This picture was taken in February of 2010, nine months after I graduated from college. This was the first real job that I ever had and also back at the time when I believed that things like straightening your hair everyday and having a perfectly organized work area were necessary–five and a half years later I will tell you that these things are not important or even high on my priority list. I am not a slob and my hair usually looks presentable, but I have relaxed A LOT and prioritized the things that are truly important.
I have written a lot about how I took a job that I kind of fell into rather than going after what I wanted when I first graduated. That is exactly what happened, and no I do not regret it because my life has turned out fine thus far. In 2010 I was young and naive and I genuinely believed that this was all that I could do. My confidence was low and I didn’t believe I could chase my dreams.
The reason I wanted to write this post is NOT so I can preach about how we will all end up where we are meant to be eventually, even though I believe that is true, it is because I think it is important to look back and see how far we have come in life. It is important to look at the progress we have made even if it doesn’t seem like much progress at all there is always progress and visible growth.
When this photo was taken I was 22 years old. I was a recent college graduate with a BA in psychology and a minor in anthropology. Phil and I were engaged and I was living at home with my parents. I was working for the same company I had been working for since I was 18. I was in graduate school studying human resource development with a concentration in business. I was running but not well or even consistently. I was planning my wedding that would happen in June of that same year. My childhood cats were still alive. I shopped entirely too much and I had a really good group of friends from college. I was not coaching. I did not have a blog, although I wish I did. Sparkly soul headbands did not exist. I had never been to the west coast or ever driven out of New Jersey by myself.
Today I am 28 years old. I am working on my second masters degree, this time in sport psychology. Phil and I are married and live in our own house together. I am still working for the same company, now approaching ten years but I have been promoted two times since this picture was taken. I am running more consistently than I was after I graduated and I have accomplished many things I never dreamed I could do with running. We adopted Junior and Ninja. I barely speak to the friends I had back then but I am at peace with it because everyone grows and changes. I have traveled a lot and I leave New Jersey alone often. I am coaching and I have huge goals with that, goals I didn’t even know about back then. I am working on a research project that I didn’t even know I would be passionate about back then. I am a much more positive and optimistic person.
The things that have not changed are limited to the car I drive and the sweater I am wearing in the picture because I love my car and that sweater.
Every now and then I think it is important to look how far we have come and be proud of that. I believe that everyone should practice self-reflection and take pride in who you are and how far you have come.