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We made it through 2020! Almost! This year has been unprecedented, but we wanted to take a moment as a team to talk about our favorite moments of 2020 and what we’re looking forward to in the new year! Enjoy!

 

Heather:

I sat down just a few moments ago and scrolled through all the pictures saved on my phone, January through December of this year. I knew there would be so many things that I forgot if I didn’t take the time to reminiscence. You know what I did? I wrote down all the highlights for each month in my journal. I didn’t want 2020 to only be remembered for the hard. There were so many glorious moments from this year. For example, Dixon turned 13 and had a surprise birthday trip with Matt to San Francisco. Matt and I took a weekend getaway to Highlands, North Carolina for our anniversary. We took a family RV vacation for the first time ever! Choice was named to the Bulldog 100! But when I look back on the year, the overarching theme that I want to celebrate is how much intentional time I spent with my family. We were together, truly together, this year. It was a slower pace and I’m grateful that I had that with them. As it relates to Choice, we’ve had a ton of wins that merit their own celebrations – a podcast launch, a safe, transformative Summit event, a re-evaluated business model. But, by far, our biggest win this year is the group of women we’ve assembled to form this team – our Choice Chicas! I look at our team pictures and smile like a kid in a candy store because I’m just so proud of what we’ve built and the women who are doing this good, important work here. As we move into 2021, I find myself looking forward to continuing that slower pace – not trying to pack everything back into what the old “normal” looked like. I want to take those family walks again. I look forward to more game nights and spontaneous indoor picnics. May the lessons of 2020 not leave us just because the year ends.

 

 

Kerry: 

At the beginning of each year, I have grand plans for how I will better myself physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, professionally. It’s typically an exhausting list of completely unattainable goals that I have very limited time to tackle. And, typically, I forget about them by February or March and just float through the year, letting life happen. This year, our collective world came to a halt in March, and the remainder of the year was filled with unexpected time to reflect and grow. I’ve already shared a bit about what I’ve learned and what I am grateful for in our previous blog post. There truly was a lot of positive change, but it wasn’t easy or fun in the process. I hope I always remember the hard revelations and the process that got me there. As we look to 2021 and the potential of life getting “back to normal,” I realize how much I don’t want to return to my old self – to my normal. I can’t float through another year. 2020 taught me that so much is out of my control, but the important parts of my life are up to me. I know the stroke of midnight won’t eliminate much of the hardships of 2020. But, I will walk into 2021 resolved, with a plan, with goals that matter to me – not goals that look good on paper. 

 

 

Kristina:

 Praise Jesus, 2020 is finally almost over! When 2020 started, I never imagined that our world would be in its current state. While I am thankful that the year is almost over, there are some memories I will hold on to forever. I focused on loving myself, developing a healthier lifestyle, and being confident in who I am and what I bring to any table. Justin and I were able to drop our busy, on-the-go lifestyle and take some time focused on each other. Our evenings filled with ice cream in red solo cups, movie dates on the couch, and competitive games of scrabble, filled our home with laughter and smiling faces during a time of fear and worry.

 

2021 will be my year of hope, a chance to look back on the previous year and be thankful for all that I have accomplished and endured. A year I can be proud of making it through the storm and coming out even stronger than before. Justin and I have some big goals in 2021, finalizing the plans for his business here in Tennessee, renting his first studio space here, finding a town we love with the hopes of someday buying and starting a family. I am looking forward to the chance to travel again, and fingers crossed, a trip to finally see that turquoise blue water I am dying to see! I can’t wait to be able to hug some of our dearest friends and family from back at home and to be in person celebrating the wedding of our best friends. Professionally, I am looking forward to a year of being together and growing closer with my teammates. I can’t wait to see how our podcast continues to grow and for Choice to host our largest Summit yet!  

 

 

Sarah: 

I like to look at 2020 as the year of “releasing control and leaning into the pain.” With so much uncertainty this year, including a lay off of a job that I had for 7 years, my personality initially fell into trying to control EVERYTHING! It was not until I pumped the brakes that I realized I can only control a few things – reaching out to my network and brainstorming dream jobs, my health, my outlook on life, my positivity, creating a peaceful and warm home for my family, and enjoying the little moments with my kids that often were overlooked because of the hustle life. Although 2020 was hard I would not change it for anything. My pain and discomfort became joy and trust. I landed a dream career at Choice and can lean into my strengths more than ever before! When I look forward to 2021, I am excited about new business opportunities, continual growth professionally, managing and building a team of rockstars, as well as building more memories with my family! There is nothing that I feel my husband and family can’t withstand after 2020. We are stronger, wiser, more trusting, and more in love with one another!

 

 

Olivia: 

One of my favorite things about this year was that I was able to slow down and really think about my life and appreciate all I have. My favorite memory this year was when my boyfriend matched at Vanderbilt for his residency. Usually, there is a big celebration at the end of medical school and you find out where you match in front of your colleagues and family in a large ceremony. Due to COVID, it (like most things) became a Zoom ceremony! We had ordered breakfast from our favorite restaurants, made bloody marys, and I decorated the apartment to celebrate. We were able to celebrate just him and me, and I’ll never forget when he checked his email to find out he matched here in Nashville. It signified the end of four years of long-distance, and meant I got to stay in my favorite city! 

 

I look forward to many things in 2021. Personally, I look forward to hopefully getting to travel again (I am dying for a change of scenery) and finally seeing my family. Professionally, I’m excited to continue to grow into my role at Choice and cannot wait for all of our amazing book campaigns we’re working on right now to publish in the Spring/Summer!

