A Decade of Gratitude // Hello Roaring 20’s

Ah, New Year’s Eve…

This is one of my favorite times to reflect and recharge (groundbreaking, I know) but it’s true. I’m lucky enough to get a lot of time off from work particularly during this lull so I can actually disconnect from all the things. And when I’m trying to look back 10 years with gratitude I need all the time I can get!

“2009 Jessica” joined the military, finished boot camp, and made a whole lotta memories in those years of work with the USAFR. I mean c’mon y’all, experiencing helicopters and working missions in Hawaii alone were the least interesting of my experiences so that’s saying a ton.

Then I graduated from college (finally)—the first in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree! Not bad for a first-generation Filipina-American. 

I got some big girl jobs. I worked a 9 to 5, got my first writing gigs with The Everygirl, and then I discovered what my dream career was and decided to layer that into the mix with night classes at community college—because why not work 12+ hour days for 4 years straight?

I’ve made a lot more room for grace this time around.

This is all before my Instagram Husband put a real-life ring on it and I got to celebrate how much I love him with all our family and friends. Also, there was Europe to encore-celebrate that love (but you know how much I loved that already).

In looking back, I’m so excited about the story I get to tell. I get really moody and don’t remember to express gratitude for all the amazing memories I’ve been able to create in the last 10 years.

NYE and my birthday usually make me pretty blue because I list out everything I didn’t get to do/accomplish but this year I’ve grown enough to accept where I’m at so far. But I’ve lived a lot of lives and while only about half of what I planned ever actually worked out (“LOL” –the universe), I’m in a good place.

Aperol Spritzes in Manarola

There are still some things on the horizon and, yes, I (of course) still have goals (i.e. plans—try and stop me universe!!!) but I’ve made a lot more room for grace and gratitude this time around.

I think 21-year-old me (who was actually in boot camp 10 years ago on this day, waking up at 4:45 am, wearing the same “outfit” for 54 days straight, and learning that I’m much stronger than I let my consciousness acknowledge) would be proud as hell of the woman I’ve become.

Cheers to the next 10, babes. It’s gonna be a good story to tell by the end, I just know it!