As you come to an end, I can’t help but reflect on all that have or haven’t happened in the last 10 years. I have learnt so much about myself not just as a woman, and as a Christian, but as the complexity of the soul that is called Whitney. You taught me how to be strong, you taught me how to be fearless, you taught me that words hurt but that at the end of the day, they mean very little. As 2019 comes to an end today, I find myself being extremely grateful for how far I’ve come, all the highs and lows. Funny enough, all the lows – because – whew chile – they were some moments but God brought me this far.
You taught me so much, some things I didnt want to learn but it kept me from being too naive. You were my first decade as an adult and as messy as some of the years were, now I look back at them and I see how they made me who I am.
I am part of the millennial generation and I find you taught me that I had an awesome childhood. You taught me to appreciate being able to play outside for hours without any care in the world. As I grow older, I find I am nostalgic for the games my friends and I used to come up with. I’m nostalgic of the TV shows I used to watch as a kid (Lizzie Mcguire, Phil from the Future, That’s so Raven, Floricienta, & so many more) and rewatching them as adult is my favourite way to destress, not only because it makes me feel happy again but because I also get to catch all these jokes that went over my head as a child.
Going into University, you taught me that the world was bigger than I thought and knew it to be. You showed me that even if I was dropped somewhere without anyone or thing to hold on to, I’d survive. I’d carve a path of my own and survive. That first year was a breeze compared to what came after but you showed me that I had perseverance. You taught me that it was ok to not be the smartest person in the room and how to always seek to learn from them. You taught me the delicacy that is coffee and that even though there were days that never seemed to end, it would always add a pep to my step. You taught me to test my boundaries with it and now that I am older, I wish my body could drink 3-4 cups like it did when I was younger without any consequences. You taught me that I work better under pressure than I do with lots of time on my hands – it was all part of the time management skills I had to learn (late nights, freaking out about papers due the next day that I swore I would’ve started weeks ago). You taught me that it is more than ok to have a small circle of close friends and that those who want to stay will make the effort – something that I have to admit I still struggle with. You taught me that bad days didn’t mean a thing when compared to the grand scheme of things. Bad days would happen but so would great days and so would mediocre days – its all a part of life. I thought I had these lessons pretty down pack until the final that was the last half of the decade.
2015-2019 -Phew were do I start with the roller coaster that you guys have been? Life post university hasn’t been a breeze but it has sure had some epic and unbelievable moments. 2015 had me getting into the work force as a personal trainer while still chasing the ultimate goal of being an certified athletic therapist. Those first two years after graduating were like going to university all over again but this time, the transition was a little smoother. I had half of my friends going through the same predicament of not completely knowing what they were doing while the other half seemed to have a cheat code on how to start carving their professional life. 2015 taught me that I’d land on my own two legs even when things didn’t go as planned. However, I took that landing on my own two legs a little too literally and did nothing but work because I was always trying to catch up to those who had the cheat code not realizing that my life was designed for something completely different. By the time I would realize that, a new wave of lessons would come my way.
2016 – you have to branch out, if you’re waiting for life to happen before you do anything, you’ll miss all the living you’re currently doing. People come and go and that’s ok, you’ll survive each time( Like I said, its a lesson, I’m constantly trying to learn.
2017 – Take care of yourself otherwise you won’t be able to take care of those around you. Fight for the life/work balance with everything that you’ve got. Forgive and forget means forgive and forget – not forgive and go back to the past. Being forgiving doesn’t mean that you try and walk across a bridge that’s already burnt down.
2018 – Oh, the places you’ll go. Travelling shows you how open you adventurous you truly are from discovering a new culture to trying new foods. You brought friends into my life that I felt like I have known forever even though it has only been a year. You have to be one of my favourite ones to date. You taught me to have faith and to stand up for myself no matter how terrifying that would be. You saw me switch jobs and that process has been one I am ever grateful for. You saw me trying football for the first time and even though I was terrified – I did it.
2019 – You taught me perseverance. You taught me to trust myself and not to lose focus on what my goals where even when everything seemed uncertain. You taught me that it was ok to be vulnerable and it was ok to not constantly have it together. You taught me to trust that God’s got this and that eventually things will work out. That last part has been the official theme of the last couple of months but we’re here so it works out.
As 2020 enters, I am not sure what the lessons will be or where I’ll be when 2029 hits but I am excited to see where it takes me. If you had asked 17 year old Whitney where she wanted to be in 10 years, she wouldn’t have dreamt of all this. Her plans were smaller in scale to where she is now and the path is completely different but so much more rewarding.
To anyone reading this, give yourself time. Life isn’t meant to be figured out in a year or in a decade – especially when the average human life span is about 8-10 decades. Your goals will change, life will throw curve balls your way, you will lose interest in things you’ve loved forever, and gain interest in things you never thought you would. You’ll be heartbroken, mentally broken, sometimes even physically broken but you’ll make it through. Stick to your core values, don’t change yourself to please those around you – make sure that you can look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be completely at peace with that. You’re meant to be so much more than someone who checks boxes or moves through squares in the “Game of Life”. You were made for so much more so give yourself time to figure out what that so much more is. I’m right there with you – and no, the journey is not always easy or happy but we’ll get to the destination eventually and it will be bigger than any dreams you have right now.
Happy New Year!!