The 2020s are approaching, and with this brand new decade comes a whole lot of reflection. As I prepare for the new year, I also love looking back on everything I have experienced and learned to help me move forward in life on the best foot. Keep reading to learn more about my decade in review.
There’s something about entering into a new decade that makes me feel weird. Like, first off, whoa. 2010 was ten years ago. I remember my little life back then. Fresh out of college (or, freshly returned home after withdrawing from my lousy program), and freshly broken-hearted, too, after experiencing my first ‘big breakup’ with my high school sweetheart.
Today I want to share a decade in review. Reflecting on our lives at the end of the year gives us a chance to digest and acknowledge how far we’ve come and to assess our long-term successes instead of any short-term failures. In this case, it’s also pretty darn cool to reflect on what we experienced over the course of a DECADE.
This ‘decade in review’ idea is thanks to Marie Forleo in her recent video on YouTube. I’m not following her outline exactly but I will be sharing what I’m proud of, what I’ve learned over the years, and what I hope is next for my future.
So, here goes.
What I’m Most Proud Of
I think it’s safe to say I did a lot of things throughout the 2010s, as we all did. I experienced a buttload of hardship (of which I’m insanely proud of overcoming), but a lot of accomplishments, too.
Becoming a nutritionist — In the early 2010s I had my very first big experience with following my gut and decided to pursue studies in holistic nutrition. I became a Certified Holistic Nutritionist in 2012 and got the ball rolling with building my blog and online presence that has since evolved into the business I run today.
Mental health — In 2013 I overcame crippling depression and anxiety after a concussion I had in 2011. It’s a story for another time but it felt like a miracle that I came out on the other side happy and healthy again.
Ending an engagement — In 2016 I had the guilt-riddled yet fiery courage to break off an engagement and get out of a relationship that was not right for me. This experience is probably one of the most notable ones for me in the 2010s just by nature of what it taught me and how it changed the entire trajectory of my life
Meeting Sean — In 2017 I met my love, Sean. Maybe a little cheesy, but after what I’d been through, meeting him was a real-life dream come true. I would not be with him today had I not gone through the wrong relationships in the past and learned what I want and don’t want in a partner.
Debt-free — In 2018 I paid off all my debt. This included student loans, lines of credit and car loans. Woohoo!
Moved to Toronto — In the summer of 2018 I moved in with Sean downtown Toronto. Living downtown was a goal of mine to experience for at least some period of time in my life. Not sure if we’ll settle down in the city, but this is where we are now and we love it.
Became self-employed — At the same time I moved downtown, I quit my job and took on my business full time. This was a huge deal and such a big dream of mine that I am now living.
Reached 100K — At the end of 2018 I hit a YouTube milestone of surpassing 100,000 subscribers! This was a really exciting day (which landed on Christmas Day, actually) and we’ve almost doubled that over the span of one year. I am so grateful for my amazing online community. If you’re reading this, you’re part of it and I love you.
Launched a program — In the summer of 2019 I launched my very first online program, The Digestive Wellness Program. This was a LOT of work, but a huge achievement.
Gut health — This year I made enormous strides in overcoming major gut health struggles after having an infection, C. difficile, in 2012.
Embraced my curls — I wore my hair naturally curly for most of 2019. I learned a lot about self-love as a result of this (after hating my curls for most of my life) and while I’ve began straightening it a little more again, I’ve also learned how to style and enjoy my curls, too.
My Learnings: What Was Most Important & Why
Okay, so those are some of the highlights of things that I experienced and what I’m proud of, but here’s a narrowed-down version of what was most important to me and why. There are three lessons that stick out for me most…
Listening to my gut / doing what’s right for you — Listening to my gut has been a very important part of my life for many years now and is one of the principles I live by. It’s a feeling I tune into when I need to make important decisions, big or small, but because of my own experiences with doing so (and having it be correct) I’m better able to identify that instinct and rely on it.
There are countless examples of when I’ve listened incredibly hard to my gut, but my most notable example is my experience with ending my engagement. I pushed through an extreme amount of resistance, fear, and guilt, but I stuck to what I knew was right. This was a turning point in giving me continued strength in knowing how to listen to that gut feeling, especially for future situations.
When I met Sean, it was crystal clear that I was on the right path. He isn’t just some nice guy I met who I decided to date, he is literally all of the things that I hoped I’d find in a partner and you bet he’s worth mentioning in this ‘decade in review’!
Hard work / not giving up — Taking my business full-time was a huge aspiration of mine for so long. I worked multiple jobs (4 at one point) to stay afloat while simultaneously building my business. Getting to where I am today professionally has taught me about hard work, persistence, consistency, and that dreams absolutely do come true if you focus on them and never, ever give up. Cheesy? Yes. True? 100%. If you want something — anything — be persistent. Good things come from hard work, patience, and effort, but also from the ability to continue moving forward despite adversity and the challenges that inevitably present themselves along the way.
Feel the fear and do it anyway — I still struggle with plenty of fear in my life today. Fear of putting myself out there in person and online (might sound strange coming from a YouTuber but it’s true), fear of messing up, fear of rejection, failure, making a fool of myself, backlash, criticism. You name it, this list could go on. But in 2019 especially, I harnessed some weird power inside of me to feel my fears and do things anyway. I knew deep down that the only thing holding me back was myself, and guess what? I was right. Things are rarely as bad as we imagine them to be, and life is much merrier when we do the thing(s) we’re scared of and relish in the confidence we gain as a result.
What’s Next For Me
Thinking about my life over the next 10 years makes me feel like I’m having a little bit of an existential crisis. I can’t explain it. But I’m excited for what the future holds. The 2020s for me are (probably) going to be full of a lot of the bigger life things we all generally anticipate experiencing someday: marriage, children, home ownership, you know. The big stuff. I’ll be 29 in January and when I imagine my life up until 39, I presume I’ll have done said big things.
The 2020s will be a new chapter, and in terms of the foreseeable future, there are definitely some exciting things!
We’re moving — Sean and I are moving in February 2020. We’ll still be downtown Toronto not far from our current place, but we’ll have a little more space and we’ll be right across the street from a huge park. I moved into Sean’s tiny bachelor apartment a little over 1.5 years ago, and while it’s been a great spot for us, I’m really ready for a space that feels a little more me: lots of bright windows, an actual bedroom, a balcony (yay!) and proximity to green space.
Business goals — Of course I have a number of professional goals. I’m looking forward to my long list of content I’ll be creating in 2020 to continue to serve my community in inspiring and helpful ways (videos I’ll get to film in our new space and digital products I’m excited to create). And while it seems like everyone and their mother has written a book at this point, it’s always been a goal of mine and I hope that can come to fruition in the 2020s. One step at a time, right? I have plenty of business goals but I’ll keep this list short and sweet for now.
If I’m being honest, that’s pretty much it for ‘what’s next for me’. At this moment in my life right now I feel pretty content with where I’m at. I’ve achieved a lot of my biggest goals over the past year and after experiencing burnout this summer, I feel a little bit like I’m on cruise control. I still have many goals, but right now I want to fine-tune, maintain, and improve what I’ve already created for myself. And aside from that, I also feel mentally preoccupied with the other personal ‘big life things’ that are approaching, starting with our move in February.
All this being said, I want to thank YOU who is reading this… for reading this. I wish you a most delightful new year and I can’t wait to see how the next decade unfolds. To good things! See you in 2020 🙂