Today is the last day of 2019 and, therefore, the last day of the 2010s. What can we say about the decade that was?
I’ll be honest… 2010 doesn’t feel like it was 10 years ago. Though, I suppose the older I get, the faster time seems to go by. I’ll be 40 years old in a couple months, but I still feel like I’m in my 20s. Time’s a funny thing.
In the last decade, I’ve lived in two states and five different cities. I’ve changed careers more times than I care to admit, even gone back and forth a couple of times. I’m sure I saw too many movies and visited too few friends.
My plan for this post was to go year by year and give some personal highlights from each year. But as I did that, I realized my highlights were kind of boring. So instead I’m just gonna take a look back and compare where I was with where I am and maybe I’ll point out some of the things that happened along the way. Sound good?
Tough… it’s my blog and this is how I’m doing it.
I started out the decade in a pretty low place. I mean, there were good things, sure. I enjoyed living in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where I was at the time. I had an incredible apartment. I had a second family that I still love to this day. But if I’m being honest, I was kind of miserable.
At the time, I was still working as a bank teller. It’s a job I despised. I really liked most of the people I worked with and had a great boss. But it takes a special kind of patience to run the drive through window at the bank. It’s a patience I don’t think I have. Or, if I do, it’s a patience that quickly runs out.
I will say that the misery associated with my occupation led to some pretty entertaining blog posts. Back then I definitely used my blog as an outlet for the frustration that I obviously could not turn loose on my customers. I still think I could potentially turn my Legends of the Bank Teller into a book someday.
Memo to self: In 2020, compile bank teller stories into book form.
Eventually I took a different job with the same bank which shall remain nameless. However, that job brought me back home to Roanoke, Virginia, which I’m sure made my mother happy. I thought the change of pace and the increase in salary would make banking a little more tolerable.
I left the world of banking forever for what I believed, at the time, would be my dream job.
But it worked out because that led me back to the mental health services field. Which led me to a move to the New River Valley. Which led me to Northstar Church, which is still my church home to this day.
Midway through the decade, I was convinced to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress. But that’s a story I recently told in some detail, which you can find here.
As the years passed, I found myself getting burned out with my position in mental health support. It happens to people a lot. Mental health services is a demanding field in which to work, and it can easily lead to burnout. I’m sure there’s a statistic out there. But I’m not interested in looking it up. It would probably just depress me, seeing as how I’m still working in that field.
Though I did take a break for a couple of years. Again, it was for something that was basically my dream job. But this time it was as a part of the staff of my church. And it really was my dream job. I loved what I did. I loved the people I worked with. That position ended over a year ago and I still miss the people more than I can say.
Sure, I still see them at church, because I still go to the same church. But it’s just not the same when I’m not seeing them every day.
As much as I loved working for my church and with that particular staff, since returning to mental health services, I’ve discovered that it’s something I’m genuinely good at. Which has led me back to living in my hometown… again.
But burnout is still a thing. I’m not there yet, but I know it could easily happen if I were to allow it. And, I’ll admit, burnout has been close. Mostly because there has been a lot of unexpected stress and a lot of unexpected change. It all led to me taking yet another new job, still in the mental health field, but doing something I’ve never done before.
So am I wrapping up the decade better off than I was at the start of the 2010s? I don’t know…
I do have an awesome apartment again, but I’d be lying if I didn’t occasionally wonder if I’ll be able to hold onto it. And as much as I enjoy living here, I don’t know that I can genuinely say that I’m happy.
Happiness is a fleeting emotion and it relies heavily on circumstances. Right now, in a lot of ways, my circumstances are fantastic. But I find myself worrying and stressing out where my career is still concerned, and worry is still not a feeling I’m accustomed to.
I may not be happy at the moment, but I’m certainly not miserable either. I’m just stressed… and I think I could use a real vacation for the first time in a long time. Maybe I’ll get one at some point in the next decade.