Career / Journey / Lifestyle

Always PHREA: A Year in Review


If I could describe 2013 in one word, I would say it was purposeful! I realized going into the year that this would be monumental, but it was just the beginning. I had four main goals this year: 1) expand my blog, 2) build my network, 3) switch careers and 4) find a church. I can truly say I was able to experience each of those goals this year!

Always PHREA is my breath of fresh air! 

I love where my blog is and where it is going. On May 29, I went on a quest to begin interviewing young leaders or individuals who are making a difference in the lives of others. The PHREAdom Leaders took off with my soror Jessica Ross, who is a multiple sclerosis survivor. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my readers, but I knew that because of my work and belief in giving back I needed to feature individuals who shared a common value. Needless to say, I finished this year with 10 PHREAdom Leaders! I truly have to thank those leaders who gave me the opportunity to share their story. They were: RossShantelle IgiozeeAshley NashAlton J. MurrayJohn Harris IIICurtis WallsBrittany YatesAshley GonzalezDaniel D. andAustin Smith.

Last year, I blogged 8 times. However, this year I blogged 22 times!! I wanted to expand my blog to offer more, and I was able to do just that! I’m really excited to see where Always PHREA and I go next year! I’m continuing to discover the endless possibilities and Bee PHREA!

Network makes the Dream Work

I can honestly say that I’ve always been a relatively shy woman. I didn’t socialize much with people outside of my normal circle. However, I considered it a challenge to build my network. I was very apprehensive, but I knew it was necessary. I started attending different events on my own. I joined two groups (the #GOALDiggers Project and Bloggers Like Me) on Facebook, which has definitely helped me to grow as a writer, blogger and businesswoman. Next year, I want to network more and meet new people.

One Door Closes

In September, I received word that my company was closing the Charlotte office. I could say that I was upset, but I really wasn’t. I was trying to find a way to leave there, but I am such a loyal worker that I didn’t know how to do so. Isn’t it funny how God works? He knew the only way I would leave to find something better for me is by forcing me out. I spent 60 days job searching and went on six different job interviews. I was determined to not be jobless when I left there, and I wasn’t. I received my job offer the day before my last day at my old job. I am so thankful because I found a career. I love every bit of this new opportunity. It’s truly a perfect combination of Crystal – the server, the writer and the educator.

Spiritual Feeding

There’s something about a spiritual feeding that just does your body good! I’ve been in Charlotte for the almost four years now, and I can finally say that I’ve found a church that fits me perfectly.

I was searching for purpose this year, and I believe I’ve found it in different ways. I can’t wait for 2014 to arrive so that I can make more moves because the best is yet to come. #BeePHREA

❤ Starkey

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