2023 Goal-Setting: a 24-Year-Old’s Marketing Agency Launch, World Travel Plans, and More

These last several weeks I’ve been condensing my personal items to fit into two just backpacks – one for clothes, shoes, and such, and the other for all of my remote work gear. Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone that knows me, but I also don’t know where I’m going to be living beyond the next couple of weeks.

Well, I’ve made the leap


These last several weeks I’ve been condensing my personal items to fit into two just backpacks – one for clothes, shoes, and such, and the other for all of my remote work gear. Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone that knows me, but I also don’t know where I’m going to be living beyond the next couple of weeks.


For the last year I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the luxuries of having more of a “home,” despite it being several different places. Housesitting for several months in College Station, Texas, leasing my own place for 6 months in the same town in Texas, to enjoying the warmth and luxury of Orange County, California. 


I’ve had the joy of buying decor, cooking regularly, having friends and family visit and have a guest room for them to stay, and overall re-centering myself and reflecting on the last several years of my life.

It’s been a deeply healing time for my relationship with myself as well as my relationship with the wonderful man in my life. I’ve found a stability that I’ve struggled to find since 2017 when my life turned utterly upside down.

But what’s next? 


Well, before we get into this, I just want to note a few things that I’ve checked off my list at last.

Working at a top-notch marketing agency.


Probably the biggest one has been working at a marketing agency – ever since getting into marketing I dreamed of working with an established agency and huge clients, and boy did I get just that. I had the privilege to work on some major accounts such as Sony, TikTok, Aeropostale, Nasdaq, Business Insider, Noom, and plenty of others – ironing out some skills that I desperately I felt I needed to succeed. I also met some of the coolest people I hope to keep around for a while.

In achieving this, I also found that the day-in-day-out monotony of hyper-analytical, non-creative work is NOT for me. Can I do it?


Sure I can, and I desperately wanted to prove this to myself as they’re far from my natural aptitudes. Do I want to continue to do so? 


Absolutely not. At least not in this way, anyways.

Glad I’ve gotten this out of the way, but I’m ultimately on the same path I always have been in recognizing that I’m not one that thrives in corporate life. This also brings me to my second item in this list.


I let go of the idea that a career is all I’m fit for.


This is something I could go into a lot of depth about, and probably will in future; however, for most of my life I’ve heard nothing but, “you’re only worth what you accomplish,” “the highest points you can reach in life come when you have a lot of money,” and “you’re unambitious if you want to be a nomad, creative, or a mother.”


But reconnecting with myself and a much deeper feminine essence that I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life feeling ashamed for, have simply turned these thoughts on their head. 


The experience of being deeply rooted into who I am, what I desire from life, and what I know I’m on this earth for speak so much more loudly than any fears of not fitting in or “succeeding” in a superficial world ever will. 


I’m extremely grateful for this. It’s never been easy being someone who feels fundamentally at odds with the world (who doesn’t feel this way??) and in many ways possessing “anti-survival” tendencies that far from pragmatic (empathetic, creative, sensitive, and idealistic mostly), living without experiencing these sides of myself is a far greater burden to carry.


In summary, I don’t view my worth as tied to how much money I make, how prestigious a job title I have, or if I own the newest Tesla, TV, iPhone, etc.

My personal contribution to the world with the affinities I have, the quality of my relationships, and my own inner balance bring far more to my life than any of those things ever will. I’ve come to see most of our modern society as something of a scam that I don’t want to “fit in” with.


I’ve healed a tremendous amount of past pain.


I won’t elaborate on this one too much now, but I’ve felt like I was drowning for a long time. Most of my life, actually. And when you’re in a perpetual state of survival (these past pains didn’t really guide me in beneficial directions either), introspection and healing your mind and body just don’t really happen. This has been a tremendously-needed period of rest that’s allowed me to really gain my footing again.


I’m also experiencing fewer health issues such as food sensitivities, less anxiety, fewer panic and anxiety attacks (C-PTSD is REAL), depression, and more that I have since I was perhaps 8 or 9 years old. Words can’t convey the difference in my life now versus only a year ago.


This in particular is a journey that I don’t expect to end anytime soon, but not living every day in a traumatic, haunting past is an indescribable weight to be freed from.

