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creativity

What I learned in the pause of 2017

2017 started on a difficult note for many of us, and so it ends that way for many people, too. 2017 has been a series of near constant ups and downs. Month-to-month, day-to-day, and sometimes hour-to-hour. A lot of unexpected change came my way—I moved back to New York from D.C., I started a new job, and I published my book. I said a tearful goodbye to several people whom I dearly loved as their souls crossed over to continue onto the next leg of their journey. I kept many friends close, reconnected with people whom I haven’t seen in years, and welcomed brand new people into my life. I tried to be mindful and grateful every day, and to make the best of the good and the bad.

I thought long and hard about my life—what I love and what needs to change. Explored new ideas, passions, and interests. I’m most proud of the fact that I didn’t give up, even in the face of extreme difficulty and adversity, and that I continued to stand up and speak out for myself and for others. I kept showing up, listening, and doing my best, and in 2017 that often felt like a vertical climb. I found that if I could pause and breathe, then I could steady myself and continue.

There were absolutely times that I wanted to crawl under the covers and hide, and for a few days out of the year I did just that. But never being one to rest easy, I found a way to quickly get my feet under me again so that I could keep inching forward even if I didn’t always know where I was going nor what I was doing. I continued to tell my story, and that in and of itself is often the bravest thing we can do. To not be silenced, to not let someone else shape our narrative, to take our days in our own hands and mold them as best we can. That is a win, even if it doesn’t always feel like one.

Some days I created what felt like strong, solid work, and some days I just crashed and burned. Those crashes were painful, and necessary. And in all those days, I learned something. It wasn’t always the lesson I wanted; it was always the one I needed.

So now as we round the corner to 2018, I feel a sense of urgency, a sense that I have licked my wounds and healed and grown in leaps and bounds in 2017 so that 2018 could be the turning point it needs to be. I can’t think of a year when I’ve felt this much anticipation and excitement, this much responsibility to keep reaching and climbing and helping and appreciating and giving. I’m under no illusion that 2018 will be easy; I do know in my gut that it will be far different from any of my previous years. I’m prepared to be surprised, and to meet those surprises with openness, grace, and courage.

I wish you a monumental year in 2018, a year in which you live exactly the life you want on your own terms. I’ll see you there. Happy new year.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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