Thursday, March 3, 2016

Detour: Why Quitting My Job (both of them) Advanced My Career (and my confidence)

As another depressing tax season wraps, I still find myself thankful for the career biz that this past year brought. Although requiring some of the scariest professional moments of my life, they turned out to be some of the most effective and growth promoting moments of my year.

You know the saying, "face your fears and ....... " (something good after that right?). Well it's true. The one I clung to though was this ..... "let your faith be greater than your fears." I clung to it and it came through. Because it's truth.

In February 2014 I decided to leave my job with Accenture, after 7 years tenure, to try something new. My reasoning was this: I had started my career there, and yes advanced it, yet had never ventured out. In addition I had been working from home for nearly 2 years and going a lil' stir crazy. ONLY because you then factor in that I was also going through a divorce and was single Mothering a 2 year old (meaning I was only leaving the house to do preschool drop-offs/pick-ups - prior to dinner, bath & bed 5 days a week) do I use the word crazy. It's legit. I needed and wanted a change. The new offer was welcomed, and as I prepared for the transition I wrote my letter of resignation and took a deep breath. It was unexpected. I was told that I was valued more than I realized and to reconsider. Yet, as money isn't everything.....I moved forward.

At GLG, I learned more on the work front than I had in years. Not because of company success or talent necessarily (which damn there's a lot there) yet simply because of change. Fresh ideas, perspective and practices. I learned that while I enjoyed the environment,  I did not enjoy the work. I learned that while surrounded by incredible minds - the support structure I want and thrive in, was not there. And lastly, I learned that while my career gets me fired up ...... time with "her" is most important. This comes much easier and enjoyed with a good work/life balance. I learned A LOT. All of which I wouldn't have learned if I didn't leap. And damn that leap was scary.

After a much needed (and maximized) 2 months off, I settled into a Knowledge Management position with original stomping grounds. And when I say settled - don't get the wrong idea. I spent those 2 months working a system I had put together. I woke up and first thing (over coffee) sent out 5 applications each morning. Which resulted in 4 interviews & 3 job offers later ...... one of which just blew the rest out of the water. My point here is this: I worked a system. A system that worked for me. A system that was based around intense networking and ME interviewing companies ..... not the other way around. I sold myself to the best of my ability yes - yet - I was upfront and clear about what I wanted as well. What I needed. AND what I was going to give in return.

Sometimes it works for you. Sometimes it doesn't. BUT DAMN it was time I said "F it" and went all in. Good thing I did.

** "F it" credit goes to my daughter, Cora. If there's anything that will make you do what you need to do when you need to do it, it's a child. An incredible, curious, and beautiful ~ child**

Monday, April 20, 2015

Coachella Culture

As the rep goes......Coachella is a must do at least once. A check on your bucket list. A "what to do before you have kids" item. There's where I went wrong :-) I agree it is a must do and glad I did. So much so, I may do it again.

Here's the deal: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in Indio, California. Going
strong since 1999 this gig features mixed genres of music (which I love) including indie, rock, hip hop and EDM. Even better, it boasts inspiring art installations and sculptures amongst picturesque grounds (think breathtaking sunsets). The impressive venue hosts multiple stages and artists that continuously bring live music and experiences that will not disappoint. As if that is not enough - these 3 days of musical magic are accompanied by the opportunity to "car camp" just outside of festival grounds. YES - I said camping - so I'm a happy girl. Love me some camping as is yet when you add in friends, party favors, and an impressive music festival ..... not much more is needed. That is, outside of a good shower and strong coffee in the mornings. WHICH THERE IS!

