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A Dream Takes Flight—Turning Challenges Into Opportunities


Today, I am taking a break from corporate America. I don’t know if it will be for three months or six months or forever, but I know that I need some time for my kids and my dreams. I have things to do (not really), places to be (home during a pandemic), and dreams to fulfill (absolutely!).


For my last day, I shared this note with my colleagues and friends:



Hi all,

Over the past ten(!) years, I have worked on some cool and groundbreaking projects and with some even more amazing people. If you’re receiving this email, please know that you fall into at least one of those categories. 😊


Thank you for making my time so meaningful and rewarding. I have been blessed to have led some great projects [listing of boring to most people to exciting to us projects]. Working for a great company that allowed WFH, I was able to excel while raising four small children, with my first was born just as I was about to join full-time. (And now that I have a break, I can focus on being PTA President!) I also feel very lucky to work for a company that rewards healthy behavior and volunteerism ($ grants to my kids’ elementary school!).


This company has taught me so many things and I feel lucky to have met you all (virtually or in person!). I have learned so much and feel fortunate to have worked for a leading company in improving people’s lives and creating a healthier world. I’m excited to see what’s next for you – my biggest disappointment that I won’t have a front seat to Karen’s leadership. I’m proud to have worked for a company that will now have a woman at the helm.


For now, I’m proud to share a book I’ve been working the past two years, Passports and Pacifiers. Aetna afforded me great PTO and I used it to travel with my kids! Now that I have time, I’m excited for the opportunity to promote and publish it 2/1/2021. Please check it out!


Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help or you just want to catch up. Also, keep in touch with any possible opportunities in the future. Or if you have any advice for me as I enter this next phase of professional life – please feel free to send me a note or give me a call! As one mentor at the company shared, it’s not goodbye but see you later. My very best wishes for much continued success and happiness to each of you!

- Kaitlyn


Traditional but heartfelt.


The responses I received back were incredible. Nearly sixty people responded with well wishes, encouragement, and generous words. Some shared what I taught them or how I made them better at their job. Every person I worked with touched me in one way or another. Yes, there were a few bad experiences, but from those I learned and grew. The rest, I cherish. Today, I made sure they knew that.


When we do the same thing every day, we don't recognize how truly blessed we are. I have a supportive husband and savings from said job. I have also met with and worked with some amazing people, at different companies. Each and every one has shaped my trip so far. We each have our own journey and we are the captain of the ship.


I recognize that there will be bumps. My body is literally covered in them from a full-body poison ivy outbreak that occurred when I attempted my dream of a weed-free backyard. Publishing can be hard. Getting yourself out there can be hard. Leaving your comfort zone can be hard. Traveling with kids can be hard.


However, the last lines in my book can be applied to the situation I’m in today:


Challenges are not as hard as they initially seem . Whether it’s traveling with one kid or four, with confidence, optimism, and a little patience, the rewards can vastly outweigh the worry. As long as we have the necessities—our family, our health, our passports, and their pacifiers—we can see the world.


That applies to life as well.

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