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There are times in our lives that we are brought to our knees by the pain of loss and the weight of responsibility. Apparently 2017 has decided to be that time in my life and the lives of those I love. 2017 has been a year of profound loss and its only May 3rd. It began with the loss of a beloved employee, the loss of a friend’s child, the loss of a dear friend, and the loss of a dear friend’s sister. Today life handed us another loss.
When I started at Kaplan eight years ago, having recently been laid off from Progressive, my confidence was shaken. Progressive had been my first and only job after college. The idea of starting all over after seven years was daunting.
My first day at KU, I was met by a charismatic trainer with a Brooklyn accent and more energy than anyone I had ever met. He was Pete. He was passionate about what he did and took pride in training admissions advisors to service our military students. Pete believed in me from day one and for that I will always be grateful. I feel blessed to have had him as my trainer, advocate and an early champion of mine at KU. Sometimes all it takes to restore confidence is having someone believe in you again. I was utterly devastated when I learned that we lost him early this morning. He left us way too early and our hearts are broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family especially his beautiful daughter, who was his pride and joy.
Whether unexpected or not, these losses have been tremendously hard to stomach. Losing someone before they hit middle age is cruel, but nothing in life is guaranteed especially our time here on earth. Life is too short to be taken for granted. Life is too short to settle for mediocrity and a life that does not make our soul sing. To be clear, I’m not saying everything should be rainbows and ponies. I am saying that while we are on this earth: we should embrace life’s experiences not possessions, embrace work that leaves us fulfilled not empty and embrace and enrich the relationships that shape our lives.