Celebrating Letting Go while Holding On

White iced cake on blue background with candles to celebrate various birthdays.
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By Shannon Hooten, Strategic Director

This month, I celebrate three whole years at MORTAR! I still feel absolutely blessed to have found this place. I have been challenged in more ways than I can count but in ways that have allowed me to grow and find myself again. Before MORTAR, I’d never been truly heard at work or truly valued. For most of my work life, I’ve just gone with the flow and, when I did get comfortable enough to express myself creatively, critically, I was punished, talked down to, and often embarrassed. Particularly at the place I worked at before MORTAR. After today though, I vow to let that awful experience go (until I show up to whisk my mom away on her retirement day). That “place” used to haunt me but I can finally say that I am free from that trauma. 

For the past three years I’ve been putting myself back together. Realizing, again, that I can do anything I set my mind to. That I’m smart and capable and that I belong. 

 It’s thanks to the many people who have been with me on this journey who have assured me, motivated me, and inspired me that I have been able to grow to be the Strategic Director of an organization I care so deeply for. It’s been one hell of a ride but it’s been so fun and rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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