What is your dream job?: To own and operate my own business/organization that helps military spouses and families find meaningful things to do in their communities.
What are three steps you plan to take to land that dream job?: 1. Volunteering has always been my first rule of thumb to land the perfect job or to get more experience. When I first moved to Fayetteville I didn't know a soul and didn't know how I was going to land a good job. I did what I do best...VOLUNTEER! I volunteered at the Arts Council handing out brochures and brownies at their events. I met some movers and shakers and landed a great job! 2. I plan to start my own blog to tell military families about what is going on outside the base. 3. Finally I plan to register my organization name and get a website created.
What is one thing your wished you had the courage to do?: I wish I had the courage to take a leap of faith to start my organization. Being a military spouse has taught me to be resilient through many tough times but I need to apply that same resiliency and courage to my own career.
What is one goal you hope to accomplish by the end of 2014?: By the end of 2014 I hope to have a successful blog and organization website.
What is the most recent goal you achieved? How did it feel to accomplish it?: My most recent goal was finishing my master's degree in nonprofit management. Three years, 2 different schools, 2 duty stations, a broken ankle, 2 deployments and one baby later and I finally finished it. Yay!!!
What are you most proud of?: I am most proud of my ability to go to any community and find things to do to get me involved in the local community. I start by volunteering, find some amazing people and then before I know it I am involved in some amazing programs! I hope to teach our son to be resilient and to create his own success anywhere.
What advice would you give to a new military spouse?: My advice would be to make your own happiness wherever you are. Nobody can make you happy. It is something you find for yourself. If that's getting involved in a young professionals group or attending a mommy and me class, DO IT! Whatever it is....just get involved in something in your community! You never know what you'll find. :)
What challenges have you faced because you are a woman?: I think because I am a woman...and because I am young, some people in management I have worked with do not take me seriously. That is until I open my mouth and share my ideas and knowledge with them.
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse? What is the most rewarding thing?: The most challenging and rewarding aspect are the same for me. It is the constant moves. It becomes hard to have a stable routine that you can depend on. I have had to start good jobs and end them due to relocations. However, I LOVE the spontaneity of the lifestyle. It keeps me on my toes and I have met the most wonderful people and seen the most amazing places I never ever would have thought to see. It is a life of adventure for sure!
What is one obstacle you have faced on a personal level, as a military spouse that you would have never expected?: I never realized how attached I would get to Fayetteville. I am from San Antonio and for a long time considered that my home, but after being in Fayetteville for a few years, I came to really love the area and people. I learned the city inside and out and met some incredible leaders. We purchased our first home in Haymount and made a life here. When my husband was transferred to Ft. Lewis, WA, I cried and cried because I was not ready to leave what had become my home. I never expected to get so attached to Fayetteville but I hope we are able to return permanently soon.
How had being a military spouse helped you grow on a personal level?: Being a military spouse gave me a deeper appreciation for my husband. I used to yearn for a stable relationship where we saw each other day in and day out, but when he deploys....as much as I hate those times....I am able to miss my husband and be reminded of how thankful I am for him and his sacrifice. I am also given the opportunity to be stronger for him and to stand together with the amazing other women. They are my heroes too and show me that it's okay to miss him but that it's also okay to go after your dreams during that time too.
As a military spouse, I know one thing for certain, it is . . . : That life is what you make of it. I used to hear wives complain that there was nothing to do in their towns and that they would get bored. I am certain that you will not find happiness in a duty station unless you actively seek it out. Military spouses are a different breed. Lean on each other for support. Go out and find things to do. Make the years you are stationed there an adventure! Make your life a wild ride!
My biggest fear is . . . : An unlived life! I am so fearful that life will pass me by. I combat this fear by making goals for myself every year. I have to constantly work toward something so that I feel I am being productive in this life.
When I grow up I want to be . . . : Myself....but owning and running my own business. I want to maintain my values and morals and all the things most important to me. But I want it all. I want to be a great mom, wife, daughter, friend and business owner.
In 2050, I hope women are/can/have . . . : I hope women have the support and internal hunger to go out and make their dreams come true.
What is your legacy?: I hope my legacy is a lesson to my children that if you have a dream, that it can come true with passion and hard work. Never stop dreaming.
Cover Photo Credit: Caroline Lima Photography