I have:
- Traveled to Russia on missions for 9 weeks
- Completed undergraduate work and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Education
- Completed graduate school and earned my Masters of Arts in Literature, cum laude
- Had two papers on J.R.R. Tolkien’s literature and archetypes published,
- Presented a paper about John Fowles at a local literature conference,
- Dated for the first time,
- Lost three family members to cancer,
- Bought my first car, a white Plymouth Voyager
- Lived in my own apartment, by myself, for three months
- Got married,
- Started teaching full-time,
- Began bellydancing,
- Bought my first house with my husband,
- Traveled to New Orleans (I had never been there before),
- Began blogging,
- Learned to be more honest, with myself and others,
- Earned my Library/Media Specialist addition to my teaching license,
and, last but not least,
- Had my first child.
When I look back on it, I have, honestly, accomplished a great deal, even though it may not feel that way a lot of the time. In fact, I have accomplished everything that we discussed “should” happen in your decade: get married, start a career, buy your first house, start having children…I was rather surprised when I realized that. And, yet, I feel now – with Elizabeth – that my life is only beginning, that is, with a new decade, a brand-new chapter, nay, a brand new book is beginning.
Right now, I plan on going back to work as a teacher in August. However, at the moment, I am thoroughly enjoying being home with Elizabeth and I wouldn’t give up this time for anything in the world. Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to the summer: sun and warmth and nature with my wonderful husband and my little girl. Now I get to share all those wonderful summer experiences with a new life and continue creating a whole new cache of memories. Can anything be more wonderful than that?