Another year, another decade

With less than 12 hours until 2020, I am just now starting to reflect on the past year and the past decade. Wow! What a ride. Where do I even start?

I’ll start with 2019 since it is fresh in my memory and brought all sorts of notable events. To get us going, here’s a list of some of my highlights:

  1. I traveled to Morocco!
  2. I completed and passed my comprehensive exams, elevating my graduate student status to “PhD Candidate”.
  3. I got the guts to race a full season of enduro in the Eastern States Cup in the pro women category.
  4. I won a race! And podiumed several other times.
  5. I placed second in the ESC series!
  6. I presented my research at the annual Ecological Society of America conference.
  7. I made new friends and got to visit old friends.
  8. I put myself out there and submitted a massive grant proposal.
  9. I put myself out there and submitted sponsorship proposals.
  10. I learned so many new things about myself and what I am capable of in many aspects of my life, whether professional, personal, or bike related.

The past decade was filled with just as many adventures and achievements. Rather than getting into the play-by-play, I’ll just leave you with my top five:

  1. I rode my bike across the friggin United States of America.
  2. I earned an undergraduate and masters degree.
  3. I enrolled in a PhD program, of which I’m getting close to finishing.
  4. I became a pretty good mountain biker.
  5. I found my cat/bff on the stoop of one of my old apartments.

Of course the years are not always filled with positive experiences. There have been disappointments, failures, and personal tragedies. I won’t get into the details of these deeply personal life events, but I will discuss how these events impacted me. I think that these difficult experiences are so important for creating context for other parts of my life. Learning from my mistakes and how to cope with tragedy are growing pains that are essential for my development as a human being. Even though life was very challenging through those times, I am grateful that I got to experience every moment because it has helped shape me as the person that I am today.

Moving forward, I have a lot of goals and ambitions, and I know that in the long run I will achieve all of these things. I also know that there will be hurdles and setbacks that will be challenging to overcome. This doesn’t worry me, though. I like to invite challenges into my life because I like having as many opportunities as possible to grow.

Here’s to a New Year and many more to follow!