Friday, October 20, 2017

New Moon, New Me

Well, my intention was to journal after being back a month, but obviously that didn't help. Frankly, I've had zero time to process since I've landed. The first week back was definitely a transition, quite emotional, and a whirlwind. Since then, it's been non-stop at work with challenges, unknowns, new projects and staff, and yes, some celebrations! It hasn't been easy-whoever said the hard work goes away after the first two years is completely false, at least according to my own experience. Maybe founders experience the same feeling mothers do after childbirth where they forget the extreme pain (or stress) that was required to birth the baby (or organization), but this year has felt like the hardest yet. Trying to find traction beyond our comfort zone of wonderful, but small circle of supporters, it's required boldness, something I've certainly grappled with in the past. But now, I'm not afraid to be bold, I know what needs to be done, and thanks to my music training from way back when, it instilled a discipline and persistence in me, that is immutable. I won't claim I'm indefatigable because it hasn't been without breakdowns, tears, doubt, and hard conversations, but I feel like we're almost out the other side and as the Lady Gaga song goes, "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger."

The Judd Fellowship presentation went EXTREMELY well! I felt extremely supported by the various people who came: donors, family, friends, neighbors, classmates, mentors, and advisers. It was the first time in a long while I felt like I truly excelled at something and was 100% proud of the result. Never mind my poster somehow got crinkled and the fonts were too small on the poster, I owned my speech with passion, belief, and enthusiasm and stole the crowd. I commanded the room with my presence and was bold. Something I struggle to do as a musician, a student in class, a nonprofit director, a friend, and a daughter. There are very few things I feel wholly true and the argument I make in my thesis is one of those-music can transform lives by developing character skills. This isn't meant to be a recap of my thesis so I'll leave it there, but that presentation proved to myself I can be bold when it's the right fit.

See here for my poster and some pics! If only the paper could go as well. I continue to receive significant critique for revision of my now seven chapter thesis. The good news is most of it is drafted, the bad news is I have significant work to do with transitions, flow, not to mention citations. But I finally have a date-Nov 6-to turn the final draft into my advisor. So these next three weeks will be hard, but the end is in sight and with that I can do anything. So with that, here are my affirmations for the new moon.

Affirmations for the New Moon
I do vow I will continue to care for myself taking one night off a week, not sacrificing sleep or exercise, meditation, or reflection such as this, though a lot more of it has been internal. But as this new moon comes in Libra, the sign of balance, I will accept that the imbalance I will feel the next three weeks is only temporary. That relationships will still be there after T-Day and acknowledge the challenge and hard work that it is! I will not sabotage myself for mistakes, limitations, or other self-criticisms. I will only practice self-love and name when I am not showing that to myself. And for these next three weeks, I will put myself first, whether that be a mental health day, a day to work remotely, or cancelling non-obligatory volunteer activities. I will not apologize for putting myself first, for tears that are shed, or for saying no. I will persist and not give up. Sí se puede!!!

I am not going to share this post on social media, but for those of you who are reading, this is for accountability and a reference point for me come Nov 3 of the full moon and the last weekend I will have the draft in hand!

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