Today, I decided to do what I told myself I would not do— to start blogging.
Yes, I have chosen to become another blogger in the sea of bloggers filling up google searches around the world.
But, this is why…
I am not special.
Nor am I a genius or expert on anything in particular.
But, I do enjoy writing and have quite a number of interests… a Hodge Podge of pursuits and loves you might say.
So after some thought and finally forcing myself to download the WordPress app, reading other bloggers testimonials, here I am.
My blog— Hodge Podge (which shares the same name and stuffing as my podcast) will focus on my life as a military spouse living in my native home state of North Carolina while raising a wild and lovable boy (age seven as of last week).
It will include my pursuits as a creative writer and soon-to-be children’s book author (Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck coming to stores and internet downloads very soon); artisan and entrepreneur— podcaster (as aforementioned), novice traveler, historian wannabe, and lover of life and people. Did I leave anything out? 🤔
The above makes me sound a bit pretentious, doesn’t it? A bit of an over-achiever and dreamer?
I am hardly these things.
Well, maybe the dreamer part is accurate.
But truly, I am not a perfectionist.
Nor am I some astute, artsy-farts snob.
And, definitely not a super right-wing “Hooah!” Army wife.
Nor a tried and true Southern Belle…. just Kidding! I certainly have my moments!
I am just who I am.
A chick raised on the beautiful coast of North Carolina who loves her home state and all its precious treasures and LOVES to talk about them.
A beach loving, independent, wild and unsaddled woman who by-accident became an Army wife.
And, left her beach lifestyle for Fort Bragg (which was TERRIFYING), and most-surprisingly to her has grown quite affectionate of this life we’ve made here in Fayetteville, NC.
Despite, the challenges of being a mil-spouse.
And, being landlocked…
I should note that a few years back, I left a career in the human services field a couple of years back. I earned a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling while working for state government here in Fayetteville, NC. My former employer assists individuals with physical and mental disabilities find employment and supports to enhance quality of life.
Prior to that I worked in the mental health field in balmy and bohemian Wilmington, