Lifestyle

Reflecting on the last 10 years.

At the risk of sounding like everyone else… the end of a decade seems big. Maybe it’s because I’m a 1990 baby, so each new decade is a sign of MY next decade. I turn 30 years old in 2020! I don’t find myself sad about it, but it does make me reflect and refocus. Let’s look back on the last 10 years. This is an extremely informal post.

2010

  • I had just moved back to the Modesto area after being hospitalized while in a toxic relationship.
  • I was in a state of transition; It seemed like I was getting a chance to restart my life and I am so grateful that I did.
  • Worked the graveyard shift at a local Jack in the box.
  • Partied a lot and had no plan for the future.
  • Reconnected with an old friend
  • I met Alexa New Years Eve of 2010.

2011

  • Started a relationship with the old friend I reconnected with.
  • Moved around for a majority of the year with my boyfriend (at the time) and my stepdaughter.
  • I really embraced my new roll as a stepmom.
  • Turned 21 & spent this year going to reggae concerts. Pretty fun time in my life!
  • Found out I was pregnant in October!
  • Rented my first home with my boyfriend at the time, Lex, and my little bun in the oven

2012

  • Gave birth to a beautiful little boy
  • Went back to work as a server
  • Struggled in the relationship with the father of my children.
  • Started prioritizing my health by exercising and eating right.

2013

  • Started at red lobster
  • Started going out with coworkers. I met all of my best friends at red lobster. I’m so thankful for these nights. They gave me the best friends.
  • The relationship with the father of my children was rocky before ending in June
  • My dad moved in with us but that was short lived due to his alcoholism
  • Shortly after I had the police escort him out, his visa was revoked because of his record. I haven’t seen him since.
  • Jeremy and I connected in August and were dating by October
  • Went on my first solo vacation with the kids!

2014

  • Moved in with Jeremy. This was interesting. We made it work, but we were definitely cramped. Jeremy lived with his twin brother at the time, who’s girlfriend was also co-parenting. Just your average modern day Brady bunch.
  • Our first year of coparenting was a struggle. We have always wanted to do our best and be the team they needed us to be, but we definitely had to get through our differences first.
  • I took each kid separately to Disneyland for their first time and it was beyond magical!

2015

  • Jeremy and I lease our apartment on Valentine’s day. We rented an apartment out right across from some of our best friends. Some of the best times of my life were spent with them.
  • Our apartment was the get together headquarters this year. I LOVE to entertain, so it made me very happy to be the place where people know they can just walk in and be welcomed

2016

For the life of me I cannot remember any huge memories from this year! So here are pictures I think are from that year… I think 😂

Oh, yea! Elijah started school! This was the year I spent every day driving to do school drop offs and pick ups because the kids went to two different schools… at two different times.

2017

  • Got engaged
  • Celebrated Lexis birthday with a pj and pancakes party. This is Elijah’s favorite memory to date!

2018

  • Started my blog, grew my audience, and found my freaking passions!
  • Started therapy
  • I got to witness my nephew being born ♥️
  • Got married!!
  • Alexa found her passion for acrobatic gymnastics.
  • Started working at a new restaurant

2019

  • Got more serious about growing my audience on Instagram
  • Began living more intentionally. This was one of the biggest years for growth. In the best ways. It feels like so much had happened this year. We went on vacations, we worked hard on clearing our minds of limiting thoughts and behaviors… we started to build our life this year. I can’t wait to see that the next 10 years bring us!

In the last 10 years I have become a mother to two beautiful kids, I met and married my husband, I tackled understanding my childhood trauma, met the most amazing set of friends I’ve ever had, and I found my passion for connecting with and encouraging people!

I’ve had a great decade.

Sure, there were some pretty dark times. Actually, some of my DARKEST moments were during this decade… but what I’ve chosen to take from ALL of it is that I am resilient. I took the darkest times in my life and have used them to truly understand myself and how much trauma has affected my outlook on life. I’ve learned that getting through adversity is only a pivot away. A few days ago Jeremy and I had many conversations that we’ve rarely been able to have because of our conflicting schedules. One of those conversation topics was fear of failure.

“Hey! Everything is going to be okay. When did we start fearing failure? When did failure become something that would stop us? If we ever find ourselves unsatisfied with how our life is going, we’ll pivot. We’ll always get back up as long as we remind ourselves that we’re ok.”

When I think about the next 10 years I see a lot of work, but that doesn’t scare me… it excites me.


I’m excited to work with Jeremy to create the life we want. I see us working as a team (that hasn’t always come easy to us) when parenting, managing our finances, advancing our professional careers, and building relationships. I see that benefits of all of our lengthy conversations that we both have such a love/hate relationship with. We both have spent a lot of time in the recent years really learning to understand ourselves in a way that allows us to really live intentionally.


As my kids get older, I’m excited do my part in raising them to be kind. Here’s something you need to know if you don’t already… I have not always been the most attentive mother. Throughout this decade of motherhood they have not had the stability and structure that they need. They had to have a general understanding of adversity and resiliency before they were ready and although it makes me sad as a mom (because, mom guilt aside, I know what that feels like and it sucks), I know that life just works out like that sometimes. All this to say, teaching them to be kind, thoughtful, generous can sometimes feel like an uphill battle… but I am so excited to tackle it with Jer.


I can’t wait to see where my entrepreneurial journey takes me in the next 10 years. A couple of years ago I started to grow an audience thanks to a therapeutic project of mine. While in therapy, I started an online journal of my healing process which lead to me sharing it online for anyone who may benefit from it. The feedback I received was overwhelming and after many brainstorm sessions and all nighters, I started a blog. I started sharing my experience and insight with mental illness and that opened up so many opportunities to connect, reach, and help people that felt alone. A year and a half later, I have the greatest connection with my audience but didn’t really have a vision to turn my passion into a business. This is the main focus in my journey right now, so I’m really excited for the amount of time, and energy I’ll be spending on acquiring knowledge and experience.

The last 10 years have led me to the happiest season of my life. Do we have it all? No. Do we have it all together? Not even a little bit… but we’re happy and that’s a great place to start. I look forward to the next 10 years being full of building the life we’ve worked hard to set a foundation down for.

And you guys… I really never knew I could grow to love people I’ve never met… people I never even talk to really. I just know you’re there. I know you guys get a kick out of how much of a spazz I am. I know you guys live for Eli’s morning breakfast naps. Jokes aside, I know you’re there reading the things I write, hearing the things I say, making the changes we all need to make to create a better world… I know you’re my people and anything I do is in no small part thanks to your support.

Also, who the hell is ready for our own version of the roaring 20s?! See you in 2020 babes. Cheers to the New Year!

Mel Duso 😘