 

 

Tiffany: 

This year definitely came with a mix of highs and lows for me. It almost doesn’t feel real and it’s actually strange to think that it’s coming to an end. When I think back, one of my favorite memories would have to be opening my Juice Bar immediately before COVID happened. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with happiness looking at the business I had built on my own. Naturally, things slowed down quite a bit, but I never lost the faith that it could all turn around. And so it did. I was able to keep the business going while starting my role here at Choice which has meant so much to me. For next year, I’m looking forward to embracing change and continually learning and growing within my career, and stepping into the leadership role I know I’m destined for. 

 

 

Brooke: 

I think we can all agree that saying goodbye to 2020 is sweet instead of bitter. While I’m not sad to see it come to an end, there are so many fond memories I have of 2020. I think my favorite memory of 2020 was getting to enjoy my senior year of college with my best friends. I lived in a house of seven girls my final year, and it was one of the best experiences I could’ve asked for. There was always someone to talk to, watch “The Vampire Diaries” for the millionth time with, cry to, or borrow a cute outfit from for a date. I made some of my best friends while living in that house, and I know some of those girls will stand by me at my wedding one day. 

 

Because I am indecisive and can’t choose just one, another memory I will always cherish is spending quarantine with my mom and dad. That was some of the best, quality, and encouraging time I’ve had with them, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

 

Heading into 2021, I am looking forward to the (improbable, but hopeful) rescheduling of the concerts I was supposed to attend in 2020 as well as growing into my role at Choice. This is my first job out of college, and I am so excited about the challenge and opportunity to learn from these amazing women. 

 

 

Brittany:

2020 has been an exhausting year. We’ve faced new challenges and obstacles with every passing day and 2021 shows no immediate signs of a return to normalcy. As I reflect on this year although, I’m grateful for one important lesson I’ve taken away from all of this, which is the importance of spontaneity. 

 

This year, I graduated from college. As an undergraduate, I convinced myself that if I worked myself to the bone, I would manifest a successful career into existence. For four years, I juggled a full class load, simultaneous jobs and internships, and extracurricular activities and eventually became accustomed to the idea of hustling. I took pride in it and attached my professional worth to my ability to stay busy. As we neared the end of 2020, I remember being overjoyed that an end was in sight and that I would finally be able to reap the benefits of all that hard work. 

 

Post-college life panned out much differently than I anticipated though. As I recall the disappointment and worry I felt earlier this year, I realize that I’ve failed to really live in the moment for the last four years. I was solely focused on linear success and when that didn’t happen immediately after graduation, I felt like a failure. This year I’ve learned that despite our best efforts, even the most carefully articulated plans may not come to fruition. Instead, I now understand that some of the best opportunities aren’t always the ones we plan for. My favorite part of this year was being able to slow down, reflect on four insanely busy years, and really think about what I wanted my life to look like in the face of our new reality. I decided to take a leap of faith, move to Nashville, and join a team of women who have guided me through this new season of life and helped me re-conceive a notion of confidence after a defeating year.

 

I saw a quote a few months ago that said “Happiness is where you are now or nowhere at all.” As we near 2021, I’m excited to bring more spontaneity into my life and learn to find joy in every day instead of planning for it. 

 

 

Hannah: 

What a year 2020 has been. It truly feels like we’ve lived ten lifetimes throughout this year. One of my favorite things about this year was the opportunity to travel with friends to New York for the first time ever (pre-COVID). My husband and I have been lucky enough to have the same friends throughout high school, college, and now adulthood. During that friendship, we’ve added wives, girlfriends, and many cherished memories. Something we, as a group, have always talked about is taking trips together each year, and this was the first year we were able to make it happen. We spent the entire trip laughing until our stomachs hurt, making new memories, site seeing, and enjoying delicious food that you can only find in New York. It took me a long time to adjust to the changes COVID created by the time we returned home from our trip, as it was just beginning to spread. We came home to no toilet paper anywhere, the grocery store shelves emptied and panic set in across our country. I truly am so thankful for that short amount of time we were able to spend together before the worries that would accompany the following months. There are many things that I am looking forward to in 2021, one being the hope that I can once again see my grandparents. It’s been a really hard year for them and I’m truly looking forward to the day I get to hug their necks again. Additionally, I’m looking forward to working towards the goals I have set for myself both personally and professionally. I hope to look back at this post in a year and to see the growth I’ve made. Overall, I’m truly just looking forward to the newness that the changing of years brings. It’s a fresh start, and 365 days to make new memories. 

 

 

Hayley: 

This year was a tough, but revealing year. All of my life I have been go, go, go. I always had a plan and was preparing for the next step in my career and life. I truly realized the importance of caring for the areas of your life that aren’t as healthy. I witnessed this in our country. There are a lot of wounds that we haven’t addressed and have just trudged on through. But, now I think we realize that we have to do something about those issues and make a change. That’s the only way to get healthier. In my personal life, I realized that I had shoved my mental health under the rug. I never liked talking about feelings and what those feelings meant. I just knew I had goals to achieve. This year I started going to therapy, which was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I’ve learned to become more open and honest. I am re-learning what makes me happy and what kind of person I want to be. I’ve learned that it’s okay to struggle and take care of yourself first.

As for what I am looking forward to this next year with Choice…everything! This is my first “big girl” job out of college and I am so excited about it! I knew I wanted to work in social media, but I had no idea I would end up at a PR firm! I have so much to learn and am very excited to get more involved in the world of PR. I’m excited to grow as a member of this team and really put my social media ideas into action! 

I am also moving to Nashville in 2021, so that’s already a great start! I’m excited to start my new life in the city and create my own community. I’m also excited to be where my team is located so that we can have all the coffee shop dates and attend work events!

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AUTHOR: Heather Adams
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