As I think more about gratitude, I realize that I have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes, it takes a reality check to realize everything that you do have.
One of the things I’ve become incredibly thankful for is the rich network of women I have in my life. Through my job, I’ve met a lot of amazing people, who are incredibly talented and driven. Over the past few months, I’ve really begun to collaborate and spend more time with my colleagues-turned-friends, and my life is much richer for it.
One thing I realize that I need in my life is an environment that fosters growth.Back when I lived in Madison, before I met Jason, I was pretty miserable. Reflecting on it now, a lot of it stemmed from being bored. I worked at a job that I liked but didn’t provide much professional challenge. It wasn’t until I started my blog, Racing Bananas, that I began to get out of the funk. I had a project to focus on, to help me explore my interests, learn a new skill, and connect with people with similar interests. Seems intuitive, but I didn’t realize I needed that then.
The past 1.5 years have been a whirlwind for me – meeting Jason, moving to a new state, planning a wedding. I found last spring, though, that I was beginning to feel the same way that I did in Madison. Nothing excited me and my challenged me, but not in the way I needed. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out of this slump.
But – things turned around. I’ve been fortunate to connect personally and professionally with colleagues who share similar interest with me. I’ve come to realize that having a network of friends and colleagues who challenge me to think outside of the box, be creative in problem resolutions, and push to me to think of what I can do is crucial to me and my life. It pushes me to to better at my job and makes me more happy. I now have a project that I’m working on with a friend that excites me and gives me something to focus on, to research, to help me develop professionally and help students grow. It’s a win-win.
What I’ve realized is that growth isn’t just for students or the overly ambitious. Submersing yourself in an environment of growth is important to continue to develop and grow, and push yourself to be better. It may be in your career or personal life, but pushing yourself – or at least, myself – to be better, I find that I am much happier. And I’m grateful for that.