Yesterday, WordPress gave me a notification that it has been nine years since I started this blog. Nine long years. It got me thinking about where I was nine years ago.
(Above is one of the first photos of me that I posted on this blog – it was taken a few years before I started writing here – in 2008, I believe. I was thinner and more camera shy!)
I was still working in my first public sector Human Resources job; the one I started exactly 16 years ago today, as a matter of fact. So many anniversaries! I wasn’t going to be there much longer; it was a great place to work, and I enjoyed most of the people that I worked with, but it was a small organization and that meant there wasn’t any career progression to be had. Moving up meant moving on.
I wasn’t married yet back then. I got married less than a month after I started this blog; it was originally his idea, something that we could do together. But his attention span meant that he lost interest a few weeks in. I’m a Virgo – in it for the long haul once I start something.
Of course, I had no idea that my marriage would be a relatively brief period of my life; I had no inkling of the downward spiral that he was to go through. Even more than three years after we separated, he still pops up from time to time, texting to try to manipulate me. I’m never sure if anything he says is true; I would be surprised if it were. I am fairly certain that he is drinking when he sends them though.
A few things are the same; I still have many of the same friends, the same horse, the same car. Dad is gone now. My boss and mentor from that first public sector job is gone too. I’ve had a few jobs in the last nine years, moving up in my career to more responsible roles. I have some grey hair to go with the increased responsibility.
My love for travel has increased exponentially, a result of having a higher salary and more vacation time with which to nurture it. My road trip last summer was incredible, as was my trip to London, and multiple shorter trips to places in the United States. This love will be with me forever.
I like that I have this record of my life, here in these pages. Even the hard parts of it. I like that I can relive the happy moments. I like that I can look back and see that I have moved past the painful moments.
In these nine years, I have had successes and failures, joy and sorrow, love and loss. I have tried to be the best person I could be.
I have grown. I have grown older, and I would like to think wiser. I am better able to recognize when to hang on, and when to let go. I have worked at forgiving people for their shortcomings; for disappointing me and letting me down when perhaps they too were trying to be the best person they could be. I have worked at not taking it personally when those people’s shortcomings cause them to unleash their anger and venom on me. I have worked to accept that it generally has nothing to do with me. I have worked to accept, in general.
I am still growing. I am working to learn and succeed in my new job, and the new life that I find myself in. We don’t always get to choose the life that finds us, but if you let it wash over you, you might just find, as I have, that it suits you.
Hold on, enjoy the ride, and make the most of it. I can’t wait to see what the next nine years brings me.