Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Meditation: Keep Stretching 2012 a Year in Review

"One of my aims in life is to constantly feel the S T R E T C H. Not to get too comfortable. To feel a little uneasy, not as punishment, but as growth. It is the dedication to learning, the dedication to growth and the dedication to living slightly uncomfortably that brings the magic in life. This is how it is for anyone who achieves at the highest level. Keep stretching!" -Mastin Kipp

I posted this awesome quote on my Facebook last week, and I feel like it sums up my 2012 pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good! I started off 2012 comfortably without a clue how things would shake up or shake out in the 12 months to come. To be honest, I didn't really have ANY of these changes planned--but this year has surely been an adventure! Here's how the big changes stacked up:
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Hold on tight! It's going to be an adventure!!!
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  • 25 years I celebrated life (I can now say I am a quarter century old, how fancy)
  • 3 homes/moves (life throws you curveballs, but I am happy to be a West Sider again!)
  • 2 trips to the West Coast (San Fran and Seattle)
  • 1 trip to the East Coast (DC with Marie!)
  • 1 year of blogging! (oh the friends and adventures I've had along the way!)
  • 1 major career move (looooove my new job!)
  • 1 new car (finally laid Percy to rest! And purchased my first car)

Whew those are some major big girl changes! When I look back and reflect on the year, I can't believe how many unexpected events and experiences cropped up--but that's exactly it, someone with a Greater Plan decided to shake things up for me. Did I have to step outside of my comfort zone in ways I never imagined? You bet! Did I grow and become a better and stronger woman for it? ABSOLUTELY! I stretched, and overcame, and put myself out there. and created a more beautiful life by choosing to focus on the positives!
Your journey is unfoulding exactly as it should be!

Professional S T R E T C H
I left my first job I had from right out of college, only to be greeted by a tremendous team of supportive, hard-working, women who have grown to be an extension of family. Making a career move is certainly new, uneasy, and different--but it's often in that stretch that we grow exponentially! I am grateful for the opportunities I had during my first 3 years as a working professional and the lovely people who helped me along the way. In my new position, I have met so many wonderful people while networking and have such awesome mentors and encouraging women who want me to succeed in my career. 2013 I will begin my SEO training (*marketing nerd out moment*) and could just squeal I am so excited to take on that challenge! I am one lucky lady to have landed with my company and team of great people!

My office all decked out by my co-workers on my 25th birthday :)
Travel S T R E T C H
I was extremely fortunate to be able to travel so much this year. I ventured out to the West Coast twice to visit my favorite cousins, once in San Fran (read my recap here) and once in Seattle (I am halfway through the recap post, I got distracted during the holidays, but stay posted it IS coming!)
Gnarly shot I took of the Golden Gate Bridge!
from "CLE Kids in San Franny" Post

Both trips were amazing, for different reasons, but I certainly dig the Northern Cal and Pacific Northwest relaxed vibe--smart people, fresh organic food, good wine and brew pubs, gorgeous natural beauty, and progressive thinking.

Marie and I in DC!
from "10 Things I Learned in DC" Post
Marie's niece, Stella, giving me a big DC welcome!!! What a cutie pie!!!
I also hit up DC over Labor Day weekend for a reunion with my college gal pal, Marie. She showed me her new city (always a CLE girl at heart though!) and the sites and her family welcomed me with open arms. We had a blast and Marie ALWAYS knows how to make a girl laugh :)

My 2013 travel plans? ABROAD! It's my New Year's Resolution, and my thoughtful sister gave me a  jump start with my Christmas gift and gave me the passport application and adorable passport cover booklet to remind me of my goals. Turkey here I come!

Creative S T R E T C H
my favorite e.e.cummings quote, "It takes courage to grow up, and become who you really are."
from "Screw Factory Artist Open House in Lakewood" Post
I really came into my own this year through my blogging efforts. I got back into the habit of writing and my mind and creativity are swirling with juices--NO MORE BRAIN DRAIN! Through this commitment to writing, and sharing my stories and experiences, and positive outlook on CLE, my entire world has opened up. Was it scary to put myself out there? At times, certainly! Was it a little uncomfortable at first to go to events by myself? Of course. But the experiences I had and people I have met through blogging have been incredible. By stretching and putting myself in new circumstances and going to events on my own, the rewards and happiness only sky-rocketed! I am eternally grateful to my CLE Believers who have stuck with me over the past year and taken the positive journey with me through my JAMinCLE blogging adventure! You guys ROCK!!!!

Personal S T R E T C H
I never came right out and wrote about it, but I am sure my dedicated readers and friends have put 2 and 2 together and figured out I had a lot of personal changes this year too. After 3 1/2 years of being with my boyfriend and 1 1/2 of living together, I decided to move back home with my parents in August. Living back at home with the roomies at 25 is certainly something I never anticipated after being on my own since 20. But, that's what family is for, to help you grow and stretch and love you through any change. Sure, everyone wants to give you their unsolicited 2 cents while going through a breakup--but thankfully my family and friends have supported all of my decisions and encouraged me along every step. I stretched, and grew, focused on myself, and took better care of myself rather than always trying to take care of someone else.
Work it out, girl!!!

Sara and I jammin out on Just Dance
 from "Surround Yourself With Those Who Lift You Higher" Post
I saved up money while living at home, and made my first car purchase too...wo0o0o0o0oho0o0o0! I said goodbye to my faithful Kia, Percy, and said helllllo to my new Nissan Rogue (name is still pending...)

The most important thing I learned from stepping into the uneasy and making these "big girl decisions"--was how incredibly resilient I am! That dedication to growth, and learning, and development is where the magic really happens!
Remember your roots, and keep on growing!!!
From "Monday Meditation: Remember Your Roots" Post

So my lovely CLE Believers, I look forward to kissing 2012 goodbye and stretching into 2013! May your year be productive, adventurous, positive, and happy! Embrace the change, and keep S T R E T C H I N G! Life is too short not to JAM! xoxo
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Happy 2013!!!!!
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