When someone asks about my background, what stands out to them the most is when I tell them I was a photographer in the U.S. Air Force. More than the fact that I used to oversee the advertising strategy and plans for brands like Diageo, Carolina Herrera, Christian Dior and M&Ms in Latin America. That’s not as interesting as when I say I was in the service. The response I hear to this is usually, “Wow, I never would have expected that.”
The thing is, we are predisposed to certain ways of thinking. We are “programmed” by society, our parents and/or other aspects of our environment, into certain belief systems and to categorize our experiences. Which is why I get categorized outside of the “military person” concept most people have. I find myself doing the same thing to others. This innate pattern of categorization and societal programming, in addition to other negative behavioral patterns that I picked up over the years, were hurting me. I had to stop the cycle.
After over twenty years of combined professional experience in high-level positions at global companies, and serving in the U.S. Air Force, I had checked off all my boxes. At this point I had married the “perfect” man, had three beautiful children, lived in a great home and yet, I was out of balance.