2020: 10 Lessons I Learned in the Last Decade

It was in my heart of hearts to end this year with a bang! You see, I transitioned from working out of my home to working from home. I did this all to be more accessible to my family. My belief was that I was on the path upward. I left a toxic work situation behind me to live my dream but what I didn’t know was that I needed rest and reflection before propelling forward. In my time of rest and reflection I was reminded of the lessons I learned in the last decade. So here I go, journey with me as I list the lessons I learned in the last decade.

2010: I Learned to Jump

2010 was a year full of healing and great faith. I had been out of a terrible relationship for several months at the start of the year. My heart took a little longer to mend than I anticipated, but I carried on. I started to change my mind from lack and focusing on the things that I did not have, to concentrating my efforts on making the things that I possessed beautiful. A trip to Pier One and Home Depot allowed me to revamp my outdoor courtyard. It was cozy and comfortable and a space I created to be a place of peace. Working out and eating healthy was my daily routine. May I add, my skin looked amazing.

In the midst of being nestled into my happy place and happy space, I met my husband who lived on the other side of the country. Being together would mean walking away from months of creating this beautiful sanctuary for my heart and physical/mental health. That was scary. I remember having a talk with my dad and telling him how I was very nervous about the move. My father looks at me and said, “sometimes you just have to jump.” So, I jumped and landed and thrived and realized that my best decisions were when I took a chance on something great. My husband and our family is that something great.

2011: I Learned That I Must stay True to Me and I should Expect Others to Do the Same

This is the year I became a wife. I knew this day would come and couldn’t have crafted a more beautiful day. Anyone who knows me knows that my wedding day was the best day of my life. I danced, I smiled, I laughed, and I was surrounded by people I love. Leading up to my wedding day was a bit drama filled as you can imagine would happen when bringing different people together. The wedding drama was hurtful. There were people standing with me who knew my journey and were genuinely happy for me. They knew my storms and were excited to see some sunshine come my way. This wasn’t the case for everyone.

In this moment, I realized that I can’t stop my show and shine. Being true to me and what I wanted were more important than someone else’s level of comfort of me remaining less than. So the lesson came in me realizing, I have to remain true to my beliefs and what I know to be true. I am not here to change anyone’s mind or heart. My purpose doesn’t lie in making people do things just to make me comfortable. I should expect others to be true to them, even if it is from a place of hurt and anguish. I just know how to move around the hurt that spews.

2012: I Learned The Power in Slowing Down

2012! What a magnificent year. I gave birth to my youngest and it was incredible but it changed my life drastically. We moved to a small country town in Louisiana and life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. The nearest city with real stores was 45 minutes away. The town I lived in had the usual small town stores: Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Cato, etc. You get the picture. To say I slowed down was an understatement. There wasn’t much to do. I made friends with my neighbors, became active in church, and didn’t spend a lot of money. I had no idea how on the go I was, and began to welcome the slower pace of life

One good thing about the area we lived in was that there never was any traffic, ever.

2013: I Learned To Believe in Myself

Christy Irene Lessons I Learned to Believe in Me

Believing in yourself sounds so simple and an idea that doesn’t take much effort. Even as I write this, the thoughts began to creep in that no one wants to know all of this. Quickly, I have to dismiss that type of thinking and come to the understanding that the people who get my words and appreciate them, are my audience. Those who take issue, are not my audience. Either way is okay. This is the year that I began my blogging journey at, A Woman the World Deserves. It was a successful attempt at making money from home. The realization came suddenly as I began to understand that I can bet on me, and “me” is a good bet.

2014: I Learned to Make Room in My Heart For More

We moved this year from the small country Louisiana town to a small country Missouri town. But this town was cute. Weston, Missouri: Home of the Apple Festival or something like that. I lost an unborn child earlier in that year and welcomed a tween into our home later in the year. I had a broken heart and learned to even in the midst of that immense emotion there is always someone else who needs a little more love from me.

2015: I Learned To Be Where I Am Fully

Italy became our home in 2015 and would be for 3 years. I had begun blogging pretty fiercely and was making a nice income from it. Then all that changed with a move overseas. I was still trying to accept sponsored posts from the States. The product wasn’t making it overseas on time. I was missing deadlines. Then the “aha” moment came. I am trying to conduct business as if I were still in the states. I should have been conducting business as if I had move to Italy and life had actually changed. Once I understood this, life became so much more bearable. I didn’t hold myself to impossible standards and I could just breathe.

2016: I Learned to Shed Old Ways of Thinking

All of us know the definition of insanity. Yup, that was me in 2016 still trying to learn that doing the same thing over and over that didn’t yield different results was insane. I couldn’t be the same wife I was to my husband because circumstances were forcing me to grow. I couldn’t be the same friend I was to those around me because my sweet little butterfly wings were ready to shed its cocoon. And people were not happy about it. I couldn’t be the me of before because a new woman had to emerge. I had to shed old ways of moving and flowing, and this year I had to bear it alone. It wasn’t fun but it set the foundation of years to come from me.

