Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2012 absolutely flew by! I really can't believe it has come and gone.

Looking back, if I had to describe 2012 in three words, they would be: the unknown, change, progress. We started out the year not knowing where we would finish it, not knowing which PhD program Brett would get into and where we would live for the next 5-6 years. I didn't know what kind of job I would have, or even if I would have a job at all. Once we made the decision to move to Atlanta, we spent countless hours apartment and job searching and coordinating logistics of a big move. We left the town and school where we met and said lots of tearful goodbyes to good friends. We set off on the Blue Ridge Parkway and spent days winding through mountains without knowing exactly what the future held. Brett started a new program. I started a new job (and in some ways, a new career). We got a new puppy. And we got engaged.

It was a whirlwind of a year full of big changes. In many ways, I think I'm only beginning to stop reeling from all of them. And while it was definitely difficult, at times, to deal with so much change, it was also a great year! I got a job within two weeks of moving, which is something I'm so grateful for in this economic climate. I'm not entirely sure development is the career for me, but I'm learning so much and working with great people for a great organization. We found a gorgeous apartment. Our little puppy has brought us more joy, laughter, and cuddles than we ever thought possible. And Brett and I really grew as a couple. Somewhere along the way, we became this much stronger team and learned to work even better together.

I'm grateful for the holidays and the new year, because it gave me some time to reflect on just how big of a year 2012 was for me - and for Brett and I. It also gave me some time to stop looking backward and just spinning to keep up; to pause and look forward. And when I did, I realized that 2013 can be an absolutely fantastic year if I try and make it one. I want to use my time intentionally this year to grow as a person, to advance in my career, to pursue the things I'm passionate about, to think about what it is exactly I'm passionate about and want to spend my life doing, to get more organized, to write more, to volunteer more, and to read more. Not a small list, I know. But I want to make sure that as we settle into life here in the south that I'm really taking advantage of my talents and gifts, giving back to the world, and creating a foundation for the life that I've always dreamed of living. I want to let go of self-doubt and fear of failure and really pursue my goals. I need to start going after the ambitions that I guard closely deep down inside - ambitions that are too scary even to write down as new year's resolutions. I don't just want to get through this next year, spinning faster and faster until another year is over. I yearn to flourish.

So here is to a new year! Let's spend it being the very best version of ourselves and making the world a better place for women.


  1. Loved this! I know we were just talking about it, but sometimes I really do think we're sisters separated from birth :) Now to actually meet in person...

    1. I know! I wrote this just before reading your post, and was amazed at how similar they were. I think I'm going to pick FLOURISH as my one word for 2013. A lot like yours.

      I know! There is always an upcoming wedding that makes a great excuse for a trip to atlanta! :-)

  2. I love the positive tone of this post! It's so important to take the time and reflect on the past year and make goals for the new one so that it will be challenging and fulfilling. And I'm positive that 2013 will be every bit as happy and memorable as 2012.

    I have two 2013 words, one professional and the other personal: PUBLISH and PATIENCE. Forgive my fondness for the letter P.

  3. Yay Shannon (and Brett)! 2013 will also be the beginning of your marriage journey!

    I'm really excited for Fall 2013 when I will NOT be at a new job, but will start a fresh year at a place I'm familiar with.

    Happy New Year!! We'll be in touch. --Bex

  4. We look forward to seeing the two of you continue your life's journey together. There certainly was a lot of change and we took for granted how difficult all of that may have been because we knew you two were going through it together. Look forward to seeing you both again soon. Happy New Year. Anna & Eric

  5. Shannon, I was introduced to your blog by reading the blog roll of another blog as that is part of my job as an online outreach coordinator (reading blogs) and I must say I really like your writing style. Some of the things you write about the year 2012 being one of the unknown, progress and change really resonates with me as I and a lot of my friends, family and professional connections experienced the same things. It was a challenging year for some of us and most of the people I know either changed jobs, moved to a new place or had to adjust to some sort of loss. It sounds like you are starting the year with great opportunities and I wish you the best. I will stop by from time to time. Cheers!