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Veteran Status

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

This time last year I was packing up my car on an anxious whim to take a step forward in my military career. I had to pause so many things and organize a whole new life for myself in a matter of two weeks. Like so many times before, I flexed for the military.

Bespoke Handmade was a flash of success for a moment, and in an instance I had to pivot and shift gears into a military mindset, one that would have to get me through a six month long intense military school.

This opportunity had escaped a few times in the past. Years of commitment to my dream, sacrificed promotions, time, and peace of mind. I can't say it was easy. There was so much doubt in my mind of being able to accomplish the school without getting booted honestly. I asked myself ‘was I truly cut out for this?’

I tried very hard to be humble and learn everything I could while holding onto what I already learned. Everything was going quite smoothly, and then COVID hit our world like a ton of bricks.

To be frank, at the time I did not think my regiment changed much. Class continued everyday with the exception of a two week quarantine. For the remainder of my time, groceries and take-out were still available. I took the opportunity to further work on myself. I worked out, I pampered myself, and I built a routine, something I really needed. I bought a sewing machine to do some projects to keep my skills sharp.

Interestingly enough, my self doubt was absolved. I went in thinking I wouldn’t make it without pissing someone off or getting booted from school. But the best revenge over self doubt and your opposers is success. There were so many talented individuals in my class that could have easily achieved Distinguished Honor Graduate. When the instructors announced my name, I was in shock. All the sacrifices I had made were worth it for that moment.

The realization that I had spent my entire adult career in the military really hit home. When I joined in 2006, it is not what I thought I would do. It was a choice, a means to an end. Juggling a military and civilian life has not always been a walk in the park. It has had its moments, and caused riffs in my journey.

Just like that, the adventure was over and I was packing up to go back home. My new friends had encouraged me and supported my dream. The thought of going back to struggling to make a business work just felt scary all over again. It was like starting at square one.

I was able to stay on orders through the summer. To say I am thankful that I was on active orders through the first part of the pandemic is an understatement. I watched my friends' businesses falter over time and wondered why I was so lucky to have not been in that situation.

With my newly learned skills I was excited to focus on multimedia for a change. Especially since going back to a sewing business seemed even more daunting during a pandemic. For a while I searched for an opportunity to use my new skills. I brainstormed remote business ideas, how to use what I have learned to make a living in this indifferent way of life. With no equipment and the bills taking every cent I made...

I succumbed to the reality that I may have to just do whatever it takes to make things work right now. That my dream life may be on hold for a bit longer. How sad is that? Should I be settling for less than what I want? Do I have a choice in the matter right now?

It’s funny how life kind of leads like a river sometimes. I am listening to the Rachel Hollis Podcast right now and she mentioned paying attention to life's signs. Sometimes we are so romantically in love with what we think our lives or careers or business ventures should be like that we forget to waft away the fog and see it for what it really is.

I’ve been pushing so hard for something to work, something to flourish that I forget what that something needs. Like anything else in this world, our lives need nourishment, and space and time to grow.

I went into 2020 with an open heart and willingness to allow myself to grow. Of course somewhere along I got caught up in the romance of creating this perfect environment for my business to grow that I forgot to nourish everything else along the way.

As we near the close of the year 2020, I can’t help but reflect on the year's ebbs and flows. I am thankful that I have stuck to the military to be able to have a contingency plan in place. I am grateful that I have a small hive of people around me, always encouraging me to stay the course and have faith. And I am blessed to have the opportunity to do things I love for people I love.

I don’t know what next year has in store but I have a few tentative plans in place so far. Cheers to surviving 2020 and nourishing 2021.

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