It’s the last day of 2019. Tomorrow will mark not just the start of a new year but also the end of a decade.
As I was thinking about what my One Word for 2020 will be, I found myself reflecting on my life not just this past year but for the past 10 years. I thought it would be nice to go down memory lane and list down the highlights I’ve had each year.
This was the year that Jon and I decided that we wanted to create a family, and so we decided to move in together with my daughthers.
I had been working part time during the last half of 2018. In the beginning of 2019, the job became a full time one. I was able to do a lot of local travel for work this year. This included my first trip to Davao and Bacolod.
This was also the year I made a major decision to let go of my legal responsibilities to my dad.
I became pregnant with Ziggy. It was a delicate pregnancy, with me having to go on bed rest twice. This prompted me to leave my job.
This was the year I started this blog, which I first named Roller Coaster Ride.
I gave birth to Ziggy in February. I attempted to go back to a full time job in November but was forced to leave it come January of the next year. It was a challenging year financially. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being a fully hands-on mom to my son, something I never got to do when my daughters were babies because I had to go back to work just a month after they were born.
I was a stay-at-home mom for the first half of the year. Thankfully, I was able to get hired for a writing gig and that kickstarted my career as a freelance writer. A few months after, I was also offered a gig as a virtual assistant working mainly on article writing and social media management.
2013 was the year that my blog really started doing well. I started being offered more campaigns and the income, although not huge, became more consistent.
This was also the year I accepted another virtual assistant job. This time, it also involved helping operate an online shop.
We took the kids to Canyon Cove during the summer. It was Ziggy’s first trip to the beach. Sadly, we haven’t been back to the beach as a family since then.
This was an especially emotionally year for our blended family. This was a year that our girls, Zoe and Ziya, decided to live with their dad for good.
This was the year my freelance writing gig was truly on a high. I had an opportunity to have two articles published on SmartParenting.com and I also worked for most of the year writing for The Asian Parent Philippines.
This was the year we also started homeschooling Ziggy independently at the age of 3.
2015 was filled with more new writing gigs. Most notable were my experiences writing for the now defunct Raket.ph and IndigoMemoirs.com. Writing for Indigo Memoirs was such a highlight because it was a London-based lifestyle online magazine.
One of the biggest highlights this year though was my discovery of the planner community worldwide. This prompted me to start a second Instagram account solely for this purpose, then called Planning for Pleasure. This eventually made its way into this blog too.
I got pregnant and gave birth to Zander. This was also the year I started working for Weddings at Work as a virtual assistant. WaW was my main client until 2017.
2016 was also the year we first enrolled Ziggy under a homeschool provider.
I started working for planner shops all over the world as part of their PR team, which helped me further my skills on content creation for Instagram.
This was the year I started becoming more active in posting videos on YouTube channel. However, it wasn’t as consistent as I wanted it to be.
My stint ended for WaW in May. I started working as a freelance writer again. I started working for a client whom I have worked for in the past. I still work for her as of this writing.
I changed this blog’s name and branding from Roller Coaster Ride to Mommy Plannerista.com. Admittedly though, this was also the year that I started becoming less active in blogging.
However, ironically, I also got my first offer to join a National Bookstore campaign that involved a video shoot. (You can see the video on the right sidebar!). I almost said no but ended up having a blast although I was SUPER anxious about it.
Zoe graduated from 10th grade this year and started Senior High!
It was our first time to use unit studies in our homeschool this year and we totally love it! We plan on doing more next school year.
I was also given more opportunities to work with some of my favorite planner shops as part of their PR Teams this year.
Ziya also graduated from 10th grade this year and started Senior High.
Needless to say, so much has happened in my life this past decade. There have been several major things that have given me a life I never expected I’d have, that of being a mom in a blended family, working from home, being a writer and content creator, homeschooling, and blogging. Those are the 5 main things that make up ME now.
These changes come with their share of lessons, of course. Here are the 10 main lessons I’ve learned:
1. I learned that I’ve amassed a lot of skills during my twenties that actually serve me well now that I’m freelancing. They are skills I acquired because of career decisions I’ve made in the past. They turned out to me smart ones. I’m learning I have good instincts and that I should trust myself more.
2. It’s a challenge parenting teenagers. Parenting from afar makes it even harder. It makes me worry all the time, but again I know I just have to have a lot of faith in HIM to be there for them when I can’t.
3. It’s a lot of work managing a blended family. However, having one now has helped me come to terms with my own experience growing up in a broken family. I now understand that everything that happened in my life had to happen to prepare me for this.
4. I’ve learned to love again and to recognize what true love is and what it is not.
5. I’ve learned that it’s okay to accept help from time to time. Not everyone who offers help has an agenda. Sometimes they just have a good heart and sometimes you need to throw pride out of the window. Kindness goes a long way.
6. I may suffer from anxiety and it may be crippling from time to time. I’ve learned though that I can power through them eventually.
7. I’ve learned who my real friends are. The past 10 years I’ve witnessed friends who have come and gone. Those who remained are the ones I know always have my back even if we rarely see each other.
8. I’ve learned that it’s easy for some people to paint a picture-perfect life. I’ve realized it’s what I hate the most. I’ve learned to stay away from people and situations that are not truly authentic.
9. I’ve learned that I’m strong enough to survive life’s challenges. I’ve learned that heartaches are painful but that I’m strong enough to be healed. I may have been broken, and will probably break again in the future, but I now know that I’m strong enough to pick up the pieces and move on.
10. I have learned that if I want to change things in my life that are no longer working out or no longer serving it’s purpose, I need to have courage to let it go. Life truly does shrink or expand in proportion to one’s courage.
On that note, I hope you’ve also learned a lot this past decade. Now that we’re about to start a new year, I leave you with this message:
You can make all the plans you want for your life but things will inevitably happen that you never planned for and that’s okay. God’s plans are always better than your plans for yourself. Prepare all you want but don’t forget to have a lot of faith in HIM.