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If you know me, you know that I emphasize the reflection process in my life as a way to learn, grow, and improve. Also, life moves fast, and so this is one of my favorite ways to capture the moments and look back on them too.
Without further ado, this year’s top 10 moments in chronological order.
In May, my husband (then fiance) took a trip to his home country, Australia.
It was my third time visiting, and we fit in quite a bit during our two-week stay.
Six years in life is a long time, and even longer at one company. After more than six years, I decided to leave HubSpot. I left to experience more of life, diversify my professional experience, and increase my contribution to the world. This was especially difficult because I was leaving one of the teams that I helped build – the HubSpot Academy team.
When I left, I posted an update to LinkedIn to share some career highlights, which you can see here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6301814278504611840/
Here are some of my career highlights:
Leaving the company and the team was no easy decision. I sought the help of many mentors and even a career coach. If you’re contemplating the difficult decision to stay or leave your current job, check out Red Cape Revolution. Darcy Eikenburg is an excellent career coach who has helpful content and ways of thinking. She offers a course chalk full of introspection exercises and activities to better uncover your superpowers, passions, and goals in life. Also, this TED Talk helped tremendously to make the decision, and so did the book, Designing Your Life.
When I decided to leave HubSpot, Ken and I decided we’d use this time to proactively plan our next chapter together.
When we took a step back, we decided to use this time to travel, potentially move to a new city, and do some formal training.
Thus, we embarked on a journey that we both always wanted to do – travel the entire United States.
We traveled for 45 days and drove about 11,000 miles on our little Hyundai Elantra. We drove as far south as New Orleans, as far west as the coast of California, north as Seattle, and then came back through the middle of the country.
Based on what I saw on our trip, I also was inspired to start Tech Job Training for Americans.
Up until this point, I’d only been to Acadia National Park. On our trip, we traveled to the following parks:
One of the most physically demanding challenges I’ve undertaken in recent years, hiking into the Grand Canyon was nothing to scoff at.
It was unusually hard because of the challenges we unintentionally added into the equation, like:
Halfway down our hike, we came across a small bathroom building which had a thermometer on it – it read 110-degrees, in the shade.
When we got to our campsite at the bottom, another thermometer read 130-degrees in the sun. No wonder when I got to the bottom, after a 5-hour hike I was loopy.
One of the beautiful parts of traveling the country was being able to see so many of our friends who now live across the US.
We stayed with friends who newly moved to NYC. We met new friends in Raleigh, NC. We stayed with our good friend Brin in Austin and saw other friends who have recently moved there. We visited Sara in San Francisco and Rachel and Ryan in Seattle. We stayed with Ken’s uncle in Vegas, and grandfather in Chicago.
We’re truly blessed to have such great people in our lives who are willing to let us both crash there and show us around their new city or hometown.
If you travel across the country, you have to impose yourself. This was great advice I got from my friend Evan, and I’m so happy we took it.
If you read my top 10 blog post from last year, then you know that Ken and I met in Rome. One year and nine months later, we formalized our union by getting married with 50 of our closest family and friends in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
One day after our wedding, Ken and I watched What the Health because a close friend recommended it. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a documentary which “examines the link between diet and disease, and the billions of dollars at stake in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industries” Ken and I decided we’d try a 30-day vegan challenge.
After 30 days of no meat or dairy, I lost 4lbs and returned to my high-school weight, had tons of energy, and ditched caffeine since I no longer needed or wanted it. I also didn’t need my allergy-induced asthma inhaler which was an excellent benefit as during the fall months I typically would rely on it.
However, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. At the four-day mark, I began to feel listless and wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the 30-days. I felt sick and thought either I started battling the flu or I was ill because of the diet. After a new friend on Twitter generously sent me a free Purple Carrot box, we began to understand the power of nutritious vegan meals.
Some of our favorite vegan recipes:
After going vegan, I’ve remained a vegan at home and a vegetarian outside the house.
Learn more about 30-day challenges here.
This year I meditated almost 100 times.
Meditation was something I never thought I’d do, be interested in, or need. However, when a colleague said he meditated to “add some yin to his yang,” it got me thinking. I worked at a fast-paced company, on a fast-paced team focused on innovation, and my workouts were HIIT. Everything in my life was yang, so much so that I didn’t truly understand the yin side.
After meditating, I’ve noticed the following perspective shifts:
There are so many quality meditation apps available for download for you to choose from. I’ve been using Calm, and I love it.
I’ve recently signed on as cofounder and head of marketing at an early-stage startup based out of Boston.
I started to write again and on Medium this time. You can see my few posts here:
I also went back to my alma mater, the University of Florida, for a football game with my husband and parents. I loved being able to show them where I took business classes, my favorite restaurants/ bars, and take them to a game to give them some insight as to what it’s like to be a Florida Gator.
Another excellent year full of exciting moments has passed, and I look forward to seeing where 2018 takes us.
I wrote an article on Medium yesterday.
It’s about something very near and dear to me, intersectional innovation.
Click the link below to read it.