I woke up in the middle of the night to news of a shooting in Las Vegas. I reached for my phone to see how many more minutes of sleep I could squeeze in before I needed to begin the day. My mind shifted quickly from it’s sleepy state to being pulled into the pieces of the story that were slowly forming. I tried to get back to sleep, completely aware that it may be easier for me than those affected. Or that I have the ability to close my eyes and wake up again.
We leave for Amsterdam today. And a couple days after exploring the city, we will be on our way to Africa—Tanzania and then Rwanda, to be more specific. For almost 3 weeks. I can’t believe this trip is finally here. Over a year ago, the first seeds of the trip were planted, and this little trip spawned a ripple effect of changes.
Before I interviewed for my first job post-grad school, I had a telephone conversation with my prior supervisor. She encouraged me to write down what I am looking for in a position, and to remember that you I am interviewing them, just as much as they are interviewing me. I took some time to write down everything I was currently looking for: a salaried position with benefits (Coming off of 7 years of college/grad school combined, this was a deal-breaker!), the opportunity to earn hours towards licensure, ability to work with the population I had experience with, potential for advancement, and professional development. When I went on my first interview for the position I later accepted, the first question they asked me was, “What are you looking for in a job?” My nerves were immediately calmed, and this process was solidified for me in various aspects of my life.
Iceland has been on travel list since I started seeing the photos of its magnificent landscapes, horses, Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon. One of my best friends, and huge fan of traveling, brought up their plan to potentially book a trip. I was intrigued and started to do my own research. I found that it could be done on a fairly inexpensive budget, especially if you travel during their late Fall/early Winter. Now, most people may not associate traveling to Iceland in November as idealistic, but we couldn’t have asked for better weather, and experience in this European country in the middle of the Atlantic.
Interviews can be extremely stressful. I can attest, because I have been interviewing and changing jobs on what feels like a biennial basis. When I heard my younger brother say he had an interview for a graduate school program last week, I racked my brain for something tangible or words of advice I could offer him. I settled on sending him a video clip. It’s the same one that a dear friend had sent me a few years ago before an interview. It has become part of my go-to routine before any interview, and it has significantly boosted my confidence and eased my anxiety.
I wrote earlier this week about my resolution to strive for balance this year. I decided that it would be easiest for me to make small changes each week to gain momentum. This week, I opted for 3 simple healthy changes that I knew could be achievable and would produce noticeable benefits in my week. Since I ended up feeling more relaxed, yet energized this week, I thought I would share these 3 changes with you.
I learned a lot in 2016. I learned a lot about my work, my relationships and the world. And most importantly, I looked inward (a lot.) and learned a lot about myself. If I could sum up 2016 in one word, it would be awareness. Awareness of strengths, my flaws, my insecurities, my potential and my impact on those around me. Although none of these experiences were brought on by significant traumas or terrible crises, the situations I put myself in this year were catalysts for exponential change within my own life.
Andy and I did not get around to taking, or sending out Christmas cards this year. Although, I was still able to take a few snapshots for someone else’s cards. My sister asked if I would take photos of her cute little family, and I happily obliged. I was a mildly nervous, since portraits are a new territory for me. We lucked out with the weather and Hank, their German Shorthaired Pointer was the perfect model. I was beyond happy with how they came out and thought I would share a couple of my favorites with you.