Why is it a may versus a must? Well first off there's the financial investment.  I spent nearly $1k this year and let's be honest - there's A LOT you can do for $1k. A LOT that differs from camping, concerts and outhouses. Now of course that down plays it entirely (except for the outhouses - truly gross) yet the real deal deciding factor for me is whether or not I can embrace the majority demographic (18-25 is my guess) and more so - let loose and have fun along side?  I did pretty well this go round yet it did admittedly surprise me (along with making me feel old - which I am NOT) and took about a day to get over before settling in. Outside of that there was the head shaking factor which I believe truly came from camping exposure (you just see more) and Motherhood. Damn it. What I'm referring to is Coachella Culture: the abundant youthful drug/alcohol induced scantily clad peeps there to be super hip, make bad decisions and listen to some music they may or may not know. When not jealous of them (cause let's be honest....completely carefree times are fun!) I was just praying Cora would want to camp with her Mother her first Coachella go round :-)

This I can say.....I went with great people and we enjoyed music, moments, beer, laughs, dancing & other nonsense together in a gorgeous setting over 3 beautiful days. This truly is Coachella Culture.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sonoma Sips, Style & Sincerity

Every sip. Every penny (a lot of them). Every beautiful moment. Well worth it.

This is how it went down..........this past summer while working for GLG I found myself in the quaint and quiet Long Beach, CA airport. Hoping to charge my phone before flight, I asked a fellow traveler if I could borrow his cord, no longer being used. A yes, and conversation on social listening later - an invite to Sonoma came. He and his girls lived in the beautiful and slow Sonoma county and welcomed pleasant guests and wine lovers alike. I fancied the idea.

Then fancied it some more. And nearly a year later when nice weather arrived, I thought, "why would I not make my way to Sonoma to slow down, sip and explore their scene," And so I did.

When I say that I want to go back tomorrow, know that's because yes - I do. As in, "could I live here" thoughts crossed my mind while there and it's still debatable. Not doable but debatable. I settled in so well and how could I not, when my hosts and my scenery were so warm and welcoming. Dennis (my friend and host) would often say "every day is focused on staying in this beautiful bubble of ours" ...... and it was. He knows what he's got and he's working to keep it. What he's got is red, whites and bubbles along with breathtaking views for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) just moments away. Jack London's (think Call of the Wild) impressive estate and grounds within minutes, and Sonoma's Town Square, boasting delicious fare and tasting rooms galore just around the corner. All part of the neighborhood. Only minutes away from his neighbor, Napa.

While there are so many sights, scenes and sips to call out, it would take too many words to recount every worthy moment yet the consistent theme was this: Slow down. Savor. Embrace and enjoy. It's not a foreign country removed from the rush or the everyday business (as San Fran is a commuters drive away) yet they still thrive differently. The ambiance of the vineyards, warm talent and local social scene (all intentional transplants) make it a place you want to be. A crowd you want to join. A tasting that you never want to end.

I loved it. All of it.

(shout outs to my now near & dear missed friends: Dennis, Gerry, Michelle, Connor, Jason and Kyle - you help make it what it is)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In The Last 12 Years

In the last 12 years ........

I have travelled throughout the US, Asia, Mexico, and frolicked on many tropical  beaches. I started a career that I'm thankful to say remains challenging, purposeful and rewarding. I got married, bought a dog, and built a home. I have enjoyed girlfriend getaways & celebrated degrees, weddings, babies, break-ups, first homes and good wine :-) I have delighted in being an Auntie to a bright and polite young lady, as well as 2 sharp and compassionate little boys. I have settled into 2 different churches, found a community group that changed my life, and prayed with those closest to me - as well as complete strangers. I gave birth to a perfect baby girl who in turn has given life to me. I have made mistakes. Many mistakes. I've leaned on my parents time  and well as church family and friends. They've leaned on me back. I ran a 1/2 marathon, jumped out of a plane, vacationed alone, written and read poetry, and experienced the beauty in music. I lost an incredible brilliant woman who I was blessed to call Grandma & also a marriage, as I mourned loss in many forms. I have learned how to be a single Mother while being guided and encouraged in the process by angels I call: Mom, Girlfriends, and amazing real deal folk :-) I have been blessed beyond words in relationships, finances, spirituality and smarts. I have fallen in love.....more than once..... or even twice. I have quit jobs and leapt off ledges in faith. Anxiety has at time paralyzed me while faith has always saved me. I have embraced experiences, people, learnings', and all  small and big moments with an open and wanting heart.

