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A JKatz Update.

Okay, I really don’t know how to start this update. So, I’m taking own advice and just starting. Here I am (re)starting a blog – maybe it’s not a blog, a travel diary(?), whatever it is, consider this an update to my life.

The Big News.

I am currently prepping for an amazing opportunity that fell into my email box. After applying, I was selected as JDC’s 2019 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow. It’s honestly very humbling and very unreal. The Fellowship is a huge honor, and I was chosen amongst a cohort of really impressive international finalists.

Many people have asked me to share my journey, and I want to - so consider this the “intro”. Follow along if you desire!

Here are answers to a lot of questions you may have (which may include some life advice as well):

What is this thing?

Click here to read through JDC’s website. Over time I’ll share more about what it means as I continue to learn about Ralph Goldman, and what I'll be doing.

When do you leave? Where are you going?

I leave Detroit January 3rd

Jan 3rd – 24th I’m in NYC

Jan 25th – Februaryish: I’m in Jerusalem

Next stop: Unknown, for now.

How did you find out about this, why did you apply?

A good ole fashioned email. Seriously. I’ve always been interested in Entwine’s Insider trips, and I receive their emails. In August, I saw the opportunity posted and clicked through to read about it. It intrigued me and I thought, “why not”. That’s it. The deadline was fast approaching, and I did a little research, but ultimately it was on a whim, with a tad bit of consideration, and a lot of bit a "why not" perspective.

Life Lesson 1

Sometimes the chances you need to take are low barrier and have no downside. Applying to something doesn’t mean you’ll get it. It’s just applying, it’s just the first step, do one step and see what happens. I get that in this case I actually got the thing, but it very easily could have gone a different way, and I still would’ve been all for the better. When I applied I didn’t come in with a high expectation. It was just the application step, there was nothing to lose. Even more, I wasn’t applying out of any kind of desperation: I was happy with where I was , content in my jobs, and while I might have been struggling to balance everything in a neat way (more on that to come), ultimately life was fine and good. But that definitely was not a good enough reason NOT to apply. So, I did.

Life Lesson 2

Pay attention to your email. There are very few emails I receive that I do not open. I love unsubscribing to email newsletters, because it means the ones I stay subscribed to I enjoy reading, at least some of the time. People keep asking me how I heard about this opportunity, as if it was hidden from the world. Nope, it was out there, not even hiding in an email. The best opportunities might float on by if you don’t click the link, or take a second look at something. It's not to say there also wasn't a back drop of hard work and years of experience, but without that first step of applying, those pieces have less meaning.

What was the interview process like?

Intense, intimidating, intriguing, inspiring, really, truly, thoughtful. The other finalists were impressive individuals from all over the world, and during the first few minutes of meeting them I thought “wow, how did I get here?”I’m grateful for the experience of meeting them and was really just honored to be sitting in the room all together.

But really, where are you going?

After this initial NYC/Jerusalem time, I really don’t know yet. JDC does work in over 70 countries worldwide.

How do you pack, especially if you don’t know where you are going?

The ultimate question. I go to sleep thinking about this, I think about this in yoga, and basically have most every day since I learned I was chosen. Not joking. I actually don’t think it helps that I like trying to figure out the “right” gear and clothing since I have a not so secret love for the outdoor industry. Plus, shoes. Okay not just shoes, it’s just that I love Sorels so much. I’ll talk about packing at a later date, because currently the entire reason I’m writing this piece is the procrastination of packing my apartment, before I can even think about packing a suitcase (or two).

What happens after? What do you do when you come back? Are you coming back?

Here’s the deal, I’m going to try my best to be very present this year. I’m letting go of nearly all of my responsibilities (jobs) in Detroit. Part of being present and really in it also means trusting that there will be opportunities when I return. My intention is to return to Detroit. That’s all you’ll get from me for now on the subject. Kthanks.

I have so much more to write and share about the upcoming adventure, and thoughts about finding your passion, next job, and what I’ve learned. But, ultimately at the moment I really just have long lists of things to do or prepare including, but not limited to:

Packing up my apartment, moving all my stuff (into a storage unit and my parent’s house), packing for a year, potentially buying a suitcase, buying a few other things to make the year go well (I can’t find any of my headlamps), deciding what clothes to bring, wrapping up 2018 with Reboot, finalizing 2019 Happy Hours for re:purpose, figuring out what 2019 looks like with Prosper, working on a few client resumes, attending some final meetings, figuring out a place to live in Jerusalem, purchasing and learning how to use a new camera, catching up with friends, saying bye, did I mention packing??

Basically, stay tuned for more. I may try and set up an email list, or just post blogs. Always open to feedback, questions, comments, hopefully no concerns at this point. Thanks for reading, and right now a huge thanks to my parents for really being awesome.

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