Getting proud – What I’ve Learned in 2014

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Visiting Times Square in New York

“You get proud by practising”

Those are the words we were given this year at the memorial service for fabulous Stella Young. It’s only now looking back at 2014 that I can see the great amount of practice I’ve had “getting proud” this year and the whole lot more I need to do in 2015.

I’m proud of how I navigated through 2014.

Fun photo shoot with Kirsty Daniel (from We Shoot photography)
Fun photoshoot with Kirsty Daniel (from We Shoot photography)

This year my partner Kevin asked me to marry him in a surprise proposal on the Yarra river in Melbourne. I’m proud of what the two of us have built together in a short amount of time. We’re blessed with good friends and family, our dogs Cynder and Sprocket and we’ve supported each other through some pretty major life changes.  I’ve learned a lot about myself by being with Kevin – he helps me to push my boundaries and try new things, he makes me feel worthy of love and support like I’ve never felt before and he demonstrates for me every day what it means to be proud.

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Featured by 12WBT

This year we completed the 12 Week Body Transformation and made a significant number of changes to our lifestyles. I reached what was probably the fittest I’ve ever been and I changed my haircut for the first time in years! I learned to not be ashamed of taking pride in my appearance and experimented with my new hair, clothes and more. I’ve never had a great body image, but this year I decided to give myself some credit for once.

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Men in Black style, right?

This year I took pride in myself and my career and made one of the hardest career decisions I’ve ever made. The opportunity to be the General Manager of SYN Media (A dream of mine for the last 9 years) came around and after a short stint as the organisation’s Acting General Manager and a job interview pending I did the unthinkable – I changed my mind.

A wonderful farewell doge'ing from Tess Lawley
A wonderful farewell doge’ing from Tess Lawley

Why? My dream has now changed. I realised that I’m ready to learn and do new things. SYN Media has given me more fun, opportunity, challenge and experience than I ever could have hoped for and I realised that it’s time for me to move on and let the next generation of SYN leave their mark.

So in January 2015 I will be finishing my role as SYN’s Education and Training Manager and leaping into the great unknown.  I have no idea what’s next, but I’m excited for some new challenges in my career.

With Adrian Basso at the CBAA 2014 Awards
With Adrian Basso at the CBAA 2014 Awards

I also finished 6 years as a board member of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia – a place where I have met some of the smartest, funniest, quirkiest and most passionate people in Australia. Their passion for community broadcasting and the power it has to transform and impact communities has taught me so much over the space of 6 years. I am so grateful to all the people I have met and worked with through the CBAA for sharing that passion with me.

Being a dork at the Statue of Liberty

I finally got to travel! After years of saving and promising myself the opportunity to travel I visited New York, Montreal and Toronto with one of my closest friends. I learned just how inspiring a new location can be (and how much it can make you miss your loved ones) and that you just need to do it and stop making excuses.

Down in Brooklyn

Unfortunately the trip also marked one of my worst experiences with anxiety yet (with some fairly severe physical symptoms), but I’m proud of the self care and compassion I gave myself over this time and thank in particular my travel companion Steph for her support through my tougher days. The experience inspired me to write and speak more openly about my anxiety for which I’m proud of myself for doing. I hope it can help others going through similar experiences.

Winning the National Youth Award for 'Creating Pathways'
Winning the National Youth Award for ‘Creating Pathways’ with Senator Scott Ryan

I won the ‘Creating Pathways’ National Youth Award at the National Art Gallery in Canberra and was published in ‘Inspiring Stories by Young Victorians’. What I’ve learned from these experiences is that if I’m proud of my work I should have no shame in telling people about it! Thank you to the people who have encouraged me to take on opportunities like these this year.

Thank you 2014
Thank you

Thank you for your love and support in 2014.

In 2015 I’m going to keep practising getting proud.

-JB

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