Bringing clarity into 2020

Updated: May 3, 2020

I spent the final month of 2019 and of the decade thinking about all the things I've managed to accomplish and thinking about what should be next for me. In 2009 I became a mom, in 2011 I got married, 2012 I had my second child, and in 2013 I started my career in the tech space. I bought my dream car in 2015 (yes, it was an Austin Yellow BMW M3), experienced my first lay off 4 months later and then landed a job at a company that catapulted my career in ways I couldn't imagine at the time. I also started my own business in 2015 - shout out to you Binge and Splurge for being a very special baby of mine. I experienced my first solo trip around the world in 2017 and had my mom and sister meet me in Paris for another work trip in 2019. There were a ton of milestones in between those moments but those were the ones that I resonated with me the most.

With those highs also come lows; being overworked and grouchy to being absolutely terrified that I wasn't "enough" is my biggest fear. What I've learned is that it's important to recognize the feelings that just flat out "don't feel good". That goes for the vibes I get from people too... I learned that it's ok to say someone just isn't your kind of person and to keep your distance.

In the past 6 weeks I've learned to embrace change and to no longer fear the unknown. My reflection allowed me to see that every door that shut welcomed a bigger opportunity for me to grow and thrive. The universe and my faith have never let me down and have not left me without something to fall back on. Most of all I have learned that in order to grow you need to shake off the fear of the unknown; nothing great comes from playing it safe. You'll spend the best years/days/moments of your life keeping things the same and one day you're going to look back and think damn, I missed out. I refuse to allow myself to look back with regret for not going after something I wanted, even if it meant I failed. Oh, and never look at failure as a bad thing, it's a lesson. Most of all, every "hard" lesson prepares you to be greater and to be successful the next time that situation arises because trust me, it will.

I also now acknowledge that life isn't meant to be done alone. If it feels lonely at the top, you're doing it wrong. I've said that to myself twice in the past two years... literally. I've said, "Success is a lonely place" only to find that it's because I was creating the separation that stole my joy on my own. The top should be a celebration; if it isn't you're on the wrong mountain and you should probably take a look at what you need to do to make your situation a happier one. The same way that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to get to the top and it feels good to know that everyone is trying to get there... TOGETHER. I highly suggest looking at your people, know who is going to be there for you when things get hard and make sure you treat those people with the love and respect that they deserve. This goes beyond just treating people the way you want to be treated - you should be able to create an open dialogue with these people about how you can support one another. I learned to let my gaurd down a little too! Oh my goodness how amazing it was to let people into my life... yes, I'm still selective but learning to no longer hold people to my own past trauma has been the best choice for me in the long term.

As I embark on another decade I'd say that my definition of success is going to look a little different, I spent all of the 2010s building a career and a name for myself. That came at a cost and that cost was a sacrifice of my time. I don't regret that at all, I now want to focus on building connections that will inspire others to build the strongest version of themselves. I want to have the time and the opportunity to do things that are really important to me especially when it comes to my kids and the time that I have to spend with them. Most of all I want to be my authentic self and to feel respected while being authentic.

Here's to 10 more years of growth!

- Joanel


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