2017. What. A. Year.

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Ah yes, New Year’s Eve. That one night of the year when our regrets, mistakes, challenge, opportunities, dreams and goals collide. 2017 was a year of change for me. With my Word of the Year–Equanimity–guiding me, I focused on the big things, the important things in my life, and maintaining composure in difficult situations. In fact, I had Daring Greatly–inspired by Brene Brown and the concept of vulnerability–tattooed on me. Because in the end, it’s not the critic who counts.

This year started out with a bang. My word for 2017 guided my mindset that the best is yet to come. I attended The Rundle Summit, a graduate-student led conference which focuses on bringing together academic and professional communication perspectives in Kananaskis, Alberta. At the time I was just reaching the halfway point in my Master’s degree and enjoyed meeting with professionals in the industry working on the west coast. That’s not to say I didn’t have some fun along the way. I explored Banff after the conference with Jen, a very good friend of mine, and ended the trip thousands of feet above sea level on top of Sulphur Mountain, writing an article for Travel Alberta. The day after I got home I was back on a plane flying to Saint John, New Brunswick with my partner Mike, exploring the city and meeting with local professionals, finally publishing an article for Discover Saint John. 12 days, 2 provinces, 10,000+ km later, I was home.

[Somewhere between all of this I sat down Shold Media Group to chat about my business, my background, and working in the industry.]

In May I flew back out to Edmonton for 3 weeks to start the second year of my Master’s program with the University of Alberta. I started working on the foundation of my research–how social media can be better incorporated into college classrooms and curriculums. I also spent quite a bit of time with my Edmontonian friends–lots of laughs, dancing, school stumbles, personalized Edmonton tours, and memories to last a lifetime. I am truly so thankful I decided to fly across the country to go back to school because I’ve met some of my best friends along the way.

In September, I flew out to Boston for the Inbound marketing conference. What an amazing overload of inspiration that was–Michelle Obama, Brene Brown, Piera Gelardi, Dr. Ed Catmull, and John Cena–wow, just wow.

In November my partner Mike and I got engaged, and just last week I took my first-ever plane ride with my parents to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We survived our much overdue family vacation (but missed my sister dearly!) and made some memories along the way.

2017. What. A. Year.

As I sit here with less than 7 hours until the countdown begins, I am feeling extremely grateful. Over the last 12 months I have come to truly believe that there are always better things ahead than any we leave behind. I truly feel blessed for the loving family and amazing friendships I have developed and maintained, some over decades; for my career and the amazingly talented, driven people I get to work with everyday; for good health; for continuous education and a desire to learn; for travel and endless adventures; and for an amazing partner who never fails to support my crazy dreams and goals.

So, for the 8th year in a row there is just one thing to do–set goals to crush in 2018! My Word of the Year for 2018 is integrate–”to make whole.” In Rising Strong, Brene Brown says, “Integrating is the engine that moves us through the reckoning, the rumble, and the revolution, and the goal of each of these processes is to make ourselves whole” (p. 41). In 2018 I will be wholeheartedly ‘in’–and vulnerable–with my relationships, career, health, and goals.

2018, see you soon. Happy New Year!

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