New Decade, Same Me (Kinda)

New Decade, Same Me (Kinda)

I know it’s been 2020 for a week now, but the new decade didn’t really start for me until this past Monday. It was the first workday of an uninterrupted week when I didn’t have guests or elaborate drinking plans in store. Don’t get me wrong—I love having guests and have been known to get down with an elaborate drinking plan, but my liver, sleep and overall well being needed a break.

So, I started my new decade a little later than some, but spent the weekend prior thinking about what the past ten years meant to me and what my goals are for the next ten.

Watching everyone put their “ten year challenge” pictures on Facebook, I scrolled back through my old photos to see if I could find something from 2010 that I wanted to share. Physically, I don’t think I look all that different. Sure, I have developed deep forehead wrinkles now (where did those come from???) but I also finally learned how to do my hair and makeup after 30+ years of missteps. So it’s kind of a wash really.

Looking for photos brought up the biggest change in the past ten years. My photos from 2010 are centered around my wedding and honeymoon. And now, well I don’t have to tell you the current status. On bad days, this narrative arc kind of undoes me. But on most days, I’m just thankful it happened at all.

Which brings me to the new decade. Where am I now?

I’m working two jobs trying to build a long term corporate career with stability for myself as well as pursue my passions on the side. I have a finished book (kind of) that I need to finish another draft of and start the long, crushing process of looking for an agent after the first long, crushing process of looking for an agent proved unsuccessful. I’m a little house poor, but at least in a house that I love that is easily filled with friends and the world’s best mutt dog. I’ve got an attractive young horse who some days I want to strangle, but mostly I find quite endearing.

The past ten years was filled with intense levels of emotion, high and low. The best days of my life: getting engaged, getting married, showing Simon, traveling the world. The worse days of my life: so many goodbyes, so many incredibly dark days.

The previous decade built the roadmap for the adult I want to be. Someone who tries to be compassionate, creative, adventurous and bold with her convictions. I don’t always succeed. This next decade? It’s less about building my foundation, and more about trying to thrive with it.

I looked up my 2019 resolutions, which were:

  1. Be more supportive of women artists, writers and entrepreneurs
  2. Wear leggings as often (and fashionably) as possible
  3. Sign an agent for my book
  4. Stop giving mental energy to toxic people
  5. Get back to Austin this summer

The results were mixed. I’m not sure if I was more supportive to women in art and business. I certainly thought about them more, but never set KPI’s (forgive me, I’ve fallen into the corporate brain space again…) to track for that goal. I wear leggings every day I don’t have to leave my house (and sometimes out of the house), so that was a big win. We’ll skip the fact that I’m wearing leggings so much because I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost in 2018. I did not sign an agent for my book, though I did try and faced the inevitable rejection and defeated feelings that comes with the attempt. Of course, I’m back in Austin right now, and I can’t think of a single truly toxic person that I share any part of my life with anymore. Well, there are a few I still hate-follow on social media. I guess there’s always room for improvement this year…

So, let’s round this up with resolutions. For the next decade? I want to thrive versus survive. I want to take better care of myself, and spend less time waking up in the middle of the night panicking about all of my failures as a human.

Of course, back to business brain, these aren’t really things you can measure. For that, I turn to 2020 resolutions:

  1. Get back to a body size I feel more comfortable in without checking the scale every day (or really, ever)
  2. Continue to try with my book and literary publishing, and not give in to defeatism
  3. Appreciate where Poet and I are at the moment versus where I want to be
  4. Spend a few minutes every day enjoying Pascale’s company without being distracted by my phone or the TV
  5. Tell myself something positive I did every day before I go to bed, even if the only positive thing to share is that I took a day of rest to recharge

20Teens Lauren would find these resolutions very soft—the kind of resolutions a pansy quitter would make. But I think 2020 Lauren embraces softness. After all, the more brittle something is, the easier it is to shatter. In the previous decade, I shattered a lot. Sometimes because of circumstances beyond my control, but just as often due to reasons of my own creation.

I don’t know “thriving” looks like for my next ten years. I don’t know how many more things will change when I sit down and write this post again in 2030 as a 45 year-old (hopefully published and wildly successful) author. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a 16-year-old “Texas Black Dog” with me and a much less dappled Thoroughbred who (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) should be getting me around a 2’6″ course by then. Maybe I won’t even be single.

But I might not have them at that point. I could be single after a divorce or death (black widow vibes?) or maybe from a total lack of relationship in all that time. There’s no way to know what can happen. It often ends up so different than you think.

The last decade has taught me how deep I can feel on either end of the spectrum, which is oddly comforting. Because I know how bad it can get I also know that no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.

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