I don’t know about you, but when I started to think about the past decade, I got a little overwhelmed, however, the past ten years have also been transformative for me. I started the decade having no idea what I wanted to do with my life and now ten years later, I am four months away from graduating with a doctorate degree in physical therapy. It has been quite a wild ride with many challenges along the way. So here is a little glimpse of some highs and some lows over the past ten years.
2010: I celebrated my first wedding anniversary. I worked full time as a customer service representative at a vacation ownership company. I decided to go back to school after taking 4-5 years off. The first semester back, I took classes with the intention of applying to the diagnostic ultrasound program. The next semester I decided to pursue a career as a paralegal. I went to Hawaii with Francisco and my family.
2011: I continued to work full time as a customer service representative. It is now the third trimester since I returned to college and I switched lanes once again to pursue a degree in Baking and Pastry Management. I graduated with an Associate degree in Baking and Pastry Management by the end of the year.
2012: I went to Brazil with Francisco and met his family for the first time. I interned in a pastry kitchen at a large hotel and was offered a full-time position as a pastry cook. I continued to work as a customer service representative on a part-time basis to supplement my income. I quit my job in the pastry kitchen by the end of the year.
2013: I went back to school and was accepted into the Exercise Science Program at the University of Central Florida. I was in school full time while working part time as a customer service representative.
2014: This was a hard year, a really hard year, but because of the personal challenges I faced in 2014, I began to make some decisions that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise made. I took my first job as a group exercise instructor. I quit my customer service job that I had had for the past 8 years and transitioned to a full time position in the fitness industry. I trained for and ran my first half marathon. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. I also went to Colorado with Francisco.
2015: I began graduate school at University of Central Florida. I ran my second half marathon with a PR. I trained for my first marathon.
2016: I ran my first marathon. I began training for a second marathon and injured myself in the process. I graduated with a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I went to California with Francisco. I got fired from my job. I decided to go back to school so that I could apply to physical therapy school. I was defeated, disappointed, and a little bit broken. I got a job as a personal trainer at a new gym.
2017: I was accepted into physical therapy school at AdventHealth University. I began physical therapy school. I failed an anatomy practical exam in my first trimester. I questioned whether I was capable. I passed my first and second trimesters of physical therapy school. I quit my personal trainer job. I started teaching group exercise classes again. Francisco had surgery. We went to Asheville, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
2018: I went to India. I survived my first year of physical therapy school. I completed my first clinical internship in the acute care setting. Francisco and I drove to northern Georgia several times during the year and went to Asheville, North Carolina for Christmas.
2019: I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary. I survived my second year of physical therapy school. I went to Georgia, Texas, and California with Francisco. I completed two clinical internships in the outpatient orthopedic setting. I began to focus on personal development. I started going to therapy. I returned to church. I pursued God and started to invest in my relationship with him.
When I look back at Ashley in 2010, I barely recognize myself. But when I look back on the past ten years as a whole, I see so much growth. There were so many challenges along the way, far too many to include in this post, but I would not be the person I am today without all of these experiences.
So here is to 2020 and the next decade. I am really excited about what the future holds. 2020 is going to be a really big year for me and I cannot wait to share it with you.