Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian Side

Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian Side

One of the 7 natural wonders of the world!


I see you as…

I recently spent some time cleaning up my room. I came across a worn piece of folded notebook paper. It was a list of words that my peers had used to describe me back in September of 2013 during our Seattle U led course on emotional intelligence.

What stands out to me is how the words I used to describe myself during my time in South America and the words that my peers choose to describe me. It’s a reminder (for me AND for you) that being self-critical is an important part of who I am and what drives me, but I also need to remember that recognizing and embracing my positive qualities is equally valuable.

Thank you to my dear friends from the Dolomites 2013 who created this list that has helped boost me in times of need ever since.

Words from my colleagues September 2013:

I see you as….

Great sister. Strong. Brave. Adventurous. Ambitious. Inviting. Independent. Genuine. Sporty. Beautiful. Tall. Pretty. Understanding. Grounded. Carrying the world. Good partner. Humble. Introvert. In control. Confused. Complex. Intelligent. Fun. Concerned. Loved. Lucky. Engaging. Confident. Friendly. Hopeful. Careful. Strong-willed. Inviting. Open. Nurturing. Powerful. Tough. Hopeful. Proud. Future. Thoughtful. Driven. Making a difference. Inspiring. 

Try this exercise with a trusted group of peers – it’s a great way to reflect on who you are and who you want to be.


I failed.

I failed because I went to South America with an idea of how I would change the world, and it didn’t go as planned. I failed because I went to South America to measure impact for Sistema B, and I didn’t. I failed because I thought I was an expert at navigating cultural barriers, and I broke down almost every day from frustration and uncertainty. I failed because I thought that by now I would know exactly what I want to do when I grow up, and I don’t.  

Because I failed in all of these ways, I succeeded in others.

I succeeded because I improved my ability to speak Spanish. I spent time and understood local people. I tried steak in Argentina (and I hardly ever eat meat). I became a deeper and more international professional through my experiences with the Chilean and Argentine culture. I helped to create a new organizational structure and strategic plan for Sistema B. I developed new, deep relationships. I became a leader. I developed passion for recycling and composting and reduction of waste.

Failure teaches adaptation. It forces you to learn how to make the best of any situation. The growth that results from failure is far greater than when things go as planned. 

10 weeks in 70 words

My time in Chile and Argentina was marked by varied challenges, myriad experiences and rewarding accomplishments. While I did not share as much as I had hoped, I did I write one word at the end of each day to capture my experience. The story of my words is one of ups and downs that led to an incredible overall experience and lots of personal and professional growth. I’ll be sharing a bit more context to each week’s words over the next month. Keep checking back for updates and of course if you have any questions or comments please let me know!

Here is the summary of my 10 weeks in 70 words!

Blurry. Challenged. Inadequate. Absorbing. Lost. Progress. Lonely. Unsatisfied. Rejuvenated. Stretched. Inspired. Immersed. Pensive. Eager. Growth. Uncertain. Introspective. Heavy. Disconnected. Grateful. Proud. Home. In-between. Full. Exposed. Fortunate. Blessed. Faithful. Change. Complex. Progress. Full. Fortunate. Exhausted. Captivated. Confused. Enlightened. Excited. Angry. Restless. Jam-packed. Peaceful. Comfortable. Perplexed. Joyful. Depleted. Mesmerized. Small. Unsettled. Relaxed. Turmoil. Rectified. Muddled. Enriched. Content. Abnormal. Disagreement. Confident. Natural. Global. Exploring. Lucky. Adventure. Useful. Camaraderie. Indulgent. Effective. Capable. Pensive. Bittersweet.