What I have accomplished? What am I proud of? The Blog “The Melanated Writer” inspired me to take inventory of my own moments of achievement and pride, and think about how I diminish them.
It is SO strange though (still) to feel like “bragging” about what I have done is NOT some bad thing. It truly isn’t – it only gets made into a “negative” thing if I allow it. I think if we were all a little more forthcoming about our achievements, we would be surprised at the new level we could achieve in relationships. Some of our close friends, or loved ones don’t even know all the great things we’ve done, all because we are afraid of being seen as “arrogant”.
So just for a moment, I will reflect back on the moments I feel exceptionally proud of!
- Graduating High School – This is something not every young woman in the world has the chance to accomplish. I am proud and grateful that I got the opportunity to receive an education at all.
- Serving in the US Military – Boot camp, various tours of duty and deployments – it was all something I felt very honored to be a part of. I made amazing friends, saw places around the world and was blessed to be a representative of the US Navy. I am so proud to have served my country in some capacity. It also helped me believe in myself, believe in my own strength (mentally, emotionally AND physically) and gave me a really strong sense of maturity. It also added fuel the the fire of my passion for travel. I have seen some amazing places and am grateful for the adventurous spirit I was given.
- Graduating College (first degree) – I attended college just after high school, but then joined the military. I never finished that first turn of school – so I attended college during my active duty service, and finally finished an associates of arts (general studies) just after I got out of the military. It was the start of a long path of education, but I am really proud that I took the steps to finish what I started.
- Getting divorced – You can read about it more here, but getting married (too hastily) and getting a divorce helped me grow so much. It helped me appreciate and value myself, as well as strengthened my trust in my family. It was one of the times in my life I felt most supported by my parents and sister, when I thought for sure they were going to disown me.
- Graduating College (second degree) – I kept pushing and finally finished a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice Administration. It was a beautiful thing, because this opened doors in the civilian sector for jobs, when I needed it most. I was already out of the military and this degree was a huge milestone for me.
- Leaving my first civilian job – I got a great job, with great pay, but after a few years, I knew it wasn’t for me. My boss and I did not get along and there was little I could see in the way of a future. I was scared, but I took the leap and decided to follow my heart – so I quit my job and went back to school. It’s hard not to chase money, and scary to feel unsure of the right choices in life, so this was something big for me.
- Graduating College (third degree) – I went back to school and got an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. I always enjoyed cooking – but this was a whole other level of it. It was (literally) blood, sweat, and tears – but you can read more about it here.
- Graduating College (fourth degree) – I continued on to get my Bachelors in Hospitality, Food & Beverage management. I loved the food and hospitality industry so it was a “no-brainer” for me to round out what I started in the Associates program.
- Living alone – This isn’t an “achievement” in a typical sense of the word, but I feel very proud of my ability to take care of myself. I have lived in a city/state with a very high cost of living, managed to pay my bills and still have a life. After the military I tended to live with roommates or significant others, but in the last 3 years + I have lived alone and really learned to enjoy the independence.
- Taking control of my life and owning my choices – This is the big one. In so many ways. You can read about my financial journey, my fitness journey and more on this blog – but truly the most important thing I have learned (and am proud of) in my life, is my ability to own my decisions. I am the captain of my ship and all my success, failure, joy or stress is mine. I am proud to say that I have no regrets and I am by far a happier, more healthy and sound individual than I have ever been.
What are you proud of but diminishing for the sake of others? What have you achieved that might surprise someone who “knows” you?