I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a little nostalgic in December. I don’t know if it’s the short days or the holiday lights, but as the end of the year approaches, I feel compelled to reflect on the joys and challenges of the past 11 months.
This year, I have had much to celebrate, both personally and professionally. And I have found that keeping a practice of joy and celebrating wins is necessary for my mental health because my heart has broken so many times seeing innocent lives lost in Gaza and the rise of hatred against two historically persecuted communities with an abhorrent increase in Islamophobia and antisemitism.
2024 has got to be different.
And so, in my attempt to find small moments of joy among so much heartbreak, here are just some of the things I’m grateful for (and gave me joy) in 2023. Please comment with your joys!
A New Yorker feature
Early in the year, Jodi-Ann Burey and I were featured in the New Yorker in a characteristically beautiful Leslie Jamison exploration, “Why Everyone Feels Like They’re Faking It.” The article examines the dubious rise of “imposter syndrome,” a concept Jodi-Ann and I have pushed back against for years. We wrote our Harvard Business Review piece in 2021, and while the narrative of women’s lack of self-confidence is still widespread, it means a lot that our work to challenge it resonates so strongly.
Authors aren’t usually highlighted for our fashion, so when 425 Magazine wanted me to participate in a style feature, I said “yes,” though I initially wanted to say no! Style provides us with a fun, much-needed outlet for self-expression, but it’s also an underutilized tool for systemic change. Constantly challenging traditional Western standards of fashion, beauty, and art can be a catalyst for leaders to cultivate an inclusive, representative industry for all.
Styled for 425 Magazine
Uncompete is coming!
This summer, I could finally reveal some incredibly exciting news with my community. My third book, Uncompete: Dismantling a Competition Mindset to Unlock Liberation, Opportunity, and Peace, will be published by Penguin Random House’s Viking Books! I’m deep into writing (and will be until mid-next year!), and I can’t wait to share what’s to come. Deals like this don’t happen on their own, and I’m so grateful to those in my circle who encourage, uplift, and believe in me, especially my agent, Maile Beal.
Celebrating one year of Inclusion on Purpose
Sometimes, 12 months passed by in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it? Inclusion on Purpose feels brand new, but March marked the one-year anniversary of its publication. Magic like that can’t be created without the support of a strong community, and celebrating this book means celebrating my community, too. On March 1st, I gathered with 24 incredible women leaders in Seattle to thank them for what they helped build. We ate, we drank, and I got a little (okay, a lot) emotional. It was an unforgettable, joyful evening that still makes me smile 9 months later.
Celebrating the first year of Inclusion on Purpose and this incredible community of women leaders
I know how fortunate I am to have a super engaged audience on my social media. It’s a privilege, and this July, I chose to use my platform to boost the signal of some truly brilliant thought leaders. Each weekday in July, I turned over my social media to a different creator (all from underestimated communities), allowing them to share their expertise with my over 50,000 followers. I learned so much from each and every one of them, and I feel honored to be able to amplify important voices, experiences, and conversations.
Spreading the word
There really is nothing quite as exhilarating as sharing my ideas with an engaged audience, and I am thrilled to have had so many opportunities to do so over the last year. Thank you so much to my audiences at the National Institutes of Health, Toast, Spotify, Columbia University, LinkedIn APAC, TD Bank, Edelman, Spotify, and so many others. Your enthusiastic response and desire to cultivate equity and inclusion in your organizations is what keeps me going. Thank you.
Sharing Inclusion on Purpose with an incredible audience at LinkedIn Singapore
This year has been filled with exciting professional successes and new experiences, but none of it holds a candle to the precious time I was able to spend with those I hold most dear. Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and in 2023, I was able to enjoy time with my family in New York, Singapore, Canada, and Italy. Each new adventure brought us closer together, enriching the relationship we have with our global community and each other.
Gratitude for the good
When I read the news, I’m often reminded of the New Yorker cartoon that says, “My desire to stay informed is currently at odds with my desire to stay sane.” It’s a tough time in our world, and both experiencing personal hardship and witnessing the suffering of others naturally takes its toll. While I do believe it’s important to not turn away, and especially stay engaged even if you have the privilege to look away, moments of rest and recovery are so important to keep on the good fight.
I am so grateful for my community, and take so much joy in the kindness and compassion I see at home and in every corner of the world. Sometimes you have to squint to see it, but it’s there.