If you had told me at the start of this year what my life would be like right now, I wouldn't have believed you.
At the time, my life seemed perfect.
Perfect job. Perfect doting husband. A perfectly enviable and undeniably cool side hustle asthe beer writer for theCapital Gazette, a local newspaper. Happily hunting for the perfect house in the perfect little bay-side town of Annapolis, Maryland. Two perfect dogs. A perfect cat. A perfectly quirky orange car. A perfect dive bar around the corner. A perfect set of friends.
On paper, I had everything I ever wanted. Now, here I am, on the doorstep of a new year and a new decade, with an entirely different life ahead of me.
Don't you worry, I'll still be here at IMPACT creating content and leading our immeasurably talented content team. But this is my last New Year's Eve as a Maryland resident. In less than two months, I will be packing upmy (new, now black) Jeepand a U-Haul for a new chapter of my life as a Connecticut resident.
And I will be doing so with Pumpkin as my only companion.
To pull back the curtain, the past 18 months have been some of the most difficult and emotionally challenging times I have ever been through — including losing dear friends in the blink of an eye tomindless, tragic violence.
During this time in my life, I've been angrier than I ever thought possible. There have also been moments where I've felt my chest open up into a seemingly endless, empty void of sadness, of which I did not realize I was capable.
But the highs born out of these moments are indescribable.
Personally, I feel as if I finally know who I am, what I want, and how I want to approach the world around me. Whereas before I often held my tongue to keep the peace, I now use my voice to stand up for myself, what I believe in, and what I value in this world. I also made time for the people who mattered, showed up, and pushed me to continue on this journey through uncharted territory of who I am now and who I will become.
Professionally, findingmy work family at IMPACThas been one of my greatest blessings.I don't know how I got so lucky to have ended up here. I've also found a home on stages as a speaker at INBOUND, IMPACT Live, and (next year as a keynote)Digital Sales & Marketing World, where I'm able to empower others to be unforgettable, breakthrough thought leaders through their words and stories.
I don't know what this next year will hold for me.
If the difference between me on January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, is any indication, absolutely anything is possible.
And the same is true for you. Go fearlessly into 2020. Take risks. Make bold choices. Know that, sometimes, you'll only know you're doing the right thing because you're scared — in business and at home.
Accept and embrace that sometimes the people you start with aren't the people you grow with — and that's OK. That's how you let new people in.
No one ever wins by playing it safe. So, let's go find out together what's possible.
👉 Looking ahead to 2020 — which isTOMORROW— how relevant is your marketing still? (3-minute read)
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I'm going to use this spot to be completely self-serving.This year, I wrote a record55 articles for IMPACT— and I'm excluding the publication of theContent Lab podcast. While I'd love to pretend they're like children and I love them all equally, there are five articles I consider to be my absolute favorite.