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How to be a Career-Driven Military Spouse (& not lose your mind)

Marrying my husband was the best decision I’ve ever made.

But I had no idea what I was about to experience as a woman with my own career track already established making the transition to military wife life.

For the first year, he was still stationed in Arizona and I had no problem finding the type of job I wanted in my field. Then we got orders to England! Which of course we were ecstatic about, and I had grand fantasies of working for some rad nonprofit organization in London. But then we got there and realized the actual location and surroundings were much more remote than we had imagined.

I quickly learned that job opportunities were slim, low-paying, and working in my actual field wasn’t even possible. I was super fortunate that a loosely-related to my experience position was available on base when we arrived, so I snatched that up and started building an Etsy shop in my spare time and running group painting parties and private painting lessons. With the low wages the base paid, I was soon making almost as much with my side art hustle.

So after a year, I put in my notice to give 100% to growing my art business.

The following 6 years has been a rollercoaster of development – deep dives into teaching myself online marketing, absorbing all things business and entrepreneurship, going within to battle the demons of self-doubt, self-worth, mindset blocks and fear. Physical and mental isolation, tears in the bathtub, in between points of such joy, excitement and the high of limitless possibility.

I’ve learned a ton, and I know I’m not the only woman out here that has sacrificed and is (still) navigating their own career and ambitions in order to be with the person they love.

So I wanted to give you all the things that might save you some time and help you on your own journey, and also create a little space to make sure you know you’re not alone!

This lil’ guide poured out of me in a tea room in England one day when I was waiting for a meeting to start. I had no idea it was going to turn into this 30-page eBook, and I’m so happy to share it with you!

Once you download the book (it’s free!), you’ll get the link to join the community too!

If you know anyone that might benefit from this, please share it with them too!

All women maximizing their potential = a beautiful world.

 

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On my way back.

I’ve been gone for awhile. Not gone gone, but definitely pulled inward. For like…the last 6 years or so.

What started as a time zone barrier in talking to my friends and family as much while I was overseas developed into a deep mental isolation that brought me through levels of myself that I didn’t know existed.

Sometimes it was dark and scary, but mostly it was beautiful and expansive.

Much of it was tied to my feelings of self-worth as they related to my sudden and unexpected dependence on my husband when his career took us to England and mine was stalled as a result.

Compound that with going into business as me, myself & I, after thinking I had my whole career lined out. Degrees. Commitments to service. Student loans out the ass.

I mean, who was I to ‘be an artist’ after so many years of work and dedication to helping others? It was who I was. How could I just start saying I was something else?

I was spinning.

The anxiety attacks had been ugly since Macedonia, and I finally recognized them as something I needed to ask for help with. Something I don’t do much.

My doc introduced me to Zoloft and the world changed. 10/10 highly recommend.

Anyway, now that we’ve been stateside for two years and the time zone barrier isn’t as much of a thing, my tendency to go inward versus touch base or catch up with a friend/family member still wins.

And I have guilt about it.

But I suppose my guilt about it doesn’t outweigh my super intense desire to create a successful business and be an example for other women who have such dreams they wish to fulfill.

I’m hoping to get better at balancing this in the coming years, but it could also be that I just don’t like to talk on the phone as much as I used to 🙂

Re-emerging after a lengthy period of isolation and inner exploration is bumpy, and can feel socially awkward at times.

But I’m working on it, and learning more about my Self constantly.

<3