2017: The Year of Perseverance

And 2018, the year of flow

At the end of 2016, I filled out the YearCompass booklet to reflect on the past year and prepare for the year ahead. This booklet asked me to think about the events of the past year, where I fell short and where I succeeded, and choose a word to symbolize the year ahead.

2016 had been a tough year. I had quit my first startup job out of university and joined an even smaller startup. However, in my new job, I developed imposter syndrome at work and constantly felt like my employers made a mistake in hiring me. The stress and speed of these events left me crying almost every week with a constant feeling of inadequacy.

So, when the booklet asked me to choose a word, I wrote down the word “perseverance.”

A year later, I found this booklet again. I shared what I had written with my friend, Victoria, and she burst out laughing. She shouted “YES! Perseverance PERFECTLY describes 2017 for you.”

In 2017, I got laid off from my job.

At first, I felt like a huge failure. Luckily, I had been consistently saving and US policy changes also allowed me to stay for 60 days to search for a new job.

Losing my job turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I spent a few months painting, seeing friends, cooking, exercising, and traveling. I wrote a blog post about how this experience pushed me out of a year-long creativity rut. I took my time interviewing at different companies, and ended up being presented with some amazing opportunities.

I accepted an offer from InVision, and the rest is history. My colleagues have been so welcoming, collaborative, and up-lifting. I’m passionate about my work and I’ve been entrusted to work independently, to meet high-profile prospects, and to succeed in my job.

“Perseverance” perfectly describes this past year.

Moving forward, I have a different outlook for 2018.

I spent this past year beating against the tide, trying to resist and climb over obstacles. Now that the tide has turned in my favor, I want to flow.

I met a woman on a flight the other day, and she articulated this sentiment so beautifully. She told me that when you’re dead set on where you need to go and how to get there, you close yourself off from the infinite possibilities out there in the world. If you want a certain promotion and you tell yourself that only those specific people and only those specific metrics will make it happen for you, you’ll miss out on all of the other paths that could take you to that same destination.

By beating against the tide, you miss all of the paths you could have taken.

Set your sights on what you want, and then allow the formidable, threatening, powerful tide to take you there. It’s a leap of faith. Continue working hard to sail your ship, orient yourself towards your ultimate destination, and be open to all the passages that open up for you.

My intention for 2018 is this: to flow with the waves and be open to the possibilities.