2014: The Year of Change (Part One)

Dearest Blog Followers,

It’s bNewYears2014een a year of triumphs, challenges, changes, and of course, adventures! As the new year approaches, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the many lessons I have learned this year. Let me preface by saying that this is my favorite time of year. I love the Holidays! The comfort of friends and family gatherings, the great food, the beautiful decorations and cheer all around fill my heart with joy. This particular year, however, has held many obstacles that challenge my favorite things about this time of year. I am taking the challenges at face value and learning as much as I can about myself. I will take these new findings into 2015 and I aspire to have my healthiest and happiest year yet!

Let me begin at the beginning… My amazing husband and I rang in the new year in Guadalajara last year with one half of our family. It was my first time celebrating this particular holiday in another country and the traditions and food were amazing! I had big plans for 2014, with my resolutions being to blog and do yoga every day. SPOILER ALERT: Neither of those happened LOL…

In January, after returning from Mexico and entering the real world again, a coworker suffered a fatal heart attack at work. A few of us did CPR until the paramedics arrived, but I felt the life leave him as I held his hand. I will never forget that moment, but I will always honor it. It was surreal for me but I found absolute gratitude for the cycle of life in that moment. I hope he knew he was not alone at the last moments of his life, and it gives me comfort to think that he did feel us around him. May we all have love near us at the end of our lives… After that experience, I took a long hard look at my life. What was I doing? Was I happy? Fair warning: Those questions can absolutely break you! They can keep you up all night, drive you crazy, and make you feel overwhelmed once you really begin arriving at their roots. I knew I was ready for a big change, but it wouldn’t be possible until I completed my MBA program. So, I left my job at a digital agency and loaded up on classes to complete my program by May. As something to look forward to, my husband booked an end-of-summer trip to Italy for us (He’s seriously the best).

Here's Alex and I'm behind him in the photo, it was the first time we saw each other!

That’s my husband on the first night we met!

Nearing the completion of my MBA program, I was consumed by school and what I would do after I graduated. I was in talks with a large national retailer for a job that sounded fabulous and full of glamour. I slept very little, I ate often times in my car while studying and my health began to decline. I started getting acne for the first time in my adult life and my stress levels were off the charts (if there is a chart- if not, I just made one!). Fun Fact: for my last class in the MBA program, Corporate Strategy, my small team of four members and myself wrote a 700 PAGE DOCUMENT- SEVEN HUNDRED PAGES on Ford Motor Company and their imaginary strategy for the next five years. Do you want to know ANYTHING about Ford? I can tell you! (Please don’t ask. I can’t be held responsible for what might happen.)

In May, I DID IT! I finished my Masters of Business Administration Degree! I am the first person in my family to achieve it and I cried and danced and laughed as I crossed that stage. I felt on fire! I felt alive! I immediately went to my best friends house for a celebration/birthday party to celebrate my 27th year of life and my second degree. My most cherished friends and my family gathered around food and drinks in downtown Little Rock. It was such a beautiful day. I will always cherish it, because it was one of the last times we would all be together like that.

I took the job with the large retailer and instantly knew it wasn’t for me. The environment was extremely negative; think The Devil Wears Prada and I’m just to Earthy for that lifestyle, among many other things. But I gave it my best shot and decided to try it out. Every day as I would drive to work, I would wonder what was wrong with myself that I wouldn’t appreciate the opportunity in front of me. The job offered travel by way of private jet, great clothes, free gadgets and jewelry and accessories all the time. But everyone around me was also miserable. The office of full of unhappy people who found joy in making others feel small, mocking and backstabbing and gossip daily. I just wanted to be happy and positive, but everyday became more and more like a black hole pulling me in. My health continued to decline. My doctor called me; my health was no longer an option, but now a priority. I had a biopsy at the start of summer and my husband and I faced the possibility that at 27, I might have cancer.

CelebrationsDuring this time, our great group of friends began going through life changes of their own. One of our favorite couples would be moving to Boston for an amazing job, another couple would be moving to Fayetteville for work, a girlfriend was moving to Memphis for love, my closest cousin would be moving to Atlanta to film a television show, and the rest of us were left wondering… Should we stay? Should we leave? My doctor called again; “I dodged the scary C.” My husband and I decided we should try something else; life is just too short not to. We began applying for jobs in Dallas. I should also mention here that we saw Lady Gaga in Dallas around this time. It was an amazing concert! She’s amazing. Okay, continuing on…

We left for Rome in August. It was the best. vacation. ever. It was the first time I prayed for all forms of transportation to break down so we couldn’t leave Italy. If you have never been, stop reading this! GOOOOO! I’ll be posting another entry dedicated to Italy and our wonderful time there soon. Bye ARWe came back to the USA and Alex found out he was promoted to the Dallas office! We put our house on the market. On my way over to break the news to my best friend and soul sister for life, she called to tell me she was pregnant! I was ecstatic and sad at the same time. We both cried and laughed at our news. So many things were changing… I suppose it is the course of life. Our group all came together little by little through double dates, parties and mutual friends. We grew over the years in number, and we strengthened in our bond while going through life events. We all shared a common sense of humor and love for great food and fun. When we were all together, there was never a silent or serious moment.

We sold our sweet, little house and moved to our new apartment in Dallas at the end of September. It was bittersweet. Excited and nervous, we began our new life completely separated from all the people and things we knew. I left my job at the major retailer and decided to do some much needed soul searching. Part II to follow… Have a wonderful Friday, Lovelies! Loving Dallas! Until next time, C

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