Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Year, New Blog, & #OneWord2012

I used to think I was keeping up on all things tech-y. After all, in 7th grade it took an after-school meeting with my teachers, my parents and myself to get me off AOL for hours on end in between school and swim practice just to do my science homework.

In high school, I was one of the only one of my friends to have a blog, which I'm also confident none of my friends actually read. In college, I was all over AIM until Facebook entered my life on Thanksgiving 2004. After that, things were never quite the same. Today, I'm constantly checking my iPhone, reading my Twitter feed, and stalking casually searching perusing Facebook. [My boyfriend can attest to all of this, I assure you.]

But even with all of this, I'm nowhere close to being 'in the know' when it comes to the Internets. Today it's not about keeping up, it's about staying ahead of the curve-at least in my line of work it is. The day you decide to learn something tomorrow instead of today is the day you fall behind. And, unfortunately, I'm guilty. So very, very guilty.

I'm sure we all are to an extent - there's just so much 'new' out there. I'm fortunate enough to have a job in a field I've been extremely passionate about my entire life - education - and doing something I truly enjoy - PR, marketing, and writing at an institution of higher education. But in order for me to be valuable in this line of work, it's up to me to keep up and do my best to know how best to muddle through it all and decipher what I need to know in order to be my best Meg, something that has always been important to me.

So this year, in 2012, I have a lot of resolutions [okay, who doesn't?]. One of them is to start blogging. I'm aware I'm 16 days late, but in my defense, I started writing this post on January 4th. [The other resolutions got in the way and yes, I am that critical of myself.]

What will this blog be? Well, it'll be mine. I don't want to define it because I know that will only confine me. I know I've been doing a lot of listening these last 18 months or so, especially within the higher education community. I've gotten some great ideas, developed my own opinions, and started thinking outside the box. There are so many people I've connected with, primarily via Twitter, who have motivated me to be a thinker rather than just a doer. And that's where I find myself today.

It took a bit of time to find my #OneWord2012. There were so many to choose from, but I think the one that defines me best in this year with the goals I have in mind is engage. This year I'll begin contributing to the higher education community in ways I haven't before. I want to engage with those who have inspired me in a meaningful way, whether that's through this blog or elsewhere.

I want to fully engage with my work. I love what I do and want to continue taking the extra time to make something great into something even more extraordinary. This will undoubtedly involve exploring professional development opportunities that don't cut into work and don't require a ton of travel [and hopefully a few that do!]. This will involve a lot of reading and continuing to listen. But it will also involve me putting my thoughts out there, being criticized, being commended and... well, just being out there.

I want to engage more in my personal life. Sounds a bit lofty, but I have things I want to do that I haven't yet and really should be doing. I want to stay in close touch with friends who are far away, and just as important, I want to stay in close touch with friends who live nearby. Sometimes in our technologically-driven ways those who are closest in proximity seem just as far because we interact in the same ways - texting, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. I need to make a conscience effort to be with them - IRL.

This is just the beginning. I'm really looking forward to 2012 and the changes I'm making. It's going to be a great year (and then some)!

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