5 Things I’m Leaving Behind in the 2010s

It’s 2020. Have you wrapped your mind around that yet? Because…I sure haven’t.

This past decade gave birth to a lot of things. The “Selfie.” Gangnam style. Dating Apps. The Ice Bucket Challenge. Harambe. FaceTune. Planking. Athleisure. Super hero movie franchises.

Good or bad, the twenty-teens left its mark, and will not be forgotten.

But moving forward into this next decade, there are definitely a few things that I want to leave behind in the past, where they belong.

And I’m not talking about fashion trends or viral internet content.

1) Ditching Men Who Make Me Feel Small/Dating GAMES

The current dating scene is dismal at best. Thanks to dating apps, relationships — and consequently, people — have become entirely disposable. Replaceable. Upgradeable. And as a result, men — and yes, women, too — have become all too skilled at playing games.

I’ve gotta be honest — I’m attracted to the bad boy. OK – well maybe not bad boy, but the number of times I’ve turned down guys who send me flowers and sweet phone calls, and are textbook chivalrous — only to hold out hope for the guy who barely gives me the time of day — it’s embarrassing.

I’m done with waiting for men who don’t make me a priority. I know what I want. I know what I’m looking for. I know what I deserve. And gosh darn it, if a grown man is still acting like a child, I want nothing to do with him.

2) The Appologetic/Appeasement Mindset

I was with my besties the other night, and we were crafting a dating app response – (a fun pastime) – and it started with “Sorry…” And I realized — I do this all the time. I’m living from a place of apology — “I’m sorry to bug you,” “Sorry to ask for this favor,” “I’m sorry, can I just…” I need to stop apologizing and own who I am, and not feel bad for advocating for myself or voicing my needs.

And on that note — my people pleasing tendencies have got. to. go. No more bending over backwards, or putting my own health/needs/happiness aside, in order to appease someone else or win their approval. It’s exhausting and frankly, unhealthy.

3) Expecting Perfection (The Photoshop/Pinterest Phenomenon)

Oh perfectionism — my life’s nemesis. It led to my anorexia. It caused exhaustive behaviors throughout my life. It’s time to say goodbye to this toxic standard.

And not only for myself, but — for others too.

I was chatting with my girlfriends over brunch the other weekend, and we were bellyaching about our dating prospects. And the conversation turned to what we’re looking for in our “perfect” man — aka: the “dealbreakers,” the “nonnegotiables.” Our “list.” You know, your typical girl talk.

Well, halfway through the convo, it dawned on me — this is part of the problem. No one is perfect. Absolutely no man is going to check the box on all of our desired traits and attributes. And the more we expect that, the more disappointed we’ll be.

And for that matter — neither are we!! We are all deeply flawed human beings. The key is to find someone who you love and care enough for to accept their flaws — and they, yours — and grow in love, despite them.

4) Self Inflicted Timeline Pressure/Over-Critical Self Assessment

This goes hand in hand with number 3, but I think there’s so much pressure we place on ourselves to live up to certain expectations — either from society’s standard, or our own.

Life does not pan out perfectly as you dreamed when you were 10 years old.

God has His own, perfect timeline for our lives, and is unfolding our path exactly as — and when — it should be. We’ve got to release our clenched fists, and let Him do His thing.

5) Guilt or Shame from my Past

This is it, folks. This is the decade where I’m going to put all the negative emotions about my past to rest. Are there things I’m not so proud of? Absolutely. Putting my loved ones — and myself — through the horrors of anorexia is something that I have carried heavily in my heart.

They have forgiven me. God has forgiven me. It’s my turn to forgive myself.

I am not that broken girl anymore. God has restored me fully, and placed a new spirit in me. The more headspace I give to lamenting over the guilt from the manipulative, destructive, dark days in the eating disorder, the less fully I can embrace the new creation I am today.

I’m leaving these things in the past. And bringing with me empathy. Patience. Compassion. Fun. Determination. Big dreams and goals. And realistic outlooks on life, self, and others.

What about you? What do you want to leave behind in the twenty-teens?

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.


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149 responses to “5 Things I’m Leaving Behind in the 2010s”

  1. These are great things to kick to the curb Caralyn! I should follow suit. The Planking thing cracks me up, people seem to end up creating pain for themselves. Ouch!

