My take on the #10yearchallenge (looking backwards and also forward)

In the summer of 2010, I lost all of the (not backed-up) photos I had in my HP computer. I loved that copper-colored box almost as if it was my best friend, so as you may imagine, losing my photos AND my laptop was a terrible tragedy.

Since all of my photos from my college years were gone, I had to resort to my obsolete hotmail account to retrieve some images for the #10yearchallenge. Ten years ago, I was a sophomore in college. I was twenty years old and I felt that if I crossed off every item of my life-list, I would be successful, rich and, hopefully happy.

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This is me at twenty. I look at my twenty year-old self in these images and the first thought that comes to my mind is “girl, it looks like you’re about to get a ticket from the fashion police.” Coordinating my outfits wasn’t my forte, but neither was planning my life. Ten years later, my life looks nothing like I envisioned it when I sat in the school library, except maybe, the ‘hopefully happy’ part. When it seems that there are too many potholes on your road, maybe it’s time to take a detour. At the end, all roads will lead you to your destination. Why not choose a more enjoyable ride?


But other than my terrible fashion choices, I wish I could go reach out to my younger self and hug the heck out of her. That young gal didn’t need so much self-judgment and strict self-imposed rules. That girl needed to accept herself, love herself, and understand that life isn’t a straight line from point A to point B. Sometimes life is like getting on a train with no specific destination, with the only goal of seeing different scenery, watching the sun rise and set, and sharing that beauty with the rest of the passengers. I wish I could remind younger Nieves that, no matter how many times she finds herself on the ground, like the sun, she will always rise.

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Thirty year-old Nieves is a more relaxed Nieves. She is on the right track to becoming more confident, more accepting of herself, and more willing to learn from the lessons that life throws at her. She is also learning to make budgets, take responsibility for her own emotions (and actions) and she’s finally removing her make up off at night. I’d confidently say that future Nieves is a resilient and brave woman. She stands up for what is right and her emotions don’t determine her decisions- she has a strong set of values that act as her as her life compass. Future Nieves respects her boundaries and loves people where they are at, but always inspires them to be their best selves. Future Nieves knows that how you say something is more important than what you say. Future Nieves is, overall, more chill, wise, and loving.

Current Nieves feels successful, rich and, wait for it, happy. Doing what you love brings you happiness. If you are happy, you are already successful. If you are happy and successful, doesn’t that make you rich?