Did you know that Instagram was created in 2010? It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years, a whole decade since one of the most-used apps in our time was created. As the holidays mark the end of the year, this particular one marks the end of a decade. For myself, it’s a reflection on life, motherhood, and everything that is to come.
The Start of Something
I don’t remember meeting my husband, but I do know where we met: at an adult dodgeball league. It was sometime in 2010, but it wasn’t until the following year that we started dating. At the same time, the space shuttle Discovery launched for the final time. After 27 years with over 30 successful flights, Discovery was the first shuttle to be retired. I, however, was turning 30 and making my own discovery, which was that I found the love of my life.
What started as a crush finally came to a head when I told him that we should go to Vegas and get married. We didn’t end up going that night but fast forward to 2014, and that is precisely what we did—at the oldest Catholic church near Freemont Street. Backing up a year, he had proposed a few months before my grandmother had passed away. I was about to go out of town to see her because she was sick. So, my wonderful boyfriend wanted me to bring her some good news. She passed away in May of 2013 at the age of 89, having lived a full life. This idea of living your best life was not lost on my grandma nor her family.
My husband and I were married in February of 2014, and by April I was pregnant. I don’t talk about this first pregnancy because I wasn’t very far into the first trimester before we lost the baby. We heard a heartbeat at my first appointment, but by the third visit, it was gone. I was devastated. However, I didn’t want to feel bad. So many women I know lost their babies in their second or third trimester. Who was I to feel bad when I hadn’t carried it for very long? In retrospect, we heard a heartbeat. So, when it was gone, it was heartbreaking. I remember having a fear of not being able to get pregnant again. However, by September, I was. I remember being obsessed with doing all the right things to make sure I wouldn’t lose this one.
In that same year, the Winter Olympics were in Sochi and the World Cup in Brazil. Like these sporting events, I was about to start my biggest sporting event: giving birth. While it’s not the same thing as a marathon, which I know about because I’ve run three of them, I remember this first birth felt like a marathon. After 18 hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. In just five years, I met my husband, lost my grandmother, got married, lost my first pregnancy, and then gave birth. I had changed in so many ways.
The world was also changing in so many ways. The first female nominee was running for President of the United States, and many women around the world were starting to speak up for injustices against them and their families. For my family, we were having a tough time raising a child in Los Angeles. The traffic and the expenses were too much, and none of our friends and family lived close. I decided to apply for a similar position to what I was currently doing. After a few interviews, I got the job. So, in December of 2016, we packed up all of our things and drove cross-country to Detroit, with two cats and a baby, in the middle of winter.
We are at a point in our lives where we are able to start choosing family and career. In this last decade, family over career, or career over family, is no longer the norm. Women are able to have a family and a career without feeling guilty. Women are able to choose to leave their careers to start a family without feeling guilty. More women are empowered to be their own boss. We chose family and career, which meant moving. I do not feel guilty.
In the same year we started fresh in Detroit, women everywhere were standing up for themselves when the #metoo movement began. Coined by Tarana Burke in 2006 and reignited in 2017, the flame has kept burning. Women all over the world are coming forward and saying, “no more.” These women are paving the way for my daughters to be brave and stand tall. Last year I gave birth to another little girl. For me, the future is definitely female.
This decade has been a whirlwind of life changes for me, but more so for the community in which we live. We’ve all done so much in the last 10 years and continue to grow and learn together. We’ve met friends in unlikely places and have come together instead of tearing each other down. The next decade is going to be just as full of twists and turns with important milestones that we’ll reflect on in another 10 years.