Early Christmas Presents

You know those days where so much happens that once you crawl into bed and think about that morning it feels like a week ago? That’s what 2016 has been like for me.

This time last year I was finishing out the first semester of my senior year of college. I was a student, an intern, twenty-two, and uncertain of the future. As I reflect on the past year, I’m beginning to realize how much really happened: between graduation and the job search, the loss of a few friends (including a beloved pet) and the gain of many new ones, and all the little adventures I’ve been part of, it’s easy to say this year was one for the books.

I’m proud of all I’ve accomplished during this last trip around the Sun. Of course I’m including personal growth among these achievements, but I also won’t forget all the great times spent with friends and family. Even the bad moments have their place in my thanksgivings.

Luckily, some of my favorite moments of the year have been pretty recent. The timing leads me to consider them early Christmas presents from the man upstairs.

Therefore it’s no surprise these gifts are better than I could have imagined.

houston-nightfall
Houston Nightfall

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A week ago I was boarding a plane to Houston. It was my first time traveling to Texas, and, more importantly,  it was my first time going on a business trip. Having begun my job only two weeks prior, I was a little nervous. A large part of this trip would be my finally meeting face-to-face with people who had previously just been names in emails and talking with them about my role and qualifications. Did I mention that most of these people have their PhD.’s? No? Well, now I have.

Fortunately, they each also have a sense of humor – one representative I had emailed requesting information for marketing materials messaged my boss a simple “Is this legit?” because she had yet to hear about my hiring. That made for a nice icebreaker.

Through some more formal introductions during the next few days, I was able to prove that I’m indeed “legit,” and, all in all, it was a successful trip. The many sales presentations I participated in allowed me to begin picking up some good connections with coworkers, a few marketing ideas, and even a little bit of the science behind our products.

I loathed chemistry in high school and my brain is not wired to enjoy math, but hey, I managed to stay awake for the most part so I’mma pat myself on the back a little.

flying-over-indy
Winter Flight Over Indy

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In related news, many people have been asking about my job. The simple answer is:

I love it. 

Three weeks in, I already have an array of challenging projects on my plate; the ability to seriously discuss any new ideas I may have to promote our products and mission; a great team in the office (and all over the world); as well as plenty of opportunities for travel.

Plus everyday is something new. One day I had conference calls with various colleagues in the Netherlands, Canada, and Brazil about messaging, web design, and content development, so it’s safe to say I’m in my happy place – Santa arrived a few weeks ahead of schedule.

And Christmas’s early arrival doesn’t end there.

My freelance business has been picking up some new clients, and I’m in talks to do a fairly major project (which I can only vaguely mention right now; just know I’m pumped)!

In addition, since I now have a regular work schedule, I’ve been able to focus more time on my personal well-being rather than always feeling like I’m working, as I’ve felt basically since freshman year of college.

houston-city-hall
Houston

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I’m getting kind of sleepy writing this, so I’ll conclude this post with a list of the other presents 2016 placed under a fake tree for me after breaking into my house in celebration of Jesus’s birth:

  • Graduation (duh)
  • An amazing cruise with some of my favorite people in the world
  • A short family vacation in Louisville
  • A Notre Dame football game (and my first time visiting that campus)
  • Parties, shenanigans, and memorable moments with great friends from Butler to Fort Wayne to Chicago and beyond
  • FINALLY SEEING THE 1975 IN CONCERT – YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW AWESOME THAT WAS
  • Creating this blog and freelancing because they’re both labors of love even if I neglect them for weeks at a time (whoops)
  • And last but not least, all the little “you had to be there” moments, past, present and future, that I’ll fondly remember
    • Exhibit A:”Pam and Cheese.” If you didn’t chuckle, then “you had to be there,” my friend
img_6746
The 1975

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I won’t lie, 2016 was kind of rough, but many of its major obstacles are now transforming into the wonderful gifts I prayed, worked, and wished they would become.

And I’m so blessed by them, not to mention the fact they didn’t bother to wait until the 25th to open.

This is the easiest time of year to reflect and give thanks for the good and the bad – what were your favorite moments of 2016?

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday!

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