In the last 12 years I have beaten Cancer and I have lived.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Letting Go and Letting In at Long Beach

As two months of breathing room and space to find sanity comes to an end, I find myself in Long Beach screaming at the ocean.

I was determined that after making the most of the 2 months that were all mine, I would (with fond memories) let the time go. Along with that I would also let go of the pain, resentment, guilt and just damn fed up'ness, that I took on in the year prior. So here I stand screaming at the ocean as I let it all go......making room for the new.  I left home so that I could leave it somewhere else. I chose the ocean because it calms my soul. Feeling small, humbled and renewed is encouraging. It's feeling His promise without any distractions.

After allowing many tears that have been buried in pain yet draped in joy, I vow to accept what was - is - and now can be. I feel as if my heart is waking up and being set free to settle in where it's meant to be. I've allowed this to surface, and by choice, invited Him in to do some fixing. I can then guard my heart knowing that it's not rooted in a fleeting past or tied to an identity that I once claimed in error. Strongholds now gone, I work to build back up what's solid.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Have a Threenager

Three years ago today I paced the halls of Swedish Hospital anxiously awaiting a little girl that I knew would rock my world (ok: I waddled the halls keeling over as each painful wave of contractions hit). No matter the amount of books read, websites perused or classes attended – I could not have been prepared for what this incredible vibrant little person would do to my heart. How she would shape my world, expand my mind and change EVERYTHING.

Cora Marie at 7 pounds 4 ounces came into this world wide eyed and silent …… happy, healthy and hungry, yet as content and peaceful as could be. She wrapped her perfect wrinkly fingers around mine, looked into my eyes right through to my soul, and latched onto my breast, where she stayed for nearly an hour. Focused on satisfying a need and listening to her Mothers heartbeat, while forming a bond that could never ever be broken. To date – THIS is my favorite, most memorable and accomplished moment in my life.
Three years later she is still wide eyed, happy, healthy and yes - hungry. Silent? NO :-) While I still satisfy her needs, those needs have changed dramatically as she learns to pursue, provide and consider all in life for herself. The bond remains tighter than ever and I know always will, as she satisfies my needs in return. She still looks through my eyes into my soul, while clutching my hand for comfort. The days are chaotic and filled with her laughter, tantrums, silliness and sass, that come through one liners, a smarty pants attitude and brilliant observations of the world around her.
Yes, I definitely have a threenager. She is busier, sassier and stronger willed than most while constantly keeping me on my toes. She wears my patience, test my limits, and takes until I have no more to give…..although I always do. During these days (that I’m aware will soon pass) we navigate a life together as Mother and Daughter, building a new home. We continue to learn from each other, love on each other, and drive each other crazy :-) Throughout it all I see her heart …….. her huge, compassionate, warm heart, in the little body that she will soon outgrow. I feel blessed. I feel satisfied, and yes – my world is rocked.

Happy birthday my sweet girl.


Monday, July 21, 2014

33 WILL Kick Ass

I think I am 32. Yet I may be 33.

Yes, this seriously happens once you turn thirty .... and I'm not quite sure if this is due to actually getting older (onsetting memory loss), or due to the craziness of life that often increases in your thirties: a demanding career, busy little kids and a lot of wine (just to survive it all). None the less, it happens.  It took me a few yet I've determined (ok my Mother did) that I'm 33 this year and with that I'm determined that 33 will kick ass. It must. Actually to make up for 32, I think I need at least the next 3 years to kick ass.

So far so good as this one starts with quality peeps surrounding me. 33 has already brought incredible experiences that include new beautiful sights, unforgettable moments and great convos over time well spent with family, friends and a new man that's come into my life.

Along with a wonderful fem family celebration, I was pleasantly suprised with a road trip through the picturesque Cascade loop. I have to say this trip is a must for Northwesterners'. For all. It opened my eyes to so much overlooked beauty right here in our backyard that I needed a reminder of. That along with perfect company made the experience the best birthday gift I could have asked for. Leavenworth to Winthrop to Lake Diablo to Coupeville.....I sat back, took it all in, and enjoyed the ride. Cheers to kicking ass.