If I were to take a moment to look back on the last 10 years, I have a lot to reflect on.
In the year 2010, I was in my last year of university. I graduated surrounded by my best friends with a communications and film degree. I had never felt more happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time in my life and I truly did not know what the future held for me.
In the summer of 2010, I had a very narrow view of what my future looked like. I was in the slow process of knowing my true identity after a break up that made me question what I really wanted to do with my life. I had a fear and pressure from many outside influences on what my next strategic move should be in my life. Should I get a full-time job in my industry? Should I move to Toronto? Should I save money to buy a house? Should I travel?
Many of my peers were focused and determined to get full-time, well-paying jobs in their industry as soon as possible. The pressure a student gets when they graduate university is completely overwhelming and truly suffocating. What do we truly know about life and what we want at 21?
When I had conversations with my friends and family about traveling, I always sensed a bit of judgment and naivety in my dreams and my goals. Everyone’s mission after university was to get a job that would secure you for the rest of your life, find someone to settle down and live that life with. Society makes us feel like it is the most important thing we should be doing.
I sometimes was fearful that if I did take time to travel, I would truly be left behind, and I would not be as successful as my peers who got full-time jobs right away. Little did I know, 10 years later that reality would be far from the truth, and that year of travel truly pushed me lightyears further than most of my peers.
At the end of 2010, I decided this was the right choice for me, and with the support from my friends and family, I embarked on my first solo journey across the world to Australia. This trip truly was an experience of a lifetime that opened up my eyes to a whole other world that was so much bigger than my university or hometown in Ontario, Canada.
When I look back at that time in my life, I truly was allowing myself to become the person I am today. I was just coming into my confidence and into my voice; I was taking the time to truly know who I was and what I wanted in life. I started my very first blog, Just A Girl Adventures to share my travels with my friends and family. This is the moment that I truly really fell in love with writing publicly.
I feel so lucky that I got this time to truly reflect on the things I wanted for myself and what I wanted my future to look like. For the first time in my life, I was actually taking a risk FOR ME and that risk has greatly rewarded me, time and time again to set me up for future success.
Within the last 10 years, I have traveled to multiple countries, overcame my fear of the ocean and got certified as an open water scuba diver. I had a very successful career in the IT industry, where I moved from Toronto to Vancouver to jumpstart the marketing department and lead a team. I learned how to start over in a city where I knew no one. I dabbled in all of my interests from volunteering with the Toronto International film Festival, joining female lead networking communities, getting inspired by other entrepreneurial stories, quitting my full time corporate job and being a part of the film and television industry. I have lived alone, met and married my soulmate, bought a condo, started my own business, secured and maintained long distance friendships that have lasted over 10 years and have never felt closer to my family.
In the last 10 years, I have also had many hard times. I had to deal with the soul crushing loss of my grandmother while I was in Australia. Nothing truly will ever be as painful as it was to go through such a deep and tragic moment in my life alone while I was entire world away from the ones I love. I also lost my grandfather, who truly is the inspiration for all my entrepreneurial endeavours. I struggled supporting a partner who was going through permeant residency and worked three jobs to get by. I dealt with severe depression, had anxiety attacks, and dealt with the darkest moments of my life in a job I thought would be the death of me. I learned tough lessons in love, let go of friendships and family members who no longer brought joy or love to my life. Struggled to hold things together for my family across the country as my mother went through cancer treatment. Dealt with hard lessons in the corporate world from being told I was not worthy of a promotion, shamed for being "blonde", "dumb", "young", "loud", "opinionated", being told my skill, talent and experience wasn’t worth it, and constantly getting “concussions” from hitting the glass ceiling one too many times.
In the last 10 years, I truly have learned so many life lessons that have set me up to be the woman I am today. I now am the owner of my own marketing agency and I have the blueprint and map to the life that I want to lead and the legacy I want to leave one day. I truly have never felt more in control of my own creative direction and more comfortable in my own decisions.
When I think about entering into this new decade, I am filled with so much hope for the next 10 years. Even though I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the last 10 years, I truly do not feel like I have even touched the surface of what my success, happiness and purpose can and will be.
My goal for the next decade, has always been to stay true to my mission and my goal of sharing stories. I have discovered that my superpower is sharing stories, and I hope to continue to share meaningful, inspiring, heartfelt, and genuine stories to you as we continue to take on a new decade that is sure to have many influential stories waiting to be told.
I have so many goals and aspirations for 2020 and I absolutely cannot wait to get started. I am looking forward to sharing, growing, and thriving with whoever is inspired by what I am creating, and encourage you to join me along the way.
Wishing you a truly magical rest of this decade, and wish you nothing but happiness, health, creativity and love as we enter into the next decade of the roaring 20s!
Creativity & Love,