And now, on to what is next.


Goals for 2023.


Well, I don’t know for sure how my future will shape up, but I know I’m aiming for a few things, some new, some of which have been in progress for years.


1. Full-Time Travel. I can’t help being the nomad that I am, but sitting still and playing your average American suburban life is impossible. Every day I ache to see more of the world, to live a life of regular thrill and adventure, and to become more intimate with all of the beauty and variety that’s out there. Travel is just a means that makes sense, and I don’t at this point in time see the kind of growth and life I want to live by a physical anchor.

My bags are packed, and since I left my agency job I’ve been building the way to a future of more freedom.


2. Authenticity. I’ve been a very lonely person for most of my life for the types of things that make me feel alive, however, I’ve also suppressed them for the very-real need of human connection. But one can never attract what’s right for them if they don’t live in alignment with themselves. I’m on a mission to change that, because I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this and feels this way. But hey, maybe by me being more me I can not only help others down the road, but make a few new friends!


3. Developing Creative Outlets. Music, writing, cinema, photography, design, fashion – all of these have been prevalent fascinations for as long as I can remember. I’ve dedicated the last 4 years to business, business, business. Now I’m ready to create and bring what I’ve long felt was one of my greatest assets to the world.

I could be totally full of myself in saying this, but I still think it’s worth a shot.

I have so many written, composed, and unrecorded songs that I’ve never released, a desperate desire to write and explore realms of thought and communication, an obsession with visual motion graphics, films, and cameras, and an overall love of aesthetics that transcends anything practical. My energy for creativity is practically endless so it seems like I should maybe try to do something fulfilling (and hopefully useful) with it.


4. Stronger Relationships. Coming from an isolated, dysfunctional family who was also homeschooled (the latter of which I have no complaints about), my social skills and relationships overall have been challenged.This is not asking for pity by any means – It would seem to me that our culture overall is greatly lacking in quality relationships and that most people struggle with this. That said, taking the first step in repairing my own seems like a solid start.

Independence is greatly touted in our society, but interdependence, family, and community are the ultimate goals as far as I’m concerned. Not for everyone of course, but life is hard. It’s a lot harder when you’re truly alone.


5. Clean, Non-Toxic Lifestyle. Since spending extensive time with my grandmother trying to undo the lifestyle causes of cancer before she passed, I’ve learned so much. I’ve always been reasonably health-conscious, but my eyes have been opened to just how much we’re exposed to that has long-term effects. So, it is my goal to really get to the basics of my normal food, beauty, and lifestyle routines. I plan to share more of this in the future too!


6. Study Abroad. A few months ago I made the decision that I still want to get a degree in psychology (perhaps mixed with music). I’m not the biggest advocate for university in general, however, I’m really passionate about the mind, soul, personalities, and how to help others. I could see myself working professionally down the road in this field.

The plan for this is to begin studying in Norway or Italy in 2024. There are several reasons for Norway, including 1) free tuition for international students, 2) easy language to learn for English speakers, 3) stable, safe country that seems to be run very well, and 4) my boyfriend’s heritage is Norwegian and he still has many family members that live there.

This venture is something we’re both excited about – now it just comes down to deciding and committing to the language!


7. Nordover Creative (formerly Blank Paper Media) has been in the making since late 2018 and, through many ups and downs I’m excited to announce Nordover Creative – a place where purpose-driven businesses can find the creative strategy, implementation, and growth that they need – is under construction and ramping up fast.

I’m really excited to have finally gotten this off the ground and to be working with some amazing clients already. You can learn more about it here.


So that’s about where life is these days! When I had in mind to leave my agency job to try freelance again, learn Norwegian to attend university in the future, and pack up our belongings as our lease was ending, I saw a crystal clear glimpse of the life I’ve been seeking this whole time.


And I’m going for it. I hope to see you along the way!

All the best,

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About the Author

About the Author

Kassie Duggan is a full time digital nomad, entrepreneur, and multimedia creative. When she's not out seeking new adventures, you can find her with her laptop at the local coziest cafe, journaling, writing and recording music, cooking, or lounging at home (wherever that happens to be at the moment!) with her boyfriend Will, a good non-fiction book and, cup of tea.

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