Colorful steps and gold Hindu statue in Malaysia

The End of a Decade

Naturally at the end of the year, it’s common to see social media posts question what you’ve accomplished in the year. At the end of the decade, these posts ask what you’ve accomplished in the last ten. While I dislike the arrogant tone of these posts, it was worth it to reflect on all that I’ve accomplished since the decade began.

When 2010 began, I was entering the second half of my freshman year of high school. Since then, I’ve graduated high school, completed two undergraduate degrees, and started graduate school.

I had my own apartment, left that all behind, and moved to another country.

In the past ten years, I’ve traveled to thirteen countries.

But a whole decade it too much to write about here, so instead I’ll just talk about this past year.

This past year has been full of ups and downs. I’ve visited five new countries, said goodbye to old friends, and made new ones. I’ve started thinking about what comes next, and started taking the steps to get me there. I even started my master’s degree while working full-time, achieving a 4.0 in both the spring and fall semester.

While I didn’t make it an entire year without shopping because Korean summers are much hotter than I anticipated, I only shopped when I needed to. This allowed me to save money and pay off some debt. I minimized my possessions and found joy in the things I already have. I’m down to one final credit card that has an outstanding balance, and with determination, that’ll be paid off in early 2020.

Sure, not everything went according to plan. Some things went wrong this year. Things always do. But I started this year hopeful that it would be a good one, and despite the low points, I’d say it finished on a high note.

So here’s to the last decade. It was full of twists and turns. I fell in love and lost it. But in the end, I found something even better: a love for myself and my life. I found a life that looks like mine, even if I took some detours along the way.

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