Today, I celebrate my second full year at The Iron Yard, a team I've written about a bit here on the blog. Waking up this morning in Las Vegas, visiting our campus exactly where I was a year ago (coincidentally), my mind turned on like a lightbulb promptly at 3AM (appropriate for my lack of adaptation to the Pacific time zone). Uncontrollably eager, I felt almost exactly like I feel only one other time each year, on my birthday.

Anniversaries of any kind are particularly special to me, not because anything actually happens on those days, but they are a gentle reminder from within to stop and reflect. I'm a bit nostalgic in general, sometimes even nostalgic for things I never experienced (catch me getting a little too absorbed in a museum setting). Each year on Yom Kippur (the Jewish day of atonement) is similar (albeit for a different purpose) in that it prompts us to look within, reflect, plan for the next year and take action on those reflections. I think we don't sit and do this enough, so I always welcome a prompted opportunity to appreciate and assess.

The Iron Yard team fully absorbed me from the beginning, and I feel just as eager today to engage entirely as I did that first day. I wasn't on a job hunt when I joined, my craft endeavors as successful as I wanted. I stumbled upon the organization on a search for a conference, and instantly fell hard for the mission and culture. Applied on a Monday, interviewed on that Tuesday, and signed offer letter by Thursday, it was as whirlwind an onboarding as it is a journey today. I'm grateful for the pace, because what I blame on my "creative mind" is a need for a life of constant stimulation and challenge. I'm a chronic procrastinator, and frequent curveballs keep me active and engaged.

I've had a couple of mentors while here, and I'm not sure I ever really had one before I joined The Iron Yard. I never quite understood what those relationships were like, or how to seek one. Luckily the opportunity to be mentored at The Iron Yard presented itself, and I feel like an entirely different person than I was two years ago, a person I know I wouldn't be without that intentional guidance. My bossy nature of the past has evolved (and continues to grow) into a more patient, empathetic approach to leadership, and I'm so grateful to see that change in myself that I'm trying to always nurture it myself. I feel unbelievably grateful that I've been able to contribute to an organization like this at such an early stage in my career, and I've been given chances I'm not sure many people get. Gratitude, that's what I feel the deepest at this anniversary.

I encourage everyone to seek mentorship; accept it when it feels right and challenges you as well. Open yourself to intentional reflection, and never sell yourself short by thinking change isn't necessary. #micdrop