2023: creating BALANCE is my goal this year in an effort to remain true to myself in this ever-changing world.
“No one said life is fair.” A harsh, yet very valuable lesson embedded by my dad. As a child, the phrase served as an easy explanation to why we couldn’t have our way but many occasions made teachable moments, where sadly the lesson revealed itself in black and white. Regardless, we all became stronger individuals because of my dad’s honesty, an admirable (and shared) trait.
Losing someone close is never fair but watching one of your closest friends lose their four-year battle against cancer is cruel. I thought I was “prepared,” accepted his diagnosis and supported his journey. Even said our goodbyes. Months after he passed, grief still consumed me. I was angry. Sad. I didn’t just lose a friend. I lost my birthday twin. A soul mate. Duggie always accepted me for me, no judgment. Only love, endless support, and constant encouragement.
Just because he wasn’t physically present, didn’t mean he wasn’t there. As a coping mechanism, instead of talking to myself, I started chatting with him. And even in his afterlife, he’s still one of my best friends. Whether watching a sunset, chasing a storm, taking a road trip, hiking, or just stargazing, we’re still connected. Always. To honor our connection, I added the Sagittarius constellation to my Anam Cara tattoo. He’s now watching over us. Balance.
Adding to incredible loss and pain, 2022 was also the most difficult year of my professional career. Ironically, I celebrated 10 successful years but the amount of pressure, stress, and self-doubt became almost unbearable. “No one said life was fair” and the solution was simple: rely on my team, or quit. Their unwavering loyalty and dedication shaped me into a leader, no longer their boss. To some, the difference is insignificant. For me, raised with six generations of Army values, becoming a leader is my highest professional achievement. It is truly an honor and I’m grateful to be part of my team.
The boot tattoo signifies more than how hiking changed my life. The boot also represents the values instilled in me to keep me grounded (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service, Honor, Integrity, Courage). As a result of remaining authentic, the journey has been beautiful, now in all aspects of my life. Balance.
Finding balance is crucial. I won’t allow death (or grief) to erase a cherished friendship. I won’t compromise myself or my family for a job. So, for 2023, I created 5 Daily Healthy Habits – Sleep, Water, Activity, Read, and Gratitude Journal. Basic, I know, but change begins with action. Healthy routines and boundaries to keep me balanced. Help me be the best version of myself, for myself and others.
I wasn’t sure I’d ever write again until my birthday twin revealed otherwise during a recent chat (and pretty special moment). So, here I am. I’m a writer. Blogging for now but hope to edit and submit my romance series in the next few years. I’m not ready to publish but it’s about balance. Making a goal and committing and this blog – raw and unpolished- is part of that process. Thank you for following my journey and sincere thanks for the support.