December 31, 2019

The End of a Decade

A few weeks back, I sat on my work break at four am and blissfully went through my end of the year Spotify playlist. As I sat there smiling, walking down memory lane of the past year, it suddenly dawned on me - on December 31st we are not just saying goodbye to the year but to an entire decade. 


I know this isn't truly news to any of us, but that realization hit me hard. In that moment, I realized I am saying goodbye to a decade that was truly monumental in the development of who I am today. It brought me to tears as I thought about everything that has happened in my life in the past ten years. 

Ten years ago I was a reserved, quiet sixteen year old high schooler on the verge of blossoming into the confident woman I am today, however at the time unsure of what the future looked like & quite honestly unsure of what I even wanted out of this life or how I would get to where I am now! If I could go back in time and tell that sixteen year old me a few words of wisdom, I would say this,

"The next ten years are going to be more beautiful than you could ever imagine, full of so many milestones, adventures, and new beginnings. You are going to find your voice and blossom into a beautiful, independent, strong woman, with such a zest for life & all the things that make you feel alive. You will meet strangers who will become people you couldn't live without. People will come and go in the next ten years, but the time that they share with you will be precious - enjoy it. You will fall in and out of love, you will love even when your heart is broken, and you will leave love not meant for you. It is worth it every damn time, regardless of the outcome. Always choose love. 

You will fall in love with places too! Both near and far, on U.S. soil and beyond. You will be amazed at how your heart feels at home in places you have never been before. Keep following that feeling, it will make for an extraordinary life. You will leave a piece of your heart in all the places you visit around the world, but in return, those places will give you back more than you could ever imagine. 

You will dance, and you will laugh, and you will cry. You will run many miles (you become a runner, who knew!), you will hike to breathtaking places that are too beautiful to be real, and you will put one foot in front of the other even when it hurts, you don't feel like it, and it's hard. Each step is bringing you closer to where you are supposed to be, keep going! 

Every year is a good year, but some will be better than others. There will be years that will test you. Let them. Learn from them - they will shape you into the person you are meant to be. You will discover your bravery, your own resilience, and most importantly your independence. Those qualities make you so strong, don't ever forget your own power. 

You will chase your dreams. Even the dreams you haven't realized yet. And even the dreams not meant for you. You will go to college and then leave, and then go back. You'll finally decide on a career path - although in all honesty, your future self is still trying to figure it out. But regardless it is a hell of a first job, and one you will be very, very proud of. It will take you everywhere and anywhere you want to go, and you will land in the most extraordinary city in the world. Who knew little Gretchen Donovan would end up in the city of all cities! It will bring you so much happiness.

All those times you said you weren't creative, well you were dead wrong. So you can't sing, play an instrument, or draw, but guess what? You have an eye for photography, fashion, and all things aesthetically pleasing. You're also not half bad at writing. You even start a blog! Chase that creativity. Foster it. Let it serve as an outlet for you, as a source of happiness, and as an expression of your truest self. I have a feeling in my gut, that this creativity of yours will open doors you never dreamed possible.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something important and fabulous that the next ten years have in store for you, but the truth is there are too many amazing things to come in the next decade. You will see. These are truly going to be some of the very best years. When you don't think it cannot possibly get any better, it will. This is only the beginning for you. 

Love, Your Future Self"

xo. G

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