This is the magazine I have been waiting my entire life for.
This is the magazine to trump all other magazines.
This was my SHINING moment!
I've finally been published!
I did a bit of a dance across my office, hugging my new magazine, smiling from ear to ear and not so modestly proclaiming that my article has been published. Coworkers smiled, patted me on the back, asked to read it and the 30 minutes that followed might have been the most exciting 30 minutes of my life.
Once things calmed down a bit, I stopped to think back on the past few months (and eat a bite of chocolate... after all, excitement does make one hungry). What things have lead to where I am now? Let's go back in time a few months... shall we?
I remember, in great detail, the night before the First Timers breakfast at the IAVM VenueConnect conference this past summer. I sat in my hotel room reciting my speech over and over and over again. The TV got to hear my speech, the view of the parking garage heard it, and my bathroom mirror heard it a few times. I was beyond nervous. I had just spent the evening at a reception where I didn't know a single person in the room and was tweeting (yes, tweeting) about being a wall flower. How on earth would I give this speech the next morning? I could almost replay every second of that night. I'm not sure why... maybe it was leading up to something significant (like in the movies when they show important segments in slow motion).
Every day after that evening was a blur of activity, meeting new people, getting new opportunities and having a blast (as I blogged about last July). Each and every single thing that happened at the conference has lead to some amazing growth opportunities since. My speech was turned into the article that I danced around the room holding just a few hours ago. So many doors have opened for me and while I haven't stepped foot through all of them, they are there. I have options to chose from. Most importantly, I started to realize what I know, what value I carry for my professional life and how to actually use it beyond my day job.
I'm just simply and not so simply amazed.
After the brief reflection on the last few months, I quickly sent an email to the person who hired me at Walton Arts Center to thank her for giving me the opportunity way back when. When I met her, I was fresh out of college, desperately looking for a job that would carry me for a year while I took some time off of school before heading to Toronto for grad school. It was my first professional interview and I sat nervously answering questions about my past, my passions and my future. I don't remember any earth shattering topics, but I suppose I said the right things as I didn't even have time to send them thank you cards. I was offered the job later that day. The new job lead to an unknown passion and I haven't looked back... and it's been 7.5 years... and going.
The initial job has lead to promotions, new teams of coworkers and eventually new teams of people I supervised and entire departments being put under my watchful eye and creative mind. I've gone from needing someone to sign off on my activities to being the person who creates activities that need signing off on.
And today it lead to the article. It might seem small to some people, but to me, this is one of the most exciting professional moments I've had to date.
Who knows where it will lead me tomorrow. New things are around each and every corner.