2015 was a year of epic highs and lows both professionally and personally. Here are a few highlights:
My Car: I had some major issues with my with my car and I’m pretty sure I’ve replaced just about every inch of it at this point – including the engine. The joke is it will be a new car when I’m ready to sell.
My Health: I went through a really unhealthy period for about 5 months where I was only sleeping 4 hours a night, working the hours I was awake, barely eating and not working out at all. I knew it wasn’t healthy but all I knew was I had too much on my plate and I couldn’t let any of drop for fear of disappointing myself and those who were counting on me. Unfortunately I’m paying for it now.
Grad School: After two years of frustration and hard work, I completed an awesome graduate program through Northern Kentucky University called Executive Leadership and Organizational Change. As difficult as it was at times, it was an amazing accomplishment and I’m so glad I stuck with it. Not only did I gain some tools for my toolbox, I connected with folks who I can call my friends.
KCCE: The organization I work for, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives, celebrated our 50th year and it was incredible to be a part of that. Knowing that KCCE has been around so long to provide professional development training for the staff of local chambers in Kentucky and that I’ve been an integral part of that for the past 7 years is humbling.
Speaking Circuit/Skills Utilization: This year was a big one for me in terms of being asked to speak or present at a variety of different venues and on different topics, including becoming a faculty member at Institute for Organization Management. I also became a mentor/counselor to several people outside of simply being the person people contact for answers or simply to talk. I realized that mentoring is something I’m good at and enjoy and THIS will be a huge part of my future.
Awesome Trips: One of my mottos is to ‘Travel somewhere new each year’ and I certainly lived up to that! Cool trips this year included a second trip to India with a side excursion to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE (third time there!) with an amazing group of chamber executives; 16 days in Asia with my ELOC class that included South Korea (country #30!), China ( 3rd time) and Japan (2nd trip); beautiful Montreal and Quebec City; and Jekyll Island in the hot humid month of July no less. Each of these trips taught me something about the area, the culture, the people, but most importantly they taught me about myself.
Peace Corps: After months of deliberation, I applied to be a PCV in July and in September was invited to go to the Kyrgyz Republic (leaving April 1). After preparing myself for the culture and the climate, I was contacted at the end of November that there was a change and I could choose a new location (I was given 3 choices). So now I’m heading to Morocco in September and could not be more thrilled. I am looking forward to immersing myself in the culture while working with youth in the country to help build capacity and promote world peace.
As I reflected on 2015, I can overwhelmingly say the highs outweighed the lows.
Onward and upward. Here’s to an incredible, fabulous 2016!