The Year of Closing Doors - 2015 Reflections

There is no forward motion or progress worthy of pursuing without first engaging in a little review of where we are and how we got here.” — Chani Nichols, one of my favorite astrological readers.

Recently I was inspired by a fellow medium writer’s post and my team members to share my 2015 accomplishments. Some of these were sad when accomplishing them, but reflecting has me fully invested in the positive outcome. According to the new moon in Capricorn, you might want to do the same thing.

Recovery

You may have been following my journey as a recent divorcee. For the first time I am publicly sharing that his betrayal was very deep — years of embezzlement and a hidden sex addiction that I discovered in late 2014. The year after has been filled with extreme challenges I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If you have ever been effected by someone who struggles with sex addiction, I’m sure you would agree. In my case, neither me, our families, nor his friends had the slightest idea. He was a doting husband that portrayed himself as very loyal, very focused on success and madly in-love with me.

The old me embarking on a failed chapter.

Upon discovering his list of habitual sexual addictions and betrayals, I had a long journey of my own personal recovery. Each day I woke wondering if I could make it through the waves of emotions that threatened to break me. In 2015 I can say that I have successfully (and not so successfully) gone through each stage of grief. Now I am currently in the stage of “growth”, and it feels fantastic to no longer be in sadness or anger, the stages that plagued me the hardest.

you can view my list of recommended books

My recovery was ladened with hundreds of hours of individual therapy, group therapy with wives of other sex addicts, hours on the phone with mentors and even online support groups. But the most impactful would be the 9 books I’ve studied and the self reflection that forced me to make my year productive for myself, despite a broken heart and trust.

Business

This is one of the most rewarding and tangible areas of growth for me in 2015. It must be noted that without the help of our mentors, family, friends and team mates, we would not be anywhere close to where we are now. Despite serious challenges, we came out in a better place than we started.

“Our whole team winning, no vision on quitting. I rather say we did than let them buzzards say we didn’t.”
  • Moved into and fit-out a beautiful center city office
  • Refined our focus and vision to place-making projects that revitalize our cities
  • More than doubled in size, from 4 fulltime employees to 10, additional part-time staff and hiring more now. I’m proud to say we are lean, not looking to grow fast but to grow smart
  • Opened a 2nd office in Baltimore, MD
  • Added services such as high-quality renderings, interior design and on-site project management to our roster of services (taking us away from a traditional creative agency, to a new category)
  • Built a successful intern program with 5–6 interns each semester
  • Built a lasting unique work-culture that I am super proud of
  • Scaling our departments for anticipated growth
  • Finalized a truly unique and useful creative process
  • Built project management tools into our process that are running smoother than ever before (Slack, Asana, Google Docs — we love you)
  • Confirmed financing for more growth in 2016!!!
  • Most of all — we finally get to work with the people we LOVE. Our clients and partners consist of the most motivated developers, restauranteurs, visionaries, creatives who are dramatically transforming Philadelphia, DC and Baltimore. Gone are the days making brands for ideas we knew weren’t great or couldn’t get behind.

We are grateful, and I myself am blown away by the leadership team and individuals who have sacrificed their own time to help build a winning business.

Writing

I have always journaled, but this year I was forced to write due to being in a constant fog of emotion. If I didn’t write what I was learning, I’d fall victim to huge waves of anger and pain that would make me too emotional to gain rationale from my grief. I began writing in a journal that my husband gave to me in 2014, and just closed the final page on the eve of his 31st birthday. The first birthday in ten years that I won’t be a part of. A fitting way to shut that door.

The journal helped me document my progress, and boy is it telling! I can go back to the moments I realized that I wouldn’t ever be able to trust a sex addict. To the moments where I realized that I wasn’t the one who caused this sex addiction. To where I realized my core desires and connected my branding business to my urban planning background. I have always been very present, and now even more than ever, because journaling helps you do that.

Journaling led to writing these blogs. To 19,000+ views in a week on my last post. To lots of comments and messages of support from readers who have gone through the same things. To an invitation from the Huffington Post to write for them. I best keep this up, because it’s certainly rewarding for both me and the readers. That leads to my biggest lesson in 2015 — if I can help others while helping myself, than go for it!

Best Friends

This year I found my best friends. Those who were there all along, and new ones. I’ve always hated that term until now, when I realize what it truly means. These friends of mine have carried me through the most difficult time of my life, without once complaining about it or leaving me hangin. They consist of my mother, my loving sister, my best friend of 21 years, my closest friends from high school, some of my team mates, my mentors, mentees, clients, and even a former employee. They are the people who always pick up the phone, who think highly of you even in their darkest thoughts, and would never be capable of the type of betrayal I had been through this year. Morals, values, true deep hearts…these are the people who I will be forever grateful for. Thank you besties for saving my life!

me and my beautiful sister at a private vineyard in Cava, Spain

Ended a Failed Chapter

This year I set my sights on closing the chapter that was not so successful in my life….
- Got divorced
- Settled business partnership, now 100% owner
- Sold my house
- Moved into a Rittenhouse apartment

To quote Khloe Kardashian “sometimes we lose our soul mates, and that’s OK”. Yeah, I’m not afraid to say I’m a fan of hers. She provides hope for a broken hearted girl and may just help me make my 2016 the year of the revenge body!

Goals with Soul

The reality of learning of my business partners’ embezzlement forced me to have to do a ton of legal work, forensic accounting and serious soul searching as a business owner. I asked myself the question — do I really want to run this company on my own? What makes me truly happy?

The book The Desire Map and Whitney English’s Day Designer were phenomenal tools for helping me answer these questions. But most importantly, true to my soul’s core desires.

  • How do I want to feel?
  • What does it feel like to be content?
  • What does it look like to have your core desires fulfilled?
  • What do I need to do to feel the way I want to feel?

Thankfully I can honestly say I have these mapped out, a lot of them checked off, and a bright map for 2016 drawn out….

Thank you to those beautiful souls who contributed to 2015’s greatness.

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