At the beginning of 2017, the word I chose to guide my year was Peace. By the end of 2017, all I could do was laugh, and at times cry because peace felt elusive all year. To say 2017 was challenging, personally and professionally, is an understatement. Instead of peace, it was a year of change.
The word change held negative connotations for me. In February 2017, my wife was diagnosed for the third time with cancer. We faced major life-changing surgery that fortunately, was successful. I’m happy to say she is cancer-free now. This kicked off the year of change and the beginning of many tumultuous moments.
My professional career faced significant change and upheaval which rocked my world. This change resulted in heartbreaking loss, betrayal, and confusion. I thought I had my future written out for me as I had given my life to this job and these people. Not only did my job change, but part of my circle of close friends (or those who I thought were close friends) changed dramatically. Deep down, I sensed the changes coming and should have prepared or been proactive, but I chose to ignore the signs. How often are we guilty of ignoring the obvious? Not a great idea as once it happened, it felt like being dropped off a cliff with no bottom in sight.
These changes forced me to sit down and reassess my career focus, question my direction, and reaffirm relationships that matter to me. It has been a challenging seven months recovering and grieving the loss and betrayal. I have felt unmoored, untethered, completely lost. I didn’t know where to turn, what to do, or what my purpose was in life. I felt like all of that had been stripped from me leaving me naked and exposed.
I despise drastic change as do many people. Even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires a significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zone. Many times, the only way to improve our lives is to force ourselves to undergo difficult change. That might mean breaking up and leaving a stale – but comfortable – relationship, leaving a mediocre – but stable – job, moving away from a nice – but uninspiring – location, or anything else that’s holding us back from accomplishing our dreams. It’s scary to leave what’s comfortable and what we know, even if those things are unhealthy and has a negative impact on our lives. It’s much easier to stay put.
My word for 2017 became change instead of peace. While I initially hated and feared it, I’m now embracing it. I have decided to follow my dreams of pursuing a larger career in the wine industry. It is time to OWN my future, my path in life. I have the chance to do things I’ve always wanted to do but felt too comfortable to consider taking that leap of faith.
I start Wine and Spirit Education Trust Advanced Level 3 on January 23. My ultimate goal is to become a Master of Wine. I’m working on a business plan to open my own wine bar which has been a dream for years. I intend to travel to more wine regions to explore, learn, and share with you the bounty they have to offer. I will be more prolific in writing on my blog. I am expanding into more areas of freelance wine writing. I am creating my image and future as a wine professional starting with the design changes I have made to this website. I want to encourage and promote women in the wine industry as it is sadly lacking still in many areas. Personally and professionally, I will nurture the relationships in my life.
My word for 2018 is Now. Now is the time is my theme.
What is your guiding word for 2018?