Welcome back to Blush & Camo! For those of you who are new to B&C I’m an Army Officer by day and fashion blogger by night, but I’m not going to be an Army Officer much longer.
I’m currently in the process of transitioning out of the military and joining corporate America! In fact, I started the process of turning in all my gear and singing out of my unit last week and it’s bittersweet. The Army, or Army culture, is all I’ve known since I was 18 and went to West Point, graduated, and then joined the “real” Army.
There are aspects of the Army I will definitely miss (that’s a whole different blog post!) and other parts that I am very happy to say goodbye to. As I am transitioning out of the Army it got me thinking of how the lessons I’ve learned in the Army prepared me for the world of fashion blogging. This is what inspired today’s blog post!
In the Army, and in the military in general, quitting is not an option- ever. I’ve seen guys twist or break bones during a 12 mile ruck and not stop until they crossed the finish line. One time during a PT test I fell hard onto the cement and immediately had to pick myself back up with blood running down my arms and legs to finish the run. By the time I crossed the finish line I was dripping blood onto the cement and had to go wipe it off in the grass (totally gross, I know). Why did I do this? Because quitting is not an option. Those that do quit in the military are not looked upon in a positive light. Once you get a mission or are tasked with something you are expected to get it done and not stop until you do. When I started my blog it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different things needed to get accomplished, you can start comparing yourself to others, and there are times when you simply want to quit. For me, that was never an option because I told myself I was going to do this and the Army instilled in my the value of never quitting.
HAVE A PLAN, STAY FLEXIBLE
There’s a saying in the Army that goes, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” This means that it’s great to have a plan but other outside factors have a vote such as the enemy, weather, terrain, etc. Now, I don’t have any enemies, nor am I going up against any enemies in the fashion blogging world (just imagining this in my head is comical), but the Army taught me to be flexible in my planning and to not get stressed when it changes, because even the best plans will change!
There are countless times when photoshoots got delayed due to rain or my computer crashed and I lost all my content, and nothing went according to my well thought out plan for my blog.
These events are nothing when compared to the plans the military creates, but the Army did teach me to stay flexible when creating plans and to simply think of solutions to my current situation. Most of the time, when my plans do not go accordingly, I think about how I can make my new situation benefit me and 9 times out of 10 my new situation is better then my original plan! Funny how things work out, right?!
YOU CAN, IN FACT, DO IT
Throughout my 9 years in the military I was put into so many situations I didn’t think I was capable of doing either physically, emotionally, or mentally. Some of these challenges included land navigation (where you have a map, go into the woods for a few hours, and find points) and the Air Assault obstacle course.
I remember thinking that there was no way I was capable of doing this, but after some practice and the Army telling me this was a requirement (go back to my first point of never quitting!) I found myself able to complete a land navigation course and crushing the Air Assault obstacle course.
Over the years the Army allowed me to prove to myself time and time again that I am more capable to doing things then I give myself credit for. When I first started my blog I honestly didn’t know if I would make it, or if I would be successful at it, but I told myself that I wanted to be a blogger and therefore I could do this! Each new challenge blogging presents I constantly remind myself that I can, in fact, do this!
DO THE RIGHT THING, EVEN WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
The one thing I give the Army the most credit for is giving me a great set of values. These values include not lying, doing the right thing even when no one is watching, treating others with respect, and living a life with integrity. This is vital in the military when you have to trust the people you work, and deploy, with.
I’ve carried these values in every aspect of my life, but in in the fashion blogging world this means carrying out ethical practices when you are working with brands and disclosing to your readers if something is sponsored, not lying to companies about stats or boosting your numbers when they can’t verify the numbers, and building your following on social media without using practices such as the “follow, unfollow” method or paying for bots.
Not to get too sappy, but I will forever be grateful to the Army for shaping me into the person I am today and instilling in me a strong work ethic, values, and mentality that I can do anything I put my mind to. There are so many other ways the Army has positively impacted my life and prepared me for the crazy world of fashion blogging, but these were the top ones I wanted to share with you!
What did you think of today’s post?! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Thank you so much for stopping by B&C!
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