2010 – 2019 The decade soon to fall into a distant past came with many highlights, sacrifices, and growth.
• Came back from the dead! Literally…2009 changed my perspective for the ensuing decade.
• I turned 40 in 2010. The ’40s is where I hit my stride.
• I returned to teaching in 2010. Something I missed and didn’t realize it until I entrenched myself back in the ranks. This set off the chain of events which changed my path and brought back something I’d cast aside for the previous decades—me.
•Mr. and I have almost lived through raising three teenagers. We shipped all three off to college. Eldest completed his masters and came off the payroll. (took us 23 years to achieve this task but every step of sacrificing me was worth it!). Middle is two quarters away from setting his own path after college. Little had a rough start for the first semester, but by the end, she figured it out and is on her way to making a difference in the world. I wouldn’t change dedicating Me or Us to them as the results thus far have proved worth every ounce of pouring myself/ourselves into them.
• Celebrated three decades with the Mr. who captured my heart back in 1989. I didn’t realize it at eighteen, but now at forty-nine he always captured my heart even when I pushed him away for the first six months I knew him. He’s always known what he wants and he always drives toward that goal. He supports our family in every way from the roof over our heads to the dreams we all seek for ourselves and the collective. I’m not always easy and his support from the moment he knew we were a “we” has never wavered. Like I wrote before, he is my rock!
• However, finding me was part of this journey too.
•I completed my masters and it only fueled the nerd in me. I found the National Writing Project, became a fellow, and continue learning with like-minded folks who believe the reading writing path is interconnected. They know the system of education is broken but not the practice behind why we do what we do for students. I love researching with them and discovering new ways of conveying what everybody deserves—literacy in a confusing world of ever-changing rules.
• I discovered a new reading genre in romance. A genre I discounted for the previous three decades of my life. I still read all over the place, but I’ve found amazing authors with stories filled with real life, real situations, real heart headache, real love, and so much more.
• This reading romance books turned into an amazing journey. I can’t express enough how this has become a piece of me that needed exploring and filled missing pieces of my own puzzle. In 2017, I finally expressed the stories in my head and turned them into works others have enjoyed reading. This journey comes full circle with the reading writing continuum on a personal level; one I cherish with each author, reader, blogger, photographer, model, and more involved with this industry. There are so many great people I’ve met along this path. Each providing me more hope in the crazy world we live in. Each unique and supportive in ways I never found in other industries. This indie world is a big family—some you love dearly as family members, others are the cantankerous relatives who challenge you at times when you’re not expecting it, and then the good friends who make you feel welcome no matter the issue at hand. All of these relationships have helped this decade turn into one of the greatest changes I’ve experienced in my lifetime.
• It is my hope that this next decade, the “twenties,” perhaps not roaring, but still soaring and continuing to force me into challenging myself to reach new heights. If I can make my mark in changing something in the educational paradigm, write more works which bring my stories into the hands of more readers, read more great works, and watch my children take flight on the path of life with Mr. by my side every step of the way, then I’ll consider this next decade a win.
To say this has been a cathartic journey from 2010 to 2019 only mildly expresses how much I’ve grown as a human being this last decade. So my wishes for everyone out there is Happy New Year, follow your dreams, follow your heart, and most importantly don’t forget the “Me” in you along your own path. Godspeed XXOOXX Maggie Jane