Let me begin with the fact that I have been a military dependent my entire life. Either as a child or spouse, I have been a proud ID holder. I wanted to begin a Blog series that sheds light on the military world and Esthetics world combined. This series will talk about how the military lifestyle helped me succeed in the Esthetics world and how the Esthetics world can help the Military. We don't stop to think at the many ways we can support our MilMembers outside of just a 10% discount. As grateful as they are to receive anything out of the kindness of our hearts, we can do so much more. By understanding the struggles, such as PTSD, transitioning out of the military and even the task of finding a real world job, we can best do our part to make sure we are doing so much more than just handing out discounts. We also can't forget about our MilSpouses. They make sure everything is running smoothly while our MilMembers deploy or go TDY for extended amounts of time. The MilSpouse gets to play single parent in a new military installation and figure out how to survive in an unknown place. They struggle to find work because their resume looks like they job hop, when in fact, they are expected to pick up an entire household and leave every few years.
The military world has given me so many great memories and opportunities to see fabulous new places. I will never complain about this life, especially since my husband is one year out from retirement after 30 years of service. The military allowed me to go to esthetics school on their dime (GI Bill) and also allowed me to stand on glaciers in Alaska. The one main thing about being military is it really is a world of its own. When something breaks in the house on base, we call housing to fix it. When we need milk, we run to the commissary ON BASE. It's time for your annual check-up, you never see the same doctor twice, but the clinic is ON BASE. My favorite part was always knowing that if I needed help with something trivial (like building a flower bed) I knew I could call the squadron and ask for tips. Fridays were always "Squadron family days" at many of the bases we were stationed at and I got to meet so many other fabulous spouses. We all come from different backgrounds and different places, but we all had the MilLife in common.
Fast forward to today. Now I'm an entrepreneur with multiple businesses that are thriving. I can thank my military life for that. As a spouse, I was forced to figure things out on my own. I forced myself to be the best support system for my husband and ensure that he had no worries when it came to me and our kids. During multiple deployments (I forgot to count) I had him believing that it was all rainbows and unicorns when in fact I cried on many nights because I had NO CLUE what I was doing. That very mentality has kept me going in this industry. I have days where all I want to do is cry because I have NO CLUE what I'm doing, but on the other hand, my pride picks me up by my bootstraps and I keep trucking along as if everything is fine. Going from supported spouse to the breadwinner is a task, but I'm willing to take it on full force. THANK GOD FOR THE MiLITARY LIFE. I never thought that one day I'd be repeating to myself "Embrace the SUCK and MOVE ON!!" Well, here I am, embracing whatever suck comes my way.
Now that our family is fixing to move from a life that is structured for us to a life that is chaotic and unnerving, I can honestly say that all the support I showed my husband while he served our great military has been given back by him 1,000,000 times over. Cooley has gone from Command Chief to my wax model for The Skin Games. He graciously also became my makeup model in the Avante Garde category for last year's games. He saw I needed support and help and held out his strong hand, without question, to help me succeed. I made a promise almost 22 years ago when we got married that I would do all I could to support him in his career and when he was ready to retire I would be the bread and butter. The time has come and now he supports me. Not in a monetary way, but in any other way I need. He told me the other day " Babe, this is your business and when you succeed, I succeed. I'll do everything I can to support you" I choked back tears and told him "Thank you, honey bunny. I LOVE you". I never made my promise with any expectation of having support returned to me.
Enough of the sappy stuff. Before finding Esty school I had the beautiful struggle of finding a job that I could carry on no matter where we went. I found myself in the soul-sucking job realm of retail management. Some of you may love retail, but not this girl. I have to say tho, it easily transferred base to base. I had horrible hours and worked around tons of drama. The kind I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. BUT...I was good at it. I loved talking to strangers and loved creating displays for beer brands. I knew I didn't want to do this for my entire life and knew I could never become the sugar momma I promised my hubby I would be once he retired. As Esties we actually have to master retail, so I had that in bag. In retail I had to wear the worst fitting uniform shirt with horrible kaki pants and tennis shoes. Now I wear whichever fun Esty shirt is on the top of the pile along with jeans and Chuck Taylors or Vans. If I don't want to work certain hours due to our son's cross country or basketball games, I don't have to pray that I can find a person to cover my shift.
I could go on and on about the differences of one life or the other. All I have to say is that if we support our Military, they will return that support full force. No questions asked. Our Military come from another world and experience things that outsiders can only imagine. They are a precious gem that needs our undivided love, support, and most of all, our gratefulness to what they do on the daily. This series will go into other subjects within the military realm and help bring light to subjects the Esthetics world needs to hear about from the people who live it.
If you have a MilMember or are a MilSpouse yourself, please share pics and your story so I can post/share it throughout this amazing series.
Email Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org