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friendship, relationships

This just in: Carrying the load together

It's not the load that breaks you down; it's how you carry it. ~Lena Horne

It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s how you carry it. ~Lena Horne

“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” ~Lena Horne

This quote is on my mind today as I continue to roll up my sleeves and remake my life here in D.C. And though I drove alone with my belongings packed into my tiny car for 900+ miles with my tiny dog who was healing from painful back surgery, I knew I was driving toward a better, brighter future. I just didn’t know what that future was at the time. I knew I was going to have to dig down deep into my personal reserves to muscle through perhaps the most difficult move of my life.

In many ways, coming here 3 months ago was a practice of wiping the slate almost completely clean, save for my incredible friends who supported my journey in every way imaginable. Whether it was through phone calls, messages of support, renting me an apartment, sending me job leads, helping me unpack and get settled, showing me around the city, watching Phin, or just being there whenever I needed anything, they came through with flying colors. And now I feel really lucky to be back on my feet again and in the position to give all that love and support right back to them.

I’ve been honored by the number of people who have recently reached out and asked me for help. I like to be that resource for people, especially in times of change. I’ve been through the wringer, and I want as many people as possible to benefit from my experience. Whether that means looking at a resume, meeting for coffee to brainstorm, offering writing and job search advice, or anything else that they might need, I feel glad and grateful to offer that up. It’s the best thing about getting older—I’ve now got more experience to share than ever before.

So maybe you’re going through something right now. Something that feels uncomfortable or confusing or disappointing. You might feel alone, but you aren’t. Far from it. There are many helpers, seen and unseen, who are waiting in the wings for you to ask for help. I know because I’m one of them.

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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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