Reflection and Preparation

We made it! 2017 is here and there is so much to be thankful and hopeful for!

As I reflect, the most exciting parts of 2016 were my travels.  

St Croix, USVI -Turquoise Sea
Pacific Central, Vancouver, Canada
Gray skies and the Canal, Groningen, Netherlands
Looking out from Navy Pier. Chicago, IL

I also made stops in Seattle, WA and London, England!

When I travel I feel blessed and at my most alive and free.  But I also know there are parts of the world where people cannot leave their home countries, where girls are not allowed to travel alone, and where war is the law of the land. In 2016 Syrian refugees had to travel. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and separated from their families. Their travel was not for fun, or excitement or to feel alive, but to stay alive. Then there was the news late in the year that some of the young Nigerian girls that were kidnapped were returned to their families. I cannot imagine their harrowing experience. Their traveling was all about being home again. With that in mind I know I cannot take my experiences for granted. I have to remember that I am in the minority. I get to travel to enrich my life. In 2017, I have a goal to build and act on a plan that will allow me to live in different parts of the world to have more deeply enriching experiences. I want my grandchildren to know their grandmother had a rich and deeply fulfilling life, seeing as much of the world as she could. 

I also made some professional changes in 2016.  After a few years working for an extremely large corporation, I decided to try my hand at a smaller company. I needed to be challenged in different ways. That decision led me to Raleigh, NC.  I enjoy the work, my colleagues, and the new city. This change has helped me realize that I am a talented and skilled professional that can work in my field for anyone, anywhere.  As I think about the American political season, many people shared a concern about their livelihoods being taken from them.  Unfortunately a lot of Americans do not have skills that maintain value across industries and over time.  I have been able to work as a professional and not remain reliant upon one company that stays in one place. I can go as far and make as much as my drive allows me to. I gotta say, that feels good.

This company change has also helped me realize that I no longer see success as so many people still do. Working for one to three companies in my life, sitting behind a desk for 9 to 12 hours a day, relying upon the company’s success for my own success. I know now that success for me is not just defined by the type of work I do, but the type of life I live. Success to me is all about balance. A balance that allows me the professional and personal flexibility to live how and where I want. In 2017, work will bring new challenges and I plan to challenge myself to continue to build the successful life I envision. 

I am definitely proud of my writing this year. I finished the first draft of my first novel. I launched www.nichelleappleby.com and started this blog! All of that was extremely exciting, but I started the year hoping I would have a self-published book by my birthday. That did not happen and I know now it is because I am not ready. I learned that I cannot rush a story for the purpose of seeing it in print. I want my work to be a reflection of me as a developed storyteller. To tell a story that connects with humans in a way that leaves a mark. Crafting that story will take more time. Publishing is a ways off for me and I am OK with that.  In 2017 I will work on seeking opportunities to develop my passion and to become better at my craft.

Much much more happened in 2016 and I have so many plans for the New Year. I am excited and I feel extremely hopefully for what is coming.

No matter what kind of year you had in 2016, I hope that your 2017 is your best year yet! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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