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A Six Week Experiment: Leap Blog

Last year, on this same day I posted on my Tumblr blog site that I would be challenging myself to blog every day for the month.  I wanted to explore;  do things I had never done, wanted to do more of, was scared to do, hated to do, etc.  Because it was Leap year, I called it the Leap Year Challenge found at https://josieville.tumblr.com/leapyear.

The first day I declared, “So I’ve got 29 days to do some ‘leaping’ around, starting today February 1st.  And this is my first leap, blogging.  I hope to use this as my means of accountability to leap every day.”  By the end of the month, I had gained confidence in blogging and more importantly had experienced meaningful activities to live each day to the fullest.  What I was not completely aware of at the time, was that Leap Year Challenge had ignited a spark inside of me for change.

Fast forward one year and what was once a small spark turned into a flame.  After six and ½ years at Loyola Marymount Universities, I was saying goodbye.  To date, this has been my biggest and bravest leap ever.  My new chapter includes

  • Focusing fulltime on my doctoral program at California Lutheran University, an Ed.D in Higher Education Leadership
  • Serving a graduate assistant at CLU, supporting a faculty member with their research.
  • Keeping up with my YouTuber husband, aka EpicLLOYD.

My plan from there???

If you would have told me a year ago this would be the beginning of my 2013, I would have de-friended you on Facebook.  The thought of my life without work, a title, an endless to-do list or a consistent paycheck was not conceivable.  Not in my vocabulary.  Never.
But, as it turns out, my life has a hilarious way of proving me wrong.  Case in point, I remember as early as elementary school declaring that I had zero interest in visiting California.  Drive-by shootings, earthquakes, traffic, Hollywood, no thanks!  But here I am, not only living in California but was engaged, married, and bought a home here. Ironic?

So here I leap, challenging myself to blog for a total of six weeks, a little over 40 days.  I am considering this entire process an experiment, and like a good researcher, I am using this blog to document it.  The amount of change in my life is obvious, it’s exciting and scary but I think I love it!  On the last day at LMU, I posted a message on my Facebook wall which sums up the start of this journey and Leap Blog.  I’ve included it below, feel free to click directly on the image for a larger view.

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 12.14.34 AM

Whether you are reading this because you are my number one fan (thanks mom), are curious if I will have a mental breakdown from leaving my job, or are a fangirl of my husband.  I can’t promise the posts won’t be free of grammatical errors, faulty links, or odd formatting.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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