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This just in: Rock bottom is a strong place to start

J.K. Rowling quote

J.K. Rowling quote

“And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ~J.K. Rowling

There’s something amazingly strange and eventually wonderful about starting from rock bottom. Rock bottom’s a blank canvas, an empty room. It’s space, and within space, we can create something we love.

This quote from J.K. Rowling has been running through my mind this week as I prepare to change everything in the coming days. I’ll pack a few suitcases into my Mini, put Phin in his carrier in the front seat, Fedex my small amount of remaining items, and away we’ll go, headed straight for a new adventure in Washington D.C.

Rock bottom has such a negative connotation, but we don’t have to think of it that way. Rock bottom is solid, stable, unwavering. There really is no better place to build from. I’ve scraped down the walls of my life, removing the old chipped paint to reveal something fresh and new that is ready for color and beauty. I’ve stopped trying to make the best of the old parts of my life that no longer fit. I lovingly and gently packed them up and gave them away to make room for the new and extraordinary.

If you’d like to read the entirety of the speech that Rowling gave at Harvard that includes this quote, click here.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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