From relatives to old friends to acquaintances, the holiday season brings about a feeling of closeness and togetherness involving individuals I value most yet rarely see as often as I want to. As part of this occasion, simply spending any amount of time with them means a lot.
As great as all the presents are, a simple gesture as a hug means a lot more than anything that has a suggested retail value printed on the side of a box. Hugs help in a time like this where I am still trying to get my career back on track. It helps remind me that there is still something to live for amid all the setbacks and slumps that I am currently facing.
Let’s take a look back at the month that was and look ahead to the first month of 2014.
PRSA New Professionals executive committee – On Dec. 12, I was selected to serve as the diversity liaison for the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) New Professionals executive committee.
As the inaugural officeholder for this position, I will be the section representative to PRSA National Diversity Committee, working with them on the organization’s initiatives to broaden diversity and provide support for minority professionals within the public relations field.
The continuation of an oddly interesting pattern will play out as a result of this appointment. Every four years since 2006, I began serving in some type of leadership position. In 2006, I was elected to serve on the student council during senior year in high school. In 2010, I was elected to serve on Cal State Fullerton PRSSA’s chapter board. In 2014, I will serve on the aforementioned leadership body. Interesting how history has a way of repeating itself. I am interested to see where it all goes.
Annual traditions – This is a month known for annual, time-honored traditions. These are things I have looked forward to each year for the last several years.
On Dec. 20, I visited my alma mater El Dorado High School in Placentia, Calif. to visit Carey Cecil, my former student council advisor who is now principal at the school.
I have visited Ms. Cecil — as I still address her — on the last school day of the calendar year every December since 2007. A continuing source of inspiration and wisdom, she is someone I continue to admire and attribute my subsequent success in life to since graduating from there six and a half years ago. I am still grateful for all she has done to help me get to where I am now.
The following day on Dec. 21, I attended a Christmas party at Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink station. This party involves a group of railfans I regularly spent my weekend nights with before I moved to Philadelphia. Although I have since moved back, this was my first official visit back at the station as I no longer live close enough to the station to regularly go out there.
As part of our festivities each year, we take part in Christmas caroling with a “foamer” twist attached to it. (Caroling part runs from 22:40 to 27:08, if the below embed doesn’t instantly start from there. It’s okay if you don’t get any of the references in the song.)
Christmas – For the fourth year in a row, I spent this Christmas holiday with my cousin, cousin-in-law and their two young sons that I informally call my “little cousins.” As always, I enjoy spending time with this bunch. I also babysat those kids briefly during that visit. It was my first time babysitting kids and I somehow pulled it off.
About a week before Christmas, an extended family of mine had its house burglarized. All of their presents were stolen along with some other valuables. I joined in on the efforts of their families, friends and coworkers by helping them in any way I can. In addition to getting them a gift I usually get for the whole family, I donated my PlayStation 3 to one of the kids who had his stolen. He was very grateful for what I have done for him and I was happy to be able to help him in that capacity.
- Start of the Mineta program – My first class begins Jan. 8. This class will cover how transportation professionals deal with emergency issues. Should be interesting.
- Job hunt – If not 2011, 2012 nor 2013, it has to be 2014.
- PRSA New Pros committee – It all begins Jan. 1. I missed being in a leadership position of some kind. Glad to be able to jump back into one.
How did December go for you? Was it what you expected? What are you looking forward to for the new year? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.