Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Determination. It's a good quality to have. It's sets the unmotivated people apart from the motivated people. It allows one to look at a situation, no matter how complicated, and know they will overcome. It's about not backing down when a challenge arises. Determination gets you where you want to go even if it means taking small steps. I possess this quality. Maybe a little too much of it.

The Mliltary
It started in junior high with a dream of joining the military. I was determined to start a new life, my life. I didn't just want to join any branch of service though. I didn't want to be an airman (although that was my initial plan). I didn't want to be a sailor. I didn't want to be a soldier. I wanted to be a Marine.

I started speaking to the recruiters when I was 17. People questioned my decision. I was too skinny (don't I wish that was the case now). The Marines were too tough. I was joining because I wanted to be surrounded by boys and so on. I made my choice and when I was 18 and had graduated high school I started my journey as a Marine.

Now there really aren't that many women in the Marine's so why did I choose that branch of the service? My answer, because I was determined to do what few (male or female) would ever think to do. I was determined to show myself, despite what some others had said, that I could do it and I did it.

Single Mom
Single motherhood, that was the next big challenge I was determined to face head on. I never really thought I'd have kids so being a single mother definitely never crossed my mind. Having a child was not something I yearned for. I never pictured myself having a big princess wedding, getting married, or having kids. Those were not my dreams but dreams, plans, changes. I became a mom and subsequently a single mom all in a short period of time.

Single motherhood was tough. Especially tough when going through the initial shock of being separated or going through a divorce. Even tougher when you're very young and not yet established in life. And even more tough when you start over again with nothing. No job, no possessions, nothing.

I left my ex-husband on a whim. I didn't give myself time to think about it. If I had then I wouldn't have left. I needed to leave.  I left. This meant I was leaving my life behind, my apartment, my job, my furniture, my husband. What I didn't leave behind was my child. Instead I became a single mother. A single mother who was determined to establish a healthy and happy life for her child. I didn't want help. I didn't want pity. I wanted to just get through it. I received no aid. I received no child support. I asked no one for sympathy. In fact I was embarassed. I was 23, about to be divorced, and a single mom with no education aside from high school. All this against me yet I was determined to show myself I could overcome. I did.  I am now happily married, educated, and have a good job.

I got my associates degree as a single mother. I worked 40 hours a week to support myself and my child. I had my own apartment. I had my own car. I had my child. I had everything I needed all because I was determined.

College was never in my sights. It wasn't something I ever wanted to do. I was going to retire from the military at the age of 38 so why did I need to go to college? Well, life took me on a different route and I enrolled shortly after I got out of the Marines.

I knew that to get anywhere in the workforce an education was key. I didn't drop out of school when I left my ex-husband.  Oh no.  That would have been easy.  Sit around and wallow in my misery.  No, not me.  Instead I transferred to the local community college and trucked on. It was defnitely hard to work full time (night shift for a few months even), go to school full time, socialize, and have a toddler. I was even going to the gym a few days a week. I am sure I complained a little. I'm sure I was exhausted but I knew I had to do it. I set out to get a degree and I was determined to get one. After 2 1/2 years I had an associates degree.

Determination kicked in and a few years later I had a bachelor's degree. Next a master's but don't mention that in front of Andrew. He thinks I may never stop going to school. He may be right.


And the challenge that influenced me to write this, work.

After the military I had a series of low paying jobs, most of which I knew would lead me nowhere. I soon learned that not only did I need an education but I needed a lot experience as well. I eventually decided that I needed to stick to one field in order to move up in the world. Somehow I landed in accounting. Honestly, I hate math. How did I end up working with numbers? I learned that it's really not that hard as long as I have my trusty calculator and Excel spreadsheets.

My last job is what I credit for getting me to where I am now. That and determination. I knew within the first week at that job that I couldn't stay. I had hopes and dreams of growing out of that postion and moving forward and up. After a year I realized that wasn't to be. I was miserable. I hated the job. I had a deep dislike for some of the people who worked there. I didn't agree with some of the practices. I was going nowhere fast. Rather than look within the company to promote they hired from outside. I was in a dead end job. After that realization hit I knew what I had to do. I was determined to get my experience and get out. I did that and more.

For a long time I wanted to work in the department I now work in. I had been telling people for a long time that I will get in somehow. It's hard but I'll get my foot in the door. I didn't know what I would do within the department to start but I didn't care. I wanted in. Last year I got in. My determination overcame the obstacles (and there were some). Now that I'm in I've already set my eye on the next step. The step that I had planned to get to all this time. I am determined to get where I want to be. I know I will get there. Determination drives me. In the end I will make it happen.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Send Out the Search Team!

 I think I have lost my dog Lulu.  She's been missing for a few days now.  I think she may have wandered into a wild field, aka my back yard.

My field

Sammy has decided to help out on the search to help find her sister.

Sammy heading into the wilderness  
She's searching...

...and searching
Where are you sister?!
Taking a break
After a long day of searching

Sammy called in the reinforcements     

After a long two days of hacking away at our field of weeds......

Wait....what is that?  Is that Lu?
Sammy found Lulu!

Sammy is super happy to see her sis.  Oh and the weeds are gone!  Well, shorter....