So many people have been sharing their 10 year challenge pictures and reflections on the last decade. I didn’t really want to jump on the band wagon, I reflect all year round so don’t feel the need for the new year new me shizzle. Those that follow my blog know that I’m constantly re-evaluating my situation, personal thoughts and experiences and pushing forward to improve things. Therefore I don’t really need a New Year’s resolution or reflection on 2009/10 up to 2019/20.

Yet I’m now sat here watching toddler P, line up her play mobile on the naughty step, putting some of the figures to sleep and bossing then all around, as I reflect on last decade.

Well a lot has changed, I entered it with a relatively new partner, only 18months into our relationship, now leaving the decade 18months out of the marriage. A lot has happened, I was younger, more carefree at the start of my career and adulthood and now I’m established in my career pushing on further, bringing up a tiny human that’s a crazy bundle of energy and bolshiness. But that’s not what I really think we or I should reflect on over the decade. What I should reflect on is what I’ve learnt. What I’ve become and how it’s shaped me to be who I am now and how these lessons can help me continue to be a good mum, person, teacher and leader.

Well when I think back to New Year 2009/10 I remember it well. I remember the celebration, I remember how the evening turned sour and I remember the red flags I should’ve taken notice of way back then. I remember how I kept many of the events that evening under wraps, fearful that the truth coming out would damage things further. When in actual fact, I should spoken up, walked away and started my new life earlier. Do I regret it? No. Continue to experience what I did for the remaining 8 years or so meant that I gained toddler P and the strength, determination, confidence and independence I have now. What ground me down and crushed me also built me up. It helped me learn to be who I am now and to not let myself be in that situation again.

It also taught me to not have regrets, it’s taught me that for all I allowed myself to go through what I did, I also did what I thought was best at the time. I did what I thought would make me happy and I believed things that taught me to be more cautious and trust my instinct more. I learnt from the mistakes I made, I learnt my worth and have now broken the cycle and made my life possibly better that it would’ve been should I not have gone through all I went through.

So my ten year challenge isn’t about what bad haircut, eyebrows and fashion sense I had back then compared to now. It’s not about the lbs I’ve gained, lost and gained again. It’s not about the life events such as home buying, qualifications, marriages, births, deaths and divorces. Yes, I’ve owned two homes, qualified as a teacher and gained a masters. Yes I’ve done lots of things and travelled to many places, but life isn’t a checklist of things to complete. It’s about the person you become, the kindness in your heart. It’s about me becoming a mum, a survivor and happy again. Genuinely happy again.

My ten year challenge is about learning to love myself, be happy in my own skin and being in charge of my own happiness and destiny. My ten year challenge is about taking back control of my life and embarking on more adventures with me and toddler P.

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