The Decade Challenge: Past, Present, And Future
The Decade Challenge: Past, Present, And Future
Now that a new decade is upon us, I have been reflecting on the past 10 years. At a quick glance, after just turning 35 years old I am definitely not where I thought I would be at this time in my life, and because of that thought, my accomplishments sometimes get overshadowed. When I sit and think about it I realize how much has happened over the past 10 years.
At the end of 2009, I was graduating with my master’s degree in Social Work. I would not change that experience for anything because it helped me grow and showed me just how strong I could be. Time taught me lessons of how to persevere when faced with discrimination, and to come out the other side accomplishing my goal of obtaining my master’s degree. In 2010, feeling somewhat untouchable after what I felt was my biggest obstacle to date, I decided to move to Denver, Colorado. Up until this point, I did not realize how much I would be impacted because of changes in my Medicaid, and my personal care attendant services.
My mother had to stay with me in Colorado for 2 months, and after that time I had to hire a personal care attendant and pay out of pocket. During the time that all of this was going on, I was going on numerous interviews for social work positions. After going on countless interviews, I was hired by a hospital to work as a social worker. However, the director of the program was unaware of my disability, and because of that they rescinded the job offer, and it was not considered discrimination because they said that they were protecting me from the clients.
In 2011, I moved to Pennsylvania, I had a friend that was living there. This provided a cushion in regards to the personal care attendant time constraint. Thankfully, she was able to help me out with what I needed until I started to receive services. While I was in Pennsylvania, I was able to volunteer with many organizations such as the March of Dimes and I participated in efforts to stop bullying. I started a radio show called, ‘Differently Abled’ where I had the opportunity to interview people about different aspects of living with a disability.
In 2014, I applied to become an AmeriCorps member in Austin Texas. Due to my experience with past interviews, I decided that I had nothing to lose so I just laid everything out on the table, tried to show the interviewers how passionate and capable I was. This finally paid off, and I accepted a position as an AmeriCorps member staying with the organization for two years, volunteering as a mentor and a tutor with Elementary and Middle School students. I have never felt so fulfilled and full of purpose.
Unfortunately, towards the end of 2016, I had to leave Texas and my position as an AmeriCorps member for medical reasons and to be closer to my family. In the past few years, I have continued to push forward striving to become a better version of myself. It has been amazing to be able to see my family grow with each new addition and milestone over the last 10 years. Some parts of my life thus far have not turned out the way that I would have wanted, or the way that I had pictured them. There are still times when I look back and think that what have done has not been enough. . So my challenge to myself, and to all of you is to keep pushing forward and continue to look for ways to take yourself out of your comfort zone. Take a step back and really try to look at the big picture.
Take A Look Back At 2019
- What are 3 things that made you excited in 2019?
- What are three things that you accomplished, or three things that you tried this year?
- Were you able to meet your goals this year?
- If you are not able to meet your goals this year, what are some things that may have held you back?
Take A Look At The Past Decade
- What were three of the best things that happened from the last decade? Who are you with? Where did they take place?
- What things did you accomplish in the last 10 years? What are you most proud of?
- What are some things that you are unable to do or complete in the last 10 years?
- What are some things that held you back from accomplishing those goals?
Look Ahead To 2020
- What dreams do you envision for this year?
- I think I was on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you can make these dreams happen?
- What are some fears that you have that may hold you back from making these dreams happen?
Look Ahead To The Next 10 Years
- What are some dreams that you have for the next 10 years?
- If money were no object, what would be you be working towards right now?
- If you have fears, reservations, or things that may hold you back, what do you think they might be?
This is just a guide I thought would be helpful to look back on, as well as look forward to. By writing the answers to these questions down, you are able to see how far you have come, and how far you are able to go.