I've owed everyone a massive "catch up" blog for -- now that I look at it -- well over a year. My life has shifted in directions that I never thought it could take, and quite frankly I didn't MAKE time to slow down and catch up with A Woman With Drive this entire time. But I am bringing it home in 2023 in a big way and I wanted to finally get around to that blog post that I procrastinated on for, yup, almost 16 months. **WOW**
SO! Let me catch you up in a very "Carrie" way -- bullet points...
Jan 2021 Met the Love of my Life
Aug 2021 Bought a house together
June 2022 Got engaged in Colorado
Also June 2022 Brought home a puppy
July 2022 Started www.TheBrideShop.co
September 2022 Started www.Pickleball-Express.com
October 2022 GOT MARRIED!
2023.....Finally a very Carrie *PERSONAL PROJECT* COMING SOON!
So yes, it seems a bit insane and this is partially why I haven't slowed down. I haven't even really been golfing if I can be honest with you. I STILL have a full time dream day-job that I have NO plans of ever quitting. Ben is also still working full time, so our 6pm-2am "side hustles" have been consuming our lives when we aren't traveling to Texas to see my step-son or doing all of the other fun things that life requires when you aren't grinding 24/7.
But here is some additional meat to chew on. Some real self discovery took place over the last two years. Some hard truths were realized when I did a self assessment of my happiness and well-being. I realized that speaking professionally was NOT my passion. Not in the way that it lights up some of my greatest friends and mentors in the meetings industry (I am looking at you Rachel Sheerin, Courtney Stanley and Juliet Tripp!). I decided that whatever causes more anxiety in my life didn't have a place so I left it behind to the professionals to focus on other things that filled my cup. My coaching/mentoring reached a peak in 2021--along with my DEI centric show with Derrick Johnson, "Events: From Black to White". My focus in 2021 was on giving back to the community in small ways, and elevating others voices. Unfortunately I think I took it to the extreme (as I tend to do) and burned out a little bit (hello! That thing I've been warning everyone else about!). So I scaled back my mentorship to one meaningful person in particular, and we phased out of Events: From Black to White to focus on other projects.
So that brings me to 2022. The YEAR OF ME. I had decided to lean into myself in 2022 and boy, did I ever. I slowly scaled my events industry involvement way back (except that I joined the HTM advisory board for Virginia Tech--but that is a whole other story!). I focused all my extra time and attention on myself, Ben, and our future together. We decided we wanted more for our family and I decided that I am my best when I am focused on building SOMETHING, so we leaned into a couple of *hopefully* future wealth and security-building passion projects-- www.TheBrideShop.co -- a one-stop online shop for brides, those looking for wedding gifts and "bride tribes" focusing on fun, custom, quaility products in one location and www.Pickleball-Express.com -- products and gear for those that are #PickleballAddicts like ourselves!
I also took an assessment of my relationships, friendships, partnerships and leaned in to those that made me feel most whole. I'm not going to call it "cutting the fat" but I definitely made time for what and those who were most important to me. My circle grew smaller but stronger.
As I stare down my 40th birthday in less than 60 days, I wanted to finally do the scary thing that I've talked about forever. Not only will I be talking to 100 hospitality and tourism management students at Virginia Tech later this month when I guest-speak, but I will be using the time to launch a *new* sector of my AWWD brand.
If you've ever attended any of my presentations in the past, or know me well as a friend or colleague-- I always say "Face it till you make it", not "Fake it till you make it". It means a lot to me, a small town girl with big dreams. I made a lot of mistakes along the way--in my career journey and in life-- but I've always faced up. In my worst times, in my most anxious moments, and during my biggest successes I've quietly said to myself, 'stand up and face it'. Facing it is just a part of me, and with that in 2023 I will be launching the fun side of the Carrie Abernathy---oops, Carrie Davenport brand. Can't wait to Face 2023 with you all and reveal my next-big thing...
Until then xoxo,