headed into the next decade.

You guys, today, it’s official.

I’m headed straight out of my 20s.

Hello, new decade.

I’ve been so caught up in everything else going on, that I haven’t really had a lot of time to mourn my youth or get too anxious about this age milestone, and so I’m gonna try and keep it that way. Instead, I’m going to focus on the ten coolest things I’ve done in this past decade. I have not one doubt that the next ten years has a million more adventures in store for me- and isn’t that what life is all about, anyway? So here goes:

1. When I was 20, I lived in Chicago. I started out the decade in the same place I ended it. However, it was during this year that my bff JC and I packed it up, boarded a plane, and headed over to Rome, where we lived for four months. We learned some Italian, traveled to so many different cities and countries, and have approximately one million stories from those few months that I will treasure every single day of my life.

I also had the ridiculously lucky pleasure of meetings some of my best friends on this trip.



2. I graduated from college, thus unleashing myself into the real world. I stuck around Chicago, deciding it deserved to be my permanent home, shacked up with my roommates, signed a lease, and crossed my fingers that everything would work out in the end. Spoiler alert: everything worked out in the end.



3. I found myself a real job, using only Careerbuilder.com and a desperate need to pay my rent. Seven + years later, I’m still hanging around, because it turns out, association management is an actual career and I turned out to be fairly competent at it. Aside from being able to pay my bills for the better half of the decade, I’ve learned so many things, gotten a chance to work with great people, and again, met some of my best friends. Which is basically the most important thing I’ve ever done.



4. JW & I decided that being just friends wasn’t really working out, so we gave the whole relationship thing a shot, which has turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

He even loved me when I decided to dye my hair brown. Ha.

5. I became a race runner, triathlon completer, bike rider, kettle-beller, and yogi in my 20s. Basically, I learned that the best way to take care of my body was to use it for a myriad of different activities that made me calmer, stronger, and sometimes came with medals. Everyone’s got their thing, and I spent the past decade figuring out that for me, the best thing is to just do something. I’ve got a discipline at the age of 30 that I didn’t possess when I started this decade.

Stretching out before the race

6. JW and I got married. Marriage is pretty much, for us, the same as it was pre-marriage, but there really is nothing like celebrating how much you love someone with all your favorite people in the world in one place. As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t have picked a better co-captain to the Palluzzi-Wagenschutz team.

7. RA came my way. This one’s easy to see as not such a cool addition to my 20s, but you guys, it taught me so much about what it means to accept limitations without really conceding defeat. If I could get rid of it, I would in a heartbeat, but my diagnosis and everything after have taught me more about being patient, listening to my body, and not giving up than I would have learned in several decades combined otherwise.


8. I became a homeowner. Well, JW and I became joint condo owners, which mostly means instead of the landlord fixing things, he does it instead. However, this felt pretty grown up, and also means that I can put holes in whatever walls I want, which is Very Adult.


9. Baby time! This is probably one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me, let alone in a particular decade, but I feel like it was a fitting end to this defined 10 years. The last decade has been about a lot of things that affect mostly me, which was exactly how it should have been- your 20s are a good time to try out, mess up, and learn all about who you are. I’m excited to share this new adventure with JW and BW starting fresh in this brand new set of ten.


10. The final coolest thing about the past 10 years is probably more of a thread or a theme. When I look back at all the fun, confusing, frustrating, exciting things that happened to me in my 20s (and there are a million that I can’t fit in this blog post), the best part about all of it is that, for the most part, I’ve ended the decade with the same people standing by my side who were there at the beginning of it. Of course there are always upsetting subtractions and important additions to the tribe, but for the most part, I still have the privilege of loving the same set of amazing, hysterical people who I’m hoping will hang with me through the next five decades or so. How can you be sad about getting older for one second when you have these people with you for the journey, chickadees?

And with that, I’m off to see what kind of trouble I can get into during the first day of a fresh decade. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it chickadees, I certainly will be.



Filed under Good times, Reflections

5 responses to “headed into the next decade.

  1. Raechel

    happiest of birthdays, Nikkita – loved seeing all of your photos, including the one of all of us in Rome! miss you, ragazza, hope this year is the most amazing one of all!

  2. Oh hello, I’m back from the dead and clearly in need of a refresh.
    First off, Happy BIRTHDAY! Seriously- my timing is great, no?
    And secondly, a very belated congrats on the bun in the oven! How exciting!!!!

  3. Grace Hendricks

    Happy Birthday Nikki! You write so beautifully. You bring tears to my eyes. I love you so very much. I also miss you so much. I am so happy because you are so very happy and have such a great marriage with a wonderful guy. Theo will really change your lives. Theo is so lucky to have two wonderful parents, Of course his Grandparents (Terri @ Mike) will be so proud and happy and Great Grandparents. Stay Happy! Love Grandma….

  4. This was a great post. It makes me want to write my own list. I hope you had a smashing birthday. I’m going to swing by the office next week on Wednesday – hope to see you!

  5. karla k.

    loved the post and what a fabulous way to welcome BW! 🙂 love ya friend

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