Happy New Year Tribe!
I am excited to embrace 2018 without pretense.
Honestly Friends, 2017 was a year of intensive self growth and discovery: a redefinition of who I am as both an individual and as a professional. This past year, I was forced to stop paying lip service to my beliefs and truths but to live them fully and intentionally. I have always theoretically believed that my ambitions were limitless and that systemic and societal ceilings only existed to be broken. I have taught others to believe that and now they are also gladiators and ceiling breakers. Through their successes, my faith has soared. In 2017, I had clients and friends that thought:
- They could not make the next leap in their career/life.
- And…Even if they could make that leap, their finances would not permit them to move forward.
HOWEVER… When they got out of their own way and learned to live with a growth mindset, two of those same fixed mindset folks graduated with master degrees and many of my friends launched businesses that are doing well.
However, as my friends and clients were defying odds, I was noticing something ugly in myself. There was a quiet anger that was building within me. An anger that was an amalgamation of feelings of stagnancy, jealousy and loneliness.
Despite, my own successes and my growing traction in my field, there were days when I felt betrayed by everyone and everything- my job, my partner, my past, my friends, the lack thereof of community… myself.
I had a moment of clarity when a friend of mine with a niche blog that started well after mine, and within a month, had taken off and surpassed me in followers.
SAY WHAT, BISH???
I was so excited for them and at the same time I was jealous of their successes. It was ugly. I was ashamed.
I had to look myself in the mirror and face the self doubt that was manifesting as jealousy, head first. This wasn’t me…was it? I determined that it wasn’t.
I’m not that Person!!!! I determine who I am and who I want to be.
I have always rejoiced in the success of my peers. Shit- I’ve spent countless hours helping people pursue and obtain their dream jobs or get into their dream programs. At the same time…. This ugliness was a weakness in me that had surfaced.
I recognized that a part of me enjoyed that I was “the friend that was ahead of the game and had her shit together”. I realized that I had been allowing that praise and the image that other people had of me, to help me feel whole, to feel worthy.
I had to fill that void with unconditional love for myself.
I also experienced loneliness in a way that was intense and new to me in 2017. A core value of mine has always been community. Moving across state lines away from my partner, family and friends to live alone and work in an environment that does not value community in the same way that I was accustomed to was incredibly difficult for me. I constantly felt like I was reaching out and trying to make new and meaningful connections that just would not stick. People have their own established lives and friends. No room for me. Not only that, as the youngest administrator, it has been hard to connect with people because of the dissonance between where we are in our lives and life experience. I am closer in age to the students than I am with other staff members.
Through all of this I had to learn how to be alone and also how to be whole despite the absence of a physical community.
I asked myself the hard questions… what makes me tick? What makes my heart smile?
I re-discovered that global service, helping people surpass their potential and writing is wholeness for me. Thus, Live.Laugh.Boss was born and has been a comfort and source of growth for me in 2017.
I learned four valuable lessons in 2017 that I have brought with me into 2018 and hope that they will help you also in your journey this year:
1. My definition of success is mine alone to define.
2. I learned the value of empathy and active listening.
3. I learned that my wholeness comes first and foremost before all else.
4. Community transcends borders, age and mileage. It is mine to make.
With these lessons, 2018 is mine and will be an amazing year because I am a better, more whole person going into it.