In the month of September, we recognize Women of Achievement and distinction. At the Lady Blogger's Society, members were asked to write a blog post about their achievements and include what they hope to achieve in the near future.
I love this one! Why? Because for one, we are celebrating being women! The fairer sex is not the lesser of the two genders. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have worked hard, sacrificed, and took risks in order to get where I am today both professionally and personally.
Another Reason I am so excited about the post - we get to set some goals. Perhaps we have "plans" we hope to see through to the end - this is just a way to clearly define them.
Ironically, September always brings trouble for me. Or maybe it is more "life changing" events. I always make a point to write a "New Year's Resolutions" list for September - I try to focus on the good, versus the bad. This post request came at just the right time!
With that, I would like to list out my top ten achievements as well as my top ten items I hope to achieve in the near future!
Nicole's Top Ten Achievements.
1. Taking a chance. I chose to leave a loveless marriage and fly across the big, blue ocean and spend a little time in the mystical middle east. I met and fell in love with an Egyptian. It was a complete leap of faith - we were engaged quite quickly and have since worked through so much to build a marriage. I went with my heart for the first time - and that has made all of the difference.
2. Celebrating Diversity. I wanted to travel the world, and I wanted to learn languages, taste worldly foods, understand other religions... and I knew the only way was to immerse myself in these cultures and customs. Traveling the world was out of the question financially - so instead I opened up my home and hosted exchange students from all over the world. I have hosted 14 kids from six months to one year over a 6 year span. Most rewarding job I ever had.
3. Creating a new life. When I moved out of state I just knew it would be super difficult to start a new life. Here - I have built a life that I love! I have amazing (interesting) friends, I am involved in a wide variety of activities, and I am exploring more of a community than I would back home. I did it all on my own - I created a completely new life and I love it.
4. Surviving the health scares. My friends and family used to call me a hypochondriac when I was little. I was always worried about illness. Then in my late 20s my worst nightmares became a reality. Fighting the "c" word, viral infections of the fluid around the brain and spine, and a heart that thinks it's a race horse- all of these factors have reminded me that life is very short, and you have got to embrace the good and take care of yourself.
5. Being clear about who I am. I choose to live out loud. I will not stifle or censor my life. I am proud of who I have become and where I am going. I am 37 years old, and God willing, I have many, many more years of growth. I will not bend to another's whims... however, I have learned to remain open, honest - and can discern what I need to take with me in life.
Nicole's (Five) Top Career Moves:
1. Validation. Back in the day, my only dream was to work as a television news producer. I did it. I achieved recognition - I received an Associated Press Award for Best Public Affairs Reporting and I also received a Georgia Association of Broadcaster's award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
2. Published. My jobs throughout the years have afforded me the opportunity to build an amazing portfolio of published writing. Most of it is industry related (mainly health care) - but it has opened doors, introduced me to the publishing business, and created a sense of accomplishment for me.
3. If I wanted it - I got it. I am very proud of my career path. This is the road I chose. Ever since I was 12 - I knew I wanted to work in Media. I went to college got my Broadcast Journalism Degree. I graduated on a Saturday. Started my internship on a Monday. Three months later - ended my internship on a Friday and was hired as a 5pm News Producer at a TV station on Monday morning. I wanted to learn the creative side of video production, and a couple of years later moved into a Promotions/Marketing Producer role. Then I wanted to make the change to Public Relations/ Marketing - I left television and got a job as Field Executive (Marketing) for a nonprofit. A few years later I wanted to be a PR person - moved into a position where I was the Communications Director.
Then moved to a different state - and lo and behold, after some searching, I got another job in Media Relations with a MUCH larger territory and waaaay more responsibilities and opportunities with TV, radio, newspaper, and magazines. That's where I am now. What's next for me??? Who knows!
4. Saving a life through my ideas. Follow me on this train of thought.. One day at work I was told I need to get a media sponsor for an event. I meet with a certain cable company, share our causes then leave. Next day I get a call, and the company wants to do an event that they sponsor that reaches the African American population about stroke risk. We do the HUGE event - and an older woman heard the commercial on a radio station, asked her pastor to drive her to the event for the free screening (never had insurance.. never had these tests) and the doc doing an artery screening discovered she was on the verge of a stroke. He rushed her (personally) to the hospital, where they were able to save her life. (The doc personally treated her.. no strings attached.) She is living today, because I got some random idea to work with a little cable company. THAT makes my job worthwhile.
5. I usually have a handful of interns each year. Each one learns what they can, they build their portfolio with me, then enter the world. I am watching now as my interns begin their careers in media relations. I am proud to watch them move to the BIG metropolis and make a name for themselves. I hope I contributed to their success!
Now.. what do I hope to accomplish?
1. I hope to stick with my current exercise routine and get back that body I used to sport.
2. I want to work on my photography skills.
3. I am considering a 5 year plan that involves risky moves and bold statements.
4. I am building my marriage.
5. I want to strengthen my spirituality - only then, will I be able to use my gifts for the greater good!