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Three years ago, I made the best decision of my entire life. I packed up all my belongings and journeyed to San Francisco. I was unsure of what to expect — I didn’t have any friends or family in the city. I was moving outside my comfort zone and into the complete unknown on not much more than a whim. These three years have been the best years of my life. They’ve gone by so quickly, yet the day I moved feels so long ago.

This past year has been A Year. The little start-up I joined in 2009 was acquired. Twice. Once by Efficient Frontier (which I briefly wrote about in my two year recap post) and then again in December by Adobe. Yep. It’s a start-up’s dream come true being acquired by a company like Adobe. Of course, there’s a huge adjustment coming from a small company into a 10,000 employee organization. But the cultures are so aligned, the resources are incredible, and the technology isn’t half bad either.

The Community Engagement team is growing, too. With more resources (i.e. RACHAEL!!!), I’m finally able to do my job — manage. By working at a start-up, then a medium-sized company, and now at a huge organization, I feel like I’ve come know what I want to do: lead.  I love managing people, providing insight, encouraging success and growth, setting goals. My team is why I come to work every day and I learn so much from each of them.

At Context Optional, I was blessed with an incredible mentor. Good mentors are hard to find. Especially ones that are genuinely interested in your career, life, and overall well-being. Mentors teach you how to build key relationships, how to stand up for yourself, how to make decisions that benefit not only yourself, but your entire team. While she did not transition to Efficient Frontier or Adobe, we still keep in touch regularly, and for that, I’m so thankful.

The CEO of Context Optional also decided to part ways with his baby (CO). I’m so grateful to have worked with such an empowering leader.

This past year has been incredible. And one of the most important pieces to my life is my boyfriend. From sneaking into Outside Lands Music Festival, to his first trip to meet my family (and BFF) in Colorado for Thanksgiving, to celebrating our one year anniversary, to exploring new places in San Francisco, to trips to visit his family in Sonoma, to eating at trendy new places, to me buckling and buying Hipster glasses, to devouring oysters, to our first big trip together for Casi and Greg’s wedding, he has enriched my life in so many ways. This past year (well, year and a half now) would not have been the same without him. Thanks, OKCupid — you found me a keeper!

I learned how to make time for myself. I was homesick. More than once.

I set a New Years goal for myself: to be present. This city, in all of it’s glory, still moves too quickly and sometimes I got lost. I spent so much time zipping around, eating, drinking, working, exercising, traveling, hustling. And I just don’t want to miss anything. Six months in and I think I’m about halfway there.

My baby brother came to visit. I say baby, but in two weeks, he’ll be 21 and the next time he comes to visit, we’re going all out.

Per tradition, my dad came out for my birthday. This year was a little different than previous as we’ve tackled all ofthe touristy attractions. We went to places that were a little off the beaten path. My birthday was spent surrounded by my friends and my father which was so special. We headed up to wine country for the day with Casi, Greg and the boyfriend — it was the best day.

Speaking of dad, his company is finally beginning to take off. I’m so proud of all he’s done and how he’s stuck with it. I’ve loved helping him with everything from business plans to pitches. We make a great team.

I changed my dietSeveral times. I’m still on the journey to a lifestyle change, but I’m getting there. I’ve learned so much about whole living and eating clean. It’s inspirational. But I still like my pork belly grilled cheese. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I admitted I’m a grown up.

My best friend in the whole world came to visit. We had the absolute best time and it is just a testament to the fact that true friendship does exist. It takes a little work, but even distance can’t come between us.

My group of girlfriends has solidified. It feels great to have such a close-knit of girls to go out with, eat with, drinkwith, vent with, laugh with. I love them all.

I learned that I’m outspoken. I’m not afraid of the fallout of speaking, I’m afraid of losing myself when I don’t speak. And that’s how I forever want to live my life.

My mom visited earlier this summer and we had a wonderful time. It’s great to be able to spend such quality girl time together. I’m lucky to have a mom like her.

My best friend, Casi, got married. Twice. To the same man, of course, but once in San Francisco and once in Mexico. Both weddings were incredible and I’m so honored to have been a part of them. I’m still so thankful the Internet lead me to her (and Greg).

I can’t believe it’s been three whole years in this magical place. I still feel like there’s so much to do. So much to experience and explore and learn. I can’t wait to see what’s still in store.


One Year

Two Years

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