1 year ago today, I took a leap into the unknown, trusted my gut and believed in my community.
On March 1, 2018, after 15 years as the Executive Director at Unity Charity I had my last day at the organization I founded back in high school.
It was the most challenging moment for me but also a powerful moment of celebration and reflection on what we had accomplished. The months leading up to this day were some of the most difficult times of my life. I did everything I could to leave the organization on a high note, I gave it literally everything I could to succeed without me. In many ways, I felt like I was Unity and needed to dig deep to let go and let Unity define their own path.
I gave all my trust to the team to navigate the ship without me. I knew this was just the beginning for both Unity and I. I believed giving everyone space was healthy for both myself and the organization so we could both spread our wings and soar. Although I care deeply about Unity, I am not Unity.
It is important to know when is the right time to step away. 1 year ago today was that time for me.
In that process, the one thing I forgot was to think about myself. Plan my next steps before jumping out into the unknown. Thankfully I spent the first few months travelling, writing a book and figuring out where I wanted to have my next big impact. In many ways I'm still on that search today.
With my book nearly complete and a year of learning under my belt, I am excited to see what lies ahead. There is no rush. Thankfully I've become a bit more patient and happy to only work on the things that are satisfying my true goals at this time.
I told myself, I want to do 5 things in my next chapter: 1) work with awesome people (no harmful egos, no BS) 2) make a positive impact in the world 3) not need to hurt myself to help others (self-care) 4) focus on friends and family 5) have fun! :)
Something I've really begun to digest is, life isn't linear and work isn't life.
This has been a year of experimentation, learning and growth.
The only way to know is to experiment. So I spent all year trying things that I felt uncomfortable doing: creating a solo dance production on mental health, teaching a University class, facilitating full day workshops, writing a book, getting my coaching certification, joining boards, etc.
I have realized that I don't need to be an expert in any of these things to do them well. I find it rewarding to try things I'm super uncomfortable with and come out the other end with great feedback. It honestly hasn't all been this way but every time I've fallen, I jumped right back in with more experience.
I feel like I'm developing a dream team of people I love to work with but I am not sure how we will all work together one day. I believe it's ALL about people.
I will continue supporting healthy transitions for long time leaders, building capacity for high potential / high impact organizations and exploring real pain points of real people on the ground making a difference in the world.
One thing I know for sure is I am ready to jump into the next big adventure!
Thank you to everyone who continues to support me on this journey and thanks to those at Unity who keep the ship going strong. I am proud and honoured to cheer you all on from the sidelines.
Excited for what the future holds. sincerely,
For more on what I was thinking 1 year ago check out this article I wrote right before I left.