More from Grits & Gravy

Friday, January 3, 2014


I chose not to set any specific goals last year. My usual list making self needed a little space to explore, assess where I was, and chart a new course.

My twenties were largely filled with my professional ambitions. The next job, the next move, the next degree, the next thing on my to do list. At thirty (one), I achieved so many of the things I had wanted to do. What would be my new goals?

Last year, I felt restless. I could not identify what would be the next thing for me. Somehow the things I thought I wanted, like that PhD, did not entice me (yet). I panicked a little. Who am I if I am not busy working towards achieving some big goal? The goal, of course, usually being a new job or location.

It turns out that the next thing I've been hunting for is being right here. Moving to Tampa was a rare opportunity. I could do work I loved. And, more importantly, I could be home. I had never made a decision that was driven by my personal life with work/school second. Never. It was definitely a turning point, but one that I haven't quite settled into yet.

This year, I am choosing to commit to creating more of a life in Tampa and investing deeper in my community. I think it is time to do things a little differently, dream a little bigger.

In 2014, I will:

Relocate to a new area of Tampa. I chose my current location out of ease for work (shocking) but my life is spent in another part of town that is closer to my parents, my friends, and the things I love doing. Lease is up in May so let the moving begin.

Buy a bicycle. This one has secretly been on my list for sometime. I enjoy the idea of biking to brunch or around a beautiful part of Tampa. I feel confident that this will be an excellent thirty second birthday gift to myself.

Grow in my profession. Student Affairs can be a tough profession to maintain. I let myself be a little static this past year while I wrestled with what was next. I want to identify new areas of growth and new opportunities while maintaining my current position rather than seeking out a new job.

Run a half marathon. The fees have been paid and the training has begun. It is good to have a new fitness goal to challenge and motivate you. And, let's be honest, I really want that car magnet.

Satisfy my wanderlust. Travel is my constant hunger. I need a new place to explore. In the que is Florence, Aruba, and, hopefully, the northeast when Kathryn and Bill are home from India.

Commit to writing. Writing makes me completely nervous and in love with it all at the same time. Yes, those personal posts you read, I feel nervous every single time. I have been overwhelmed, in a good way, with the response some of my posts have received lately. I appreciate the messages I get about how a post resonated with someone. Those are my favorite days. So I am committing more time to exploring this passion.

Engage in my church. I found a new church community this summer that I just love. There are opportunities to volunteer and attend a community group that I am looking forward to being a part of.

Be more present with my family. When I get busy, it seems like my family gets slivers of time compared to everyone else. Bless my parents because they have put up with my hectic schedule for as long as I can remember; never complaining about how often I am home or with them. I'd like to create space for more family time.

Discover. Experience. Learn. These are my words for this year.

"Adventure is out there!"

Happy 2014!

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