    • Thanks so much John! Haha isn’t planking the funniest concept?!?! Haha Happy New Year! 🎉

  2. Gees Caralyn Your blogs like this one make me laugh, especially the part about the dating scene. I sense that you have a good sense of humour through your blogs. xx

    • Awww thank you Kenneth! I do try not to take things too seriously haha I appreciate your kind words 🙂 have a great day! Hugs and love xox

  3. Hi!

    I can’t speak about your #1 and #2 🙂 , but your #4 and #5 hit home because it’s easy to get bogged down by the guilt and shame; it’s like saying you have a higher standard of forgiveness than God’s. You know, like you’re saying you are wiser than God. (We both know we’re not). 🙂

    I have to sit with the thought of God’s forgiveness. Usually, i don’t like the newer, updated versions of the great hymns, but one partial exception is Chris Tomlin’s rendition to Amazing Grace:

    My sins are gone/
    I’ve been set free/
    My God and Savior has ransomed me/
    Like a flood, His mercy reign
    Amazing love, amazing grace.

    • Hi friend! I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 amen to that – His forgiveness is almost unfathomable! Hugs and love xox

  4. Great list! ❤️ Happy New Year! 🎈

    Dating apps mostly suck. I know two couples who married from them, but most people go round and round the misery carousel doing the same stuff. I gave up online dating! And Facebook!

    But those don’t count because I already did them. For 2020 I’m going to be more forgiving of myself and others. As you said… no one is perfect! That doesn’t mean being a pushover. Of course we should have standards. But when a friend sincerely tries to make amends, I want to have an open heart. 💖✨

    • Thank you Paula! Round and round the misery carousel – that made me laugh! But it’s so true! I love your resolutions! Inspiring! Happy New Year! 🎉

  5. Good to reflect and think about things to move on from. The appeasement mindset is something I can relate to and I want to leave that behind with the close of the decade.

  6. Thank you for the inspiring article, Caralyn. I enjoy reading your posts, and I intend 2020 to be a transformational year for myself, as well.

    I’m sure there’s a guy out there for you who has all the best chivalry of a gentleman and just enough mischief and excitement up his sleeve to be a ruffian—who has “grit with grace,” as my mentor likes to say. There are still a few of us who try.

    • Thank you Matthew!! Here to a transformative 2020!! Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. Means a lot! Hugs and love xox Happy New Year! 🎉

  7. 2020 is about believing God will bless you as long as you abide in his word and live by his standards. Praying God leads the “right” man for your life and you will listen and know this is the man God wants for you. Blessings to you for 2020 to be one of joy and love. 🙂

    • Oh I love that so much! Very true. Thank you for your prayers and kind words!! Happy New Year! 🎉 Hugs and love xox

  8. What to leave behind. I truly don’t know. I just watched some clips of Tom Hanks’ Cecile B. DeMille award. He mentioned his first acting job at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival where I worked with him the summer of 1979. I got teary…partly happy for him, partly sorry for myself. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    I’m tempted to say I’d like to leave everything behind, but that’s not right is it? Calendars are useful, but my life is one whole thing not to be divided up. Who I am is what I was. Yeah, I’d like to stop certain things I do, but it seems I’m hard-wired…predisposed to my negatives. I do them without thinking, then seconds later am so disappointed. But it’s the trials of those negatives that have helped shape my life, my growth.

    It’s the rear-view mirror vs. the windshield, right? Maybe it’s not about leaving things behind but driving toward the future. Focus on what’s to be done. It’s a judo thing. Take the negative force, embrace it and redirect it to a better future just as a black belt redirects an enemy’s attack against him. Don’t avoid it or let it go. USE it.

    Well…that’s enough of that. Thanks for bearing with me as I work my way through the question.

    • Rear view mirror vs the windshield – oh wow I love that. Driving toward the future and yes – USE IT. Wow Jeff, this was so encouraging and just what I needed to hear this morning. Wow that must have been surreal to hear Tom Hanks reference that. Oh those coulda woulda shouldas. God’s plan, right? God’s plan. Thanks for this. Have a great Tuesday!! Hugs to you and your girls!! Xox

  9. Even though the GPS existed before this past decade, I didn’t start using one until I got an iPhone. Now idk what I would do without a GPS on my phone. Next to the internet, it’s the second best invention in my opinion. 🙂

    Also, dating apps are truly a godsend. I am forever grateful for this advancement in human civilization. On the contrary, I’m not a fan of hookup culture. When used intentionally, dating apps can be a game changer for people, especially for those who are hesitant to flirt with the idea of leaving the single life behind.

    • Thank you so much Hilary! So true!! Google maps is a literal life saver!! agreed! they have really opened up a wide world of options! hugs xox

  10. Well said. Sounds like the Apostle Paul. “I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14. Leave everything at the cross and move on. 🙂

    • thanks so much Kenneth! oh wow — i love that – leave it at the cross! Hugs and love xox

      • I think, masculinity is a perspective. Maybe, there’s something deeper there. You want someone fun, not really into commitment, and/or kind of a jerk. Then, you have lots of reasons to dump them. 😂👍🏻 I’m a bit of the reverse, entertain my mind and maybe my body will follow. No promises.

