There is a book called The Defining Decade which I recommend everyone in their twenties reads. It’s kind of bizarre how much can happen and how much a person can change in this time.

At the beginning of this decade, I was a 16 year old beach bum high school cheerleading girl and now I am a full grown woman. An adult!!! How can this be? With today being the last day of 2019, I wanted to do a recap of my beautiful and defining decade:

2010- 16 turning 17

I was a junior and senior in high school at John Carroll Catholic School, where I was cheer captain, played softball and soccer, did the afternoon announcements, was in 3973523 clubs… I was “that” kid. We lived one block from the ocean on Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, Florida. I went to my Junior Prom that year and really had the cutest little high school romance (that also ended that year) at that time and learned a lot. I think 17 was one of my favorites of the decade.

2011- 17 turning 18

2011 was a big year. I graduated high school and a few weeks later, my boyfriend at the time cheated on me the day before my 18th birthday. He was the worst. I began my journey at the University of Central Florida and joined the sorority of Kappa Alpha Theta, which changed everything.

2012- 18 turning 19

I was deep into the college sorority thing at this time in my life. I made so many friendships that I have kept for years. This is also the time that I signed for my current career. I have never talked about my career on the blog, but this was the year that changed the course of my entire future to lead me where I am today. I fell into my first love, who I would be with for a very long time. I’m grateful for him and we grew up together for a bit.  

2013- 19 turning 20

Other than a severe stroke my grandfather had experienced, which left my family dynamics changed, I had a very positive 2013. I met my first little sister in my sorority and instantly fell in friend love. I took a leadership role in my sorority and lived in my sorority house with such a fun roommate. I went off to training for my career and proved to myself I am bold, capable and actually not a bad athlete. I’ll let you fill in the blanks there…

2014- 20 turning 21

I decided Puerto Rican blonde was a thing this year? I also started freelance makeup very regularly at this time and I noticed I liked it more than school, which was not a good sign. I was not passionate about my major, which was nursing, but I kept pursuing it. I turned 21 and the theme of the night was Iggy Azalea’s song “Fancy,” which I loved and performed on a karaoke stage.

2015- 21 turning 22

This year was a little bit of a blur because I was in Nursing school, and after three semesters, I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s a really hard decision to change your entire plan one semester before you’re supposed to graduate, but I knew I had to and I knew God was telling me to leave that “dream” behind.

At the end of 2015, I dropped out of nursing school and switched my major to Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Health & Behavioral Sciences. And so it began…

2016- 22 turning 23

I had never failed at anything; I was smart in high school, had a beautiful childhood and I didn’t understand failure.

Once nursing school ended, I began working at Macy’s counter doing makeup. My first love and I began to hit a cross roads: engagement/marriage or separation. He took the decision in his own hands and told me that I wouldn’t be happy with the life he’d be able to provide someday. ” You want more.” I’ll always respect that because he was right.

I had been dumped and changed career plans in a two month span. It ended up being the most fun summer of my life… but it was all delaying a spiral. I never healed because I was jump started into graduation and the beginning of my career, which led to Fall of 2016 being the darkest season of my entire life. I wasn’t my positive, good-vibed self. I partied too much and I did things out of character. When I looked into the mirror, I didn’t even recognize myself. I had been hurt and I didn’t let myself feel it. I was depressed for about four months and didn’t even realize it.

I was ready for change!

2017- 23 turning 24

Early 2017, I was blessed with the opportunity to move to South Korea.


2017 was one of the greatest of my life. I traveled to Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, China and Cambodia. I also was the Maid of Honor in my friend Laura’s wedding and I fell very quickly and very deeply in love in the Fall with a man who would change me forever, both positively and negatively. I started this blog which was launched the first week of 2018.

2018- 24 turning 25

This was one of the best years of my life as well. I traveled to Shanghai, Bali, Taipei, saw the winter Olympics in South Korea, Kyoto, Thailand again, Hong Kong, Tokyo again, the Philippines, Jeju Island, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar. I did this while working full time and attending graduate school full time online.

It was a whirlwind of a year and it was beautiful. I was so, so genuinely happy and I was supported and loved for a while.

Unfortunately, this was also when I began getting legitimately emotionally abused by my boyfriend at the time which through me to learn more about myself, being a partner, and God than I had any other year. And again, a crossroads: marriage or quits.

I don’t want to post any photos from this year because the blog is mostly photos from this year. I remember this dynamic year from the way I felt.

2019- 25 turning 26

2019 was crazy!!!! I moved from South Korea, purchased a car in Florida and drove it across America to my new home in Idaho. Romantically, I had never experienced the toxicity as I had in this year trying to break free from it all. I won’t go further into detail, but it was gut-wrenching, dramatic and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

My family had lots of drama and health issues and I graduated with my Master’s in Human Resource Management from Florida International University. I traveled to so many new states and countries and it was all a whirlwind of both positive and negative. I found peace and solace in my new home in Boise.

I sit here typing on my parent’s couch in my PJs because I’m tired. 2019 kicked my ass but it also gave me the most wonderful life lessons. Somehow, I think it was the best and the worst year of the decade and I love that. I feel equipped to enter 2020 with the lessons learned, the friendships developed for a new page and a new decade. I am filled to the brim with hope and the renewal of my faith stepping forward.

So here’s to:

  • the nights I spent smiling ear to ear because the Rams or the Knights won
  • receiving the notice that I got into my dream school
  • the friends who have come and gone and so many beautiful souls who have come and stayed
  • watching girls I love fall in love and start families of their own
  • learning failure
  • the nights I cried over boy X, boy Y and boy Z…
  • overcoming fear, proving people wrong and following God’s path for your life
  • learning that you need to surrender your entire life to God and that He’s got you
  • laughing and learning from incredible women
  • crying and learning from incredible women
  • learning about myself, my family, mental health and so much more.

I am humbled by this decade and I hope the next is just as beautiful. Thank you for everyone who’s been a part of it. Here’s to the next 10!

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Hi, I'm Alex! 🙂

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