Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it.
I grew up in a family with a mom that worked those "odds and end" jobs as a single mom, and then fluctuated whether she was working once she married my step-father (who I call "dad"). Which means we didn't have a whole lot of money growing up. We weren't poor exactly, we just didn't have a lot of money for extras.
When I was in eighth grade, my mom stressed that if I wanted to go to college, I better work really hard at a scholarship, because she was never able to put any money away for that. So I did. I worked really really hard. I had a job at 14, where I was able to save and buy my own car before I was even old enough to drive it. I was in a lot of extra school activities, where I often had to work fundraisers to pay for the costs, or they came out of my own pocket. And I studied my tail off.
I was elated to find out not only did I get into every single school that I applied for (including Notre Dame...holla!), but Indiana University offered me a full scholarship to attend classes. Meaning I didn't have to pay for college. I moved out of my parent's house two weeks after I graduated from high school and worked two jobs while attending school full time to support myself.
I planned on either going to Law School or working in D.C., lobbying for something I was passionate about. So, I chose to double major in Political Science and History. Right after my sophomore year of college, I got an amazing opportunity to live and work overseas in Germany for the Army. I jumped on that chance, gave up my scholarship, and moved abroad.
While living in Germany, I completed my degree through an American University who had an extension campus over there. I planned on doing my time, traveling as much as possible, moving back, and starting the next part of my "career." Little did I know that Love would happen, making my future career goals pretty unattainable. A military wife with a stable, exuberant, accelerating career? Well, those are few and far between.
So what did I do? I adjusted. I started working on a Master's Degree in Special Education, so I can have the opportunity to continue working for the Government, teaching, or both (there are Federal Teachers for the military schools, etc.). Having two distinctly different career paths doubled my employment chances, didn't it? I thought it would be a no brainer that I would get another job greater than or equal to my previous responsibilities, and work while continuing my education. I did find a job, but it was a step down in my career, not up. Which was hard. Really hard. I love my education program, but halfway through I discovered how hard it was in the education world to find good jobs, ones people are passionate about.
So I struggle. Both professionally and with my identity. I worked so damn hard to get where I am. I am so happy to see my husband's career soar. He is great at what he does and very passionate. But, so am I. I struggle as a wife on being happy for him and ok with my circumstances. But it's hard. I'm not happy where I am professionally. To hear the struggles of my fellow milspouses...it's disheartening. But, I do the best that I can. I work as hard as I can. That's what I have control over. I've always gotten great feedback on my performance, and I just hope one day I can shine as bright as I should be professionally.