      • Hahahahaha oh my gosh this made me literally laugh out loud. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

      • Yeah. Just sayin. Oh. I read today, Sally Field had a similar story to you. She had to wait a very long time to get something that framed her ability. I think, you have ALL kinda talent. It will happen.

      • I guess, that’s good about gentrification is, the increased interaction between the good and the bad the rich and the poor. The $25 chicken sandwich and $10 crafty beer and the $5 rotisserie and the liquor store across the street. I just laugh in Los Angeles. “You lost? Your stuff’s across the street.”I

  11. I loved this post! Thanks so much for writing this post reflecting on the past couple of years..or rather decade of our lives 😉 I agree with much of what your goals are, especially about leaving guilt and shame behind. What The Lord has showed me is that it is causing me to carry too much on my journey ahead. Besides, God plans on using my story for His Glory. God bless you, and as always thank you for sharing your story. It is bringing God glory 🙂

    • aw thank you so much Amarachi! it was quite a decade for sure! Hope 2020 brings many blessings for you and yours! 🙂 hugs xo

  12. I don’t want to leave anything behind but the past! I thank God I had any and all of the experiences I had the good the bad and the ugly because I’m a sum total of all my experiences and I will live them down becoming wiser as I do! It’s called carrying my cross and doing it as a servant of God!

  13. Please remember what you said about not dating bad boys. I know they can be quite alluring. Remember this if nothing else. That bad boy never grows up and they will eventually use that mean mentality that we don’t realize we’re attracted to on or against us. Yes give those good MEN a chance.

    • you’re right — no more bad boys. my father would have to agree. MEN!!! Happy New Year! 🎉

  14. Great list! I definitely resonate with many of those things. If there’s one thing I’m leaving behind, it’s doubting myself and who God created me to be. I’m not broken, never was, just unique in my gifts, abilities, and mindset, as God intended I would be 🙂

  15. Thumbs up for your decisions, my dear friend Caralyn!

    With patience new and stronger habits will replace the old ones.
    When the time is ripe the fruit will fall down from the tree…

    Love and confidence may accompany you throughout the new decade, dear friend.
    Warm regards and hugs

  16. Wow, this is one heck of a set of New Years resolutions! You do realise there are only 12 more months until you formulate the next set…get cracking!!

    • hahhaa you’re right I’ve gotta get after it — starting right now! hahah actually — i’m going on a date tonight — so i guess this is rubber-meets-the-road-time! Happy New Year! 🎉

  17. Wow, that is quite the set of New Years resolutions!
    You do realise there is only twelve months before you have to formulate the next set!! Get cracking…
    And now I feel sorry for all the bad boys out there…they’re just misunderstood 🙂

  18. Your Theology is spot on correct. The majority of our earth’s population no matter what religion still think on the salvation by works model philosophical bent. Unfortunately many Christians do the same. They preach salvation by faith and then call out to God “Look at me, I’m doing good things and following dogma routines so enter me into the heavenly immigration records.” Of course good works are an outgrowth of our walk with God not a means to try and get His attention and those works are spontaneous not managed for attention. Now I’m going to have to disappoint you and I say this as one of the men race. We never grow up! That’s what marriage is all about. We need managers to keep us on the straight and narrow path. 🙂 🙂

  19. On this side of the coin, I am testifying that love can last a lifetime. My wife and I recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of our FIRST date. Why do we celebrate this? Because it was a momentous day in both our lives. God clearly had plans for us to spend our lives together. Has it been all wine and Roses? No, but I have been blessed by God’s gift to me of a wonderful helpmate with many reasons to have left me in her dust but instead she has stayed by my side. I have left several activities behind in the last few weeks of 2019 that I do not plan to let them intrude back into my life. I thank God for your site that encourages me every time I stop by.

    • THan kyou so much for this awesome perspective! wow! congrats on 50 years!!! that is so so amazing. You’re so right – love is a beautiful thing. I’ve very touched by your kind words 🙂 big hugs xox

  20. Carolyn a great way to start the new year. I have decided to go back to my old plain-speaking self. So far this year I have told a dear friiend my concerns for her, even though I thought she would never speak to me again and i walked out of a shop where they had clearly been gossiping about me with my head held high.
    By the way my friend is still speaking to me.

    • Thank you so much!! i love that resolution! sounds like you’re a great friend. Hang in there, you’re doing the right thing.

    • THank you so much for these kind words and prayers! Yes, as we press on!!! 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  21. Letting #5 go will help with all the others. Learn from the past, yes; remember the experiences, yes. But carry it around with you as luggage on your all expenses paid, self-imposed guilt trip… please no.

    You’ll find the apologetic mindset diminishes the more secure you are in yourself. You’re an amazing example of struggling to overcome unrealistic expectations, and you don’t have to apologize for being you. No, we’re not perfect, but every day is an opportunity to become the most perfect us we can be.

