When I think about the last year, so much has happened. When I go further back and think about the last decade, my entire life has changed from beginning to end. Not once did I ever think I’d end up where I am today, both physically or emotionally. It’s interesting where life takes us and how much of it ends up being completely unexpected. Some things I’ve noted were far better than I imagined. Other stuff occurred that made up the worst experiences I’ve ever had.
I wanted to summarize what I think are some of the most significant life events for me in the last ten years along with the lessons I’ve learned. I do this as a way to reflect and also appreciate what I’ve done and been through. Sometimes you have to look back in order to continue moving forward. You have to recognize what you’ve done and evaluate what more you can do for yourself and your life in the future.
2010-2020: Decade in Review
I graduated with an MD/MBA
My dual degree is something I’m very proud of. At the time, the decision was something that I felt was off the beaten path. I pursued it despite the pushback I got from my peers, and I persisted despite the difficulties in my way.
I’m so glad I did.
This one decision led to so many others that have brought me where I am today professionally. Looking back, I think one of the reasons I was able to follow through with this goal is that I wanted to set myself apart by doing something different, and I followed my instincts. I didn’t know anyone else with a dual degree, so I had no guidance on what to do. Each step I took, was my own, based on my own research and fueled by instinct and what felt to be the appropriate thing. I will forever be grateful that I took a chance and didn’t let anything stop me.
I graduated residency and fellowship and passed my boards
Residency was such a crazy time. I’ve never worked so hard, studied so hard, been so sleep deprived or enjoyed myself more. I lived in NYC at the time and the combined experience is something that can never be replicated.
As far as my boards, I had to take both written and oral tests. The written was something I’d had practice in, but the oral portion was terrifying. However, studying for that test, and finally getting through it and passing it, made me feel so accomplished, not to mention RELIEVED.
I made some of the best friends anyone could ask for, and met some of the worst that I had to break up with
The people I’ve scooped up into my life along the way in the last decade are some of my best friends. Some of these are people I know I can count on, don’t need to talk to everyday, but will be there for me in a pinch. In other words, the kind that matter. Not everyone is so lucky to have reliable people in their lives, so I’m stoked that I managed to find some greats.
On the flip side, I also made friends in the last few years that didn’t last. As I got to know them, and possibly also as I evolved, I grew apart from them. While changing priorities and adjusting to life changes are normal, and don’t necessarily mean you lose friends, sometimes you realize that the people in your life just aren’t worth the energy. I think that’s what happened to me. None of these people were bad, they just weren’t on the same page as I was.
Somewhere along the way I also decided not to spend time with people unless they add to my life, and I felt that I add to theirs. I only wanted to spend my time and energy where I and my friends have a mutually respectful and giving relationship.
I’ve had my heart broken (more than once)
If you’ve read any of my dating chronicles you’ll know that my encounters generally lean toward the negative. I always try to spin each experience in a positive way, as a way of helping myself as well, so that I focus on the lessons to be learned. Ultimately, that’s what matters right? That you take each relationship as a way to learn about you and what you want.
However, to be honest, those negative experiences do take their toll and can shift your expectations and assumptions when you meet people. It’s hard to keep going and maintain a positive attitude AND trust what you see/hear when people continue to prove to be unreliable.
The only thing I can say about a broken heart, is that you have to let it heal. After every negative experience, I’ve learned to take time for myself so that I “reset” so to speak. The idea here is to resolve the issues in my mind and hopefully move forward fresh. It’s not always easy or doable, but I found it to be more effective that just jumping from one relationship to the next without time to myself.
I checked multiple things off my bucket list
I have an actual list that I keep on my phone of things that I plan to do in life. This list constantly changes as I keep adding and checking things off. Some bucket list items I’ve accomplished? Traveling solo, riding a camel, becoming scuba certified.
I paid off my student loans and became completely debt free
Can I get a HELL YEA. I took the advice “live like a resident” to heart and managed to pay off debt within a year of completely my training. It was interesting to me how my perception of money changed during this period. I had imagined that once I was free, I’d start spending more on myself and luxuries. Yet, the opposite happened. I lost the desire completely to spend lavishly. Instead, I became more interested in investing and growing my funds.
While I have made a big purchase recently (see below), my philosophy is the same. The goal is to be as frugal as possible with my spending, save the maximum I can and then invest and grow so that I reap long term benefits.