This year was almost like when you are watching a really good TV series and then one episode was boring because it had to set up the scene for the next episode. That was my 2016. Definitely a necessary lesson I learned.

2017: I Learned to Stand Up for ME

Haha! I think it is safe to say that this year rocked me a bit. Not in a bad way but in a growth way. I began to step away from things that were not serving my best purpose. That looked like friendships, old and new. It looked like leaving a toxic workplace environment. That old lesson from 2011 came back up in my mind. I can’t get upset with someone for being who they wanted to be. I had the POWER to decide where and who I wanted to be. Standing up for myself was one of my life’s greatest decisions.

It is so interesting how people are so offended when they are not allowed to treat you how they had been accustomed to treating you. No apology received and every day that has passed I get better about it. But I will never sit just so someone can feel good about standing over me, again!

2018: I Learned That When You Leave and Come Back, Things Aren’t Always the Same

My family and I moved back to the States in 2018. It was sad and necessary. We had been gone for too long. We thoroughly enjoyed our time abroad, but there was something about relishing in the things that we grew up being able to enjoy. So while some things were the same when we came back to the States, some things had changed. One of those changes was pretty sad and still is. I learned that instead of yearning for things to be how they used to be, sometimes what is just needs to be enjoyed. Oh this was a GREAT lesson I learned! Allora (Oh Well)!

2019: I Learned to Choose Me and My Family

One of the lessons I learned was to choose family and myself.

I have said all of the things just to bring us to this past year. It was the beginning of my oldest last year in high school. My husband had left the country for work. My youngest was having a difficult time coping with dad being gone. And I spent 9 hours a day in a work environment of mess, confusion, and toxicity. Want to know what I did? I quit. I will not spend time in places that subtract from me with no intention to add value to my life.

Want to know what adds value to my life? My husband calling me during the day to see how I am doing. Our youngest son asking me to have a drawing competition with him. My oldest son and I taking time to listen to music. So I had to choose and I chose wisely. Family first. No one else cares.

Thinking on the Lessons I Learned

It was my intention to have this posted sooner. But in the year 2020, I plan on being kind to myself and my body needed rest. So I rested. And I reflected on what I had actually learned in the last decade that will help me conquer this decade to come.

These are the lessons I learned in the last decade. I would love to hear about what you have learned in the past that will help you navigate during the future.

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  • Reply
    Melissa Chapman
    January 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    It is so important to learn and grow every year. It is so interesting how you have evolved and grown every year. I will try and take from this and make every year a new adventure.

  • Reply
    Amber Myers
    January 16, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    These are some great lessons. I learned a ton too. One for me is saying no. I used to feel guilty. Now? Not so much.

  • Reply
    Heather DiNuzzo
    January 16, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Good for your for leaving a relationship that was unhealthy. It sounds like 2019 was a great year for you!

  • Reply
    Terri Steffes
    January 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    I love these types of posts. I love that you jumped on this one. It was fun to read and it helped me reflect too.

  • Reply
    Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers DFW Parenting/LIfestyle
    January 16, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    I have learned a few of these lessons over the last year. It’s hard when you don’t realize how toxic a relationship is until you are out. There were things that happened that were beyond my control and I will no longer feel guilty because of it.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 1:11 am

    What great lessons you have learned. Thanks for sharing your experience. We can all learn from others.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 1:43 am

    It was so interesting to see a review of your last decade. It looks like you have learned a lot and I hope this next decade brings a lot of joy to you and your family!

  • Reply
    Brandy (@brandyellen)
    January 17, 2020 at 3:33 am

    It’s great to learn lessons and share them to help us remember those lessons. Thank you for sharing lessons learned in 2019.

  • Reply
    Chef Dennis
    January 17, 2020 at 7:40 am

    These lessons you learned are really great! Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. There are still more coming this 2020

  • Reply
    Ruth I
    January 17, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I am happy that you’ve grown and developed a lot of good things. It just honed you beautifully. Cheers to another decade!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I learned to choose me and my family. This one is beautiful. LOUDER PLS

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Looks like you’ve learned a lot here. I have as well. I think the slow down one is something I’ve learned as well.

  • Reply
    Lizzie Lau
    January 17, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    That is a lot of growth in one year, congratulations! I just turned 50 and I still have to work on a lot of the the things in this post.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    These are all amazing things to have accomplished. It is a good idea to look back and figure these things out -I need to do the same.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2020 at 8:14 am

    These are really amazing lessons you learned . I am so glad that you were able to share this with us. Looking forward for your journey on 2020.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I am amazed by your story. Thank you for sharing! iW you wrote: “ I will not spend time in places that subtract from me with no intention to add value to my life.” it stricken me. Not many have the wisdom and courage to leave toxic situations. Loved the article!

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