One Year

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt 

I remember when I read Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” over a year ago and saw this quote above for the first time. I wrote it down in my journal and read it everyday for months. I wanted to believe it – with all that was in me. I wanted to believe not only in the arena, but the girl who was in it. The girl who was trying. Who chose life. Who chose to hope for victory, despite defeat after defeat.  And over a year later – I found her. 

______

Tomorrow marks one year at iProspect.

A year of redemption. A year of beauty from ashes. A year of growth, change, hurt, healing, laughter, fear, choice, pain, tears, but most of all – joy.

If you’ve followed my journey for the past year and a half you might have read this blog that I wrote just a little over a year ago – right before I came to iProspect. Here is an excerpt from it….

“Then even though the pain becomes a distant memory, we’re left with the scar nonetheless. Having learned the lesson and doing our best to be better prepared in the future, however also trying not to put up a wall to block out the good because we’re scared of the bad.”

Reading through this blog and coming to this part, tears began to fall. It’s taken me almost a full year to heal. To move forward, to trust, to not “punish” those I work with for the hurts of those I used to. Times when I had to choose to repeat in my head “wait, no – they won’t do that.” Real, raw, and honest moments in the bathroom stall (yeah, I know – random) of just praying and asking for help to heal, to forgive, to believe in myself and those I work with and choose to let go of the hurt so that I could fully embrace the potential for joy and goodness right in front of me.

And sitting on the eve of my one year anniversary – I can tell you wholeheartedly I’ve embraced the joy. I’ve found myself again. The girl in the arena that thought she was down – is now up, fighting again. And not just her = but a better version of her. The one that’s a bit stronger from the struggle of my past and a bit more trustworthy because of the promise of the future.

This job was a gift from God Himself. A gift of grace – undeserving, humbling, and truly life-changing. 

By now you’re asking why, right? I know – I would be, too.

Yes, the “job” is great. I’m getting smarter (most days) and growing a ton (everyday). I’ve learned more than even I think I’ve grasped just yet, been stretched further (sometimes more quickly) than I thought possible, and truly been challenged to push past the ‘expected’ into areas of greatness, passion, innovation, and purpose. It’s a company of “play hard, work harder.” We have a blast and at the end of it all, know that we’re all for each other. You hear that? For each other. There’s a mutual respect for people and ideas and a genuine desire to serve one another. When one of us wins – we all win. 

And though all of that is major – my greatest joy in my job is the people

From the ‘top’ to the ‘bottom’ (although none of us treat each other for their titles) – it’s men and women devoted to creating magic through digital marketing while also choosing to be people of integrity, openness, passion and humility. And my favorite? The women I work with. Bold, brilliant, beautiful, smart, and most of all confident bosses, co-workers, wives, mothers, and friends. They are women who inspire me daily to be a better version of myself, to choose to embrace the person I’m becoming and make no apologies for being in process. Devoted to learn and grow, yes? But never feeling defeated for growing pains.

There hasn’t been one day that I’ve woke up to go to work not looking forward to it. Yeah, the work isn’t always easy, deadlines are more often quicker than we’d like – but the joy I find in laughing, learning, and creating alongside my team is something beyond anything I could have imagined.

Why am I sharing all of this? Why are you still reading? Well…I believe it’s for this next part.

On March 14th 2016 a part of my heart was crushed in a way I’ll never be fully able to explain. I questioned making a decision that could have stolen the goodness that was just around the corner. I couldn’t get out of bed, eat, let alone believe that I would one day experience the joy that floods my life as I type. And most of all – I didn’t think I was worthy of it anyways.

But on May 23rd 2016 – God started with a spark of hope that has become a burning bonfire of redemption.  Over and over He’s proved His faithfulness, His protection, and most of all His abundant desire to give us more than we can ask or imagine. As I was driving home today – God reminded me of a verse He gave me in my moments of doubt last year. Remembering this truth brought a smile to my face as once again, I had to giggle and give it to Him again – He was right.

The “critics” that hurt me, when I thought they had won. The “defeat” that I thought would destroy me – kill me even – well, they didn’t and it didn’t. I’m still here. Still pushing past expectations, taunts, and unbelief of others. Not perfect, but in progress. And in that, I proudly – a year later – can proclaim the truth n Joseph’s words to his brothers in Genesis 50:50…

 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done…”

I share all of this not for just my benefit or just to honor those I work with/have stood with me this last year – but also for you. Whatever it is you’re facing – I pray you know that giving up isn’t your only option. That no matter what words others have said about you or to you, or whatever circumstance you’re in (whether caused by you or someone else) – who God says you are  and says you will be is all that matters. Choose life. Choose hope. Choose to believe that your ‘one year‘ is just around the corner.

I promise, if He can do it for me – He can do it for you.

Here’s to one year @iProspect – I believe we’ll have many more ahead of us, but for now I’m not rushing through this – I’m relishing in this milestone, thanking God for each of the co-workers that have become friends, and truly thankful that the wall that kept me from joy is fully demolished and all I have to say is…

Can we be Facebook friends, now? 

xoxo

jess

 

This post is dedicated to Brittany, Maddie, Caitlin, Mendy, Kinzi, Emma, Tedi, Cody, Victoria, Mikayla, Molly, Jessica, Anthony, PK, Stacy, Aubrie, Katie B., Katie R., Ryan, Bailey, Sammie, Teena, Kayla, and Misti and many more. Thank you each for your support, encouragement, and the pleasure of knowing each of you – you have made this last year one I’ll never forget. 

“You’re not going to be great at everything. Surround yourself with people that can compliment you so you can work together and then everybody can be successful.”

– Jonathan Tisch

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