I took a solo trip abroad
This was a bucket list item for me and I finally did it for my 31st birthday. I took a solo trip to Scotland and Ireland. It’s liberating to know that you can not just fly solo, but also spend time with yourself, your thoughts, do exactly what you want and push yourself out of your comfort zone. All of these things have contributed to my growth over the years, and even more so when I was by myself in a different country.
I bought a home
I adulted really hard this summer and took the leap on buying a home. All the reasons for that can be found in my post here.
While at this time this was the best decision for me, it does come with it’s set of stressors and headaches. In other words, I’m my own landlord and have to figure all this house stuff out myself. While stressful, it’s also made me even more independent than I thought possible. Seriously, you haven’t really grown up until you’re trying to sleep and hear weird house noises and your last thought before you pass out is “eh, I hope I’m alive tomorrow!”
I started this blog
Blogging was never something I thought I’d do. I’ve always been interested in writing, but never imagined that it would take form like this. I haven’t been able to devote as much time to it as I probably should have in order to grow it the way I want, but the writing itself has been so rewarding.
Plus, putting your words out there for someone in the world to see, is really scary and nerve-wracking. The first few posts I published were really hard for me. Soon though I reached a point where I was like “this is me” and you just have to go with it. At the end of the day I know that if I accept myself and am proud of what I put out there, then nothing else matters.
The last decade was a busy one, but there’s so much left to do! My 2020 resolutions are just the beginning:
Continue traveling and checking things off the bucket list
This is a resolution I usually do automatically and ends up on the list each year. However I find that making sure I write it down helps to remind me that it’s a priority and not to forget it. My current philosophy is that no matter how crazy life gets, you HAVE to make time for things that truly matter to you and experiences that can change you. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t spend on a huge trip, so then I focus on what I can do locally, small things that still help me feel like I’m putting myself out there and trying something new.
What’s on my list? Check it out, what I’ve done and what I have left to do:
- Hang with Elephants ✅
- Tigers ✅
- Scuba ✅
- Ride camels ✅ in chokhi dhani New Delhi
- Sky diving ..?
- Macchu picchu ✅
- Iceland and northern lights
- Attend the World Cup
- Go to an Olympic Games
- Super Bowl in person
- African Safari
- Ibiza ✅
- Stay in the Igloo in Finland, see northern lights
- Try puffer fish (eek)
- Take a trip abroad by myself ✅
- Tulum Mexico ✅
- Stone henge
- Shark cage diving
- Swim with dolphins
- Fly first class internationally
- Great Wall of China
- Rio carnivale–in feb.
- Egyptian pyramids
- Oktoberfest(plan 2018) ✅
- Tomatillo festival Spain
- Fastest zip line in the world in U.K.
- Dubai-burj. Underwater restaurajnt/hotel
- solar eclipse ✅
- Cuba ✅
- cruise ✅
- Victoria falls in Zambia. Swim to edge
- Banff-lake Louise
- Train up west coast ✅
- Grand Canyon ✅
- Antelope canyon
- Hawaiian luau ✅
- Singapore garden by the bay ✅
- Malaysia Petronas towers ✅
- Whale watching in Maui -feb is best time
- Portugal and Morocco
- Glamping In Joshua tree
- Lake Tahoe
- Palace on wheels in India
- Write a book
- Buy rental property
- Take an art class (pottery)
Whatever your list has, make sure you check it every so often so that you are reminded of what you want to do. I find it helps me to plan my next trip or day off when I double check and see all that I need to complete! Here’s to an adventurous 2020.
Purchase an investment property
I have always been interested in investing in real estate and as someone recently told me, you just have to start. You have to find one, do your due diligence and take the leap. I’m young enough now I can work to recoup any losses, should they occur. At the end of the day, I want to know that I have at least tried.
Work on self care
This is a hot topic nowadays and generally I think I do a good job of making sure that I take time for myself. However, I’ve also noticed that I can get super distracted and carried away with dealing with everything and everyone else around me. It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner, so I’m resolving in 2020 to try and make sure I don’t do that as often. Because, when I do, I notice it physically, emotionally and mentally.
This one makes me laugh, because I know when I hit the gym after the new year it will be packed with people who have the same resolution and then, come February, half of those people will have disappeared. Here’s to hoping that I can stick with it for longer and truly incorporate regular exercise into my routine.
I think I did a fair job of incorporating reading into my daily routine this year, and I hope to continue to do so in 2020. Some books I hope to read:
- The Power of Now
- Outbreak Culture
- An American Marriage
- …working on the rest of it!
What are your milestones from the last decade? Anything you hope to achieve next? Share below!
Featured photo courtesy of unsplash