In my 20s I had a clear idea of what success looked like. I had an image in my head and I worked hard towards setting my life on a path to achieve my goals. I was going to be an Army General. But as I grew older, the “look” of success changed for me. By my 40s it was completely unrecognizable. I had gone from a woman solely focused on what success meant to her to one who realized the cost it came with— no real friends, alienation of family members, and even some colleagues. As I grew older I started wondering if it was worth it. The short answer— it was not.
Internally there was a change of heart also. After a life in the military solely lived with a hard-charging attitude, my heat craved quietness, gentleness, kindness. Not that I did not have those qualities as a person, but inherently they were significantly toned down by a life centered in the military. When I retired three years ago, the first thing I did was surround myself with people and an environment where I could thrive. I planted my first true garden. In my little garden I found peace and I was surrounded by kindness. Working the soil and nurturing plants to grow, is a labor of love that will awaken the soul. I remember the day I realized that I was finally truly happy— It was when my first dahlia bloomed. In that moment I realize that I helped create this beautiful bloom. In many ways, the garden is where I found my success as a woman. Because in the garden is where I found my soul and who I am today.
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