AS I EMBARK ON THE 10TH YEAR OF WRITING THIS BLOG THERE ARE SOME THINGS I WANT YOU TO KNOW

 Call off the search party! The Advoc8te is back!

Call off the search party! The Advoc8te is back!

Yeah, I know. The Advoc8te went AWOL again! Try as I might, I have had so much on my plate that sometimes my blogging has to take a back seat to some my other projects and commitments. These past three years I've had a lot on my plate personally, professionally and frankly emotionally. I've accomplished a lot these past few years but I've also been faced with some situations that challenged me to my very core, that tested the potency of my #BlackGirlMagic and strong woman beliefs. More on that later, but as anyone (particularly a #LadyBoss) can understand, sometimes you can't get to everything all the time in the manner you would prefer. Sometimes you have to prioritize and do the very best you can. Sometimes, you just have to live to fight (or blog) another day.

That said, I have some very GOOD NEWS! 2018 marks the 10th Anniversary of not only Congress Heights on the Rise but it also marks the 10th anniversary of my consulting business, reSPIN! Yaaaaassssss child! For the past decade I've been lucky and honored to work on some of east of the river's coolest and most community-focused projects and with some of the most amazing organizations and businesses to ever do work in Ward 7 and Ward 8! When I first had the idea for CHotR & reSPIN during the summer of 2008 I knew it was a good idea but even I had no idea it would take me this far! It seems like just yesterday I was picking an avatar (Catwoman of course) and keeping my real world identity a secret. Now there are days where it feels like everyone knows who I am! Sometimes I actually miss the days when no one recognized my name or my face (particularly when I am stuffing it with fried food).

 The Advoc8te in 2012 working the very first LUMEN8ANACOSTIA with my ARCH colleague (and bestie!) Beth. My best personal & professional experiences came from my time in Anacostia.

The Advoc8te in 2012 working the very first LUMEN8ANACOSTIA with my ARCH colleague (and bestie!) Beth. My best personal & professional experiences came from my time in Anacostia.

At the start of every year, I like to get organized. I clean my house, I organize my laptop, and I file my marketing collateral. And as I've been going through my archives, files and past projects I realize that I have led a very amazing life during my time living and working in Ward 8. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it has been H-A-R-D but I've always come out on the other side stronger and much more capable than when I went in. If there is anything I regret, it's not spending enough time with the friends and family I had before I made the move east of the Anacostia River. I missed so much, I can only hope to show them how important they are and have been to me.  

So with that in mind, and as we start on a new year, I am focused to make 2018 a banner year! I am committed to making myself much more available to my friends, family and you, my darling readers. That means that I am going to be launching some really cool projects this year, starting with an effort to integrate more IRL (In Real Life) experiences and not just online commentary and social media posts. Ever since I celebrated my 41st birthday on January 3rd (BTW - it's never too late to send a sister some gifts!), my mind has been ablaze with things I want to accomplish this year. One of my goals  is to create a more dynamic dialogue around issues that are affecting different aspects of our lives, not just which zip code we choose to live our lives.

I want to talk about love, work, creativity, being a working woman, being a woman facing some hard calls such as balancing work/love/family/sexual harassment and other important issues. I want to talk about those things that we all think about, but we don't always talk about -- without the courage of a cocktail. I want to connect the men and women who have "made it" to the men and women who are on the "come up." I want to go HAM!

And last but not least, I want you guys to get to know me, Nikki Peele, on a more personal level. As some of you probably recall, a few months ago I made some pretty revealing revelations. I too am a member of the #MeToo movement. I am a survivor of rape, sexual assault and of sexual harassment in the workplace. I am also a badass -- and I am not alone. I know there are a lot of women (and men!) out there who have taken life's lemons and made lemonade, then made that lemonade the fuel for some game changing moments. 

 Recharging my #BlackGirlMagic

Recharging my #BlackGirlMagic

So let's change the game together! I want us to talk, grow and build! I want us to make magic! I want us to inspire each other, engage each other and yes, agitate each other!  The only thing I hate more than apathy are fake flowers! Lol!

So with that in mind, I want to hear from YOU! What are some of the things you are interested in? What are some of the things that we should be talking about? What's going on in the world that we should be fired up about? Who is your hero or "shero"? What's lacking in our lives/work/passion and how can we fill the void?

So please think about what gets you fired up or what you would like to explore and Take a moment and click the button below to send me an email and let's make this happen! 2018 is the year of US! Let's do this!  In the meantime, get to know me, Nikki Peele, a little better by following me on Twitter at @TheAdvoc8te where I will be sharing details of my life/love/work using  #SecretsOfTheAdvoc8te. I hope you enjoy and get to know me a little more in the process. 

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