by Annie Doyle, CCC-SLP
My first foray into the blogging world was in July 2014. Yes, I am a blogger newbie. What is most important about this is not how long I’ve blogging, but why I began blogging! My desire to share my thoughts and ideas about my life and profession came on the heels of my completion of the ASHA Leadership Development Program.
Truth be told, I didn’t even read the email two years ago announcing the application period. My friend, Jen, sent me an email with a link and said, “Let’s do this!” I thought, “Why not?” As deadlines loomed I grew anxious. I leaned in and got myself together completing the application and naturally believing I had a snowball’s chance in hell. I texted Jen and asked her if she completed the application and she hadn’t. Many thoughts whirled in my curly head, but the idea that I was in it and I was in it alone was paramount! Sometime in April, I think, I received an email that I had been accepted. I was shocked and thrilled. I was 51 years old and I had reached a sort of professional dormancy. At the time, little did I know that this experience would be the single most important thing I could I have done to jump start my career and my life.
I zipped out to California on Wednesday for a two-day whirlwind tour as I had to be back in New Hampshire for a wedding that Saturday. I took the red-eye home and was on an LDP high! I reclaimed who I was as a professional. I re-imagined what I could do. I finally found a place in my heart and mind that truly believed, “If I think it, I can do it.” What was it that set this in motion? Well, I will say the facilitators were fabulous, inspiring, and smart, but the key for me was the other cohort participants. Our little team met every month virtually and connected and grew and commiserated. We wrought friendships and support. I love these women. I think of them often despite being spread all across the country.
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