    Into the ever-changing Now we go. I’ll pray you succeed.

    • You’re so right about that, Matt — thank you so much! We need to claim who we are, and not appologize for it!! Thank you for your prayers! i hope you have a blessed 2020! will be praying for you too!! 🙂 hugs xox

  22. You are preaching to the choir over here! I love this all so much. You should re post it throughout the year so we can all remember and leave all that behind us together!

    I thought of this song.

    • Hi Avery! Oh my gosh, thank you so much!! That’s a great idea! I’ll definitely do that on my instagram 🙂 hehe ohh i can’t wait to listen!! thanks for passing it along! hugs xo

  23. Really enjoyed reading this, you are funny haha! And inspiring. I too have had an eating disorder and it is ugly…. And now i’m fat haha…. No seriously you go girl! Seems like you are rocking it right now! I will follow you!

  24. Oh, I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age. Dating aside, because I am married and have been for 40 years, I don’t think I figured the rest of it out until I was in my 50’s. Perfectionism still likes to creep in. But, I have learned to forgive myself. If I accept that God has forgiven me, and I do, then for me to do any less is to have a standard higher than God – impossible! People pleasing and apologizing!!! Assessing each situation, I have to make a decision about my motivation when it comes to other people; their expectations and mine. I don’t apologize. I ask forgiveness. This clarifies whether or not an apology is warranted. I like your list and as these are things I must work on daily and for life, when I put them into practice, I have peace of mind.

    Silly, but, I have put long hair in the past. For 2020, I have cut it above my shoulders. I am putting aside discontentment and practicing gratitude (which I have been working on for a few years). Related to that, I am putting complaining behind me. I am leaving fear and worry behind – easier said than done.

    You’ve given me a lot to think about. I really enjoy your blog, although I am terrible about keeping on top of blogging and reading other people’s blogs. Maybe, I’ll have to add procrasination to the list of things to leave behind, and be more intentional with my time.

    Happy New Year!

    • Hi Robin, oh gosh thank you for this thoughtful response! 🙂 congrats on 40 years of marriage, that is so beautiful! 🙂 i love all your mindset shifts and resolutions! so inspiring! and i’m right there with ya on the procrastination! haha big hugs xox

  25. Happy New Year! Oh gosh, I can connect to this post so much. Here lately, there has been this one person calling me incapable because of my disabilities. I am leaving behind my past, and what people think I am.

  26. Thank you for being absolutely honest! Happy New Year Caralyn! I hope this year is your best year yet! I pray that you continually grow in the love of God!

    • thank you so much!! Happy new year to you as well! i appreciate your prayers! hugs xo

  27. Any past bitterness and unforgiveness that I had, I’m leaving behind in the twenty-teens. I’m leaving behind any grudges that I’ve had which I find myself ruminating over, even now that it’s over. There is simply no room for past grudges, anger and resentment from what’s already done in 2020–so I let it go!

  28. Wow! If there’s one thing I learned from my 30s, it’s that there is no clock ticking in the background. That’s a myth we tell ourselves so that we are always in a big hurry to go nowhere. This is a great introspective post and I love the new found intentions. Good luck with shedding these things. We all need to do the same.

    • I love that so so much! there is no ticking clock!! i’m writing that one down! 🙂 hugs xox

  29. Preach girl!! I used to say sorry a lot when I started my job at the bank. My assistant manager asked me “what are you sorry about?” And I was kind of dumbfounded. I didn’t really have an answer. Then she told me to stop saying sorry for not doing anything. It was weirdly eye opening. I had never thought about it in that way.

    • aw thank you so much, I’m so glad it resonated with you!! Happy New Year! 🎉 big hugs xox

  30. Great write up! These are great things to leave in the twenty-teens!! I especially felt #4 & 5 are things I plan to work on in 2020. Being unforgiving to oneself and over-critical of oneself hinder us from experiencing the fullness of God’s unadulterated grace, which I’m excited to experience this year🙏🏾

    • Hi Mayo! Thank you so much! i’m glad it resonated with you. amen to that — the fullness of His unadulterated grace! amen!!!!! Happy New Year! 🎉

  31. Thanks for a great post that I could hear myself writing! SO MUCH. One thing I am done with is my bull*** excuses for why I do the things I no longer want to do. When I am part of the problem (or even the entire problem), I need to own it. The good news is that I can also be part of the solution (or even the entire solution). Yay for ownership. The buck stops with me. The other great news is that I have a connection to Source – Jesus – Higher Power when it’s more than I can deal with. Let’s do this whole 2020 with great anticipation!!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Amen – with great anticipation!! Yay for ownership, indeed! Hugs and love xox

  32. I only just started doing selfies late last year and I gotta admit it is actually quite fun. As long as I get my angle and lighting right. Lol.

    Happy new year!

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