It’s been a decade…

It’s New Year’s Eve! Tomorrow will begin a new decade – the 2020s. Ten years ago, I was a high school senior, Herbert Hoover High class of 2010. This round graduation year makes big dates easy to mark, like this one. In the last ten years, I’ve grown from a naive, excited 18 year old to a slightly-less-naive but still generally excited-about-life 28 year old. So much has happened!

Professionally/academically – I started this decade off looking for a college. I came quite close to enrolling at Harvard, but at the last minute (honestly, I was probably too scared to go) decided to go to CalU all but sight unseen to join their small meteorology program. What a choice! On paper I look crazy, but it turned out to be the best choice I could have made for myself. I finished there and (again seemingly almost on accident) ended up at OU for graduate school. A whirlwind few years went by, I got my Ph.D. and took a postdoctoral position at the National Severe Storms lab. I’ll end 2019 in this role, but begin 2020 by starting my career in the federal service as a research meteorologist at this lab. I NEVER could have guessed this when I was backing out of my ambitions to go to the Ivy league. I never could see it, and I stressed all along this path, but it all worked out. Funny how that goes.

I have so many thoughts about this last decade: my experiences, my growth, the people who have come in and out of my life, the people who have stayed, the mistakes I’ve made, times people have wronged me, times I have wronged others. There’s so much to process, it is almost overwhelming. In this exercise, I’ve come to a few conclusions for myself:

  1. I have accomplished SO much in these 10 years. I am proud of myself for it, and grateful to all the people that helped and all the opportunities for growth (even the painful ones) along the way. I look forward to the next decade of challenge and growth.
  2. There are so many big, weighty problems in the world that it really isn’t worth dwelling on the comparatively small unresolved issues I’ve had with people in my life. In the new decade, I will try my absolute hardest to let those go and move forward without grudges.
  3. I am surrounded by so many amazing people, and I really should try harder to let them know that I care for them and appreciate them more often.

The other outcome of this exercise: I came across a ton of fun pictures from my life over the last 10 years. Ending 2019 and the 2010s on a fun note, I’m sharing some of them here. Happy new year and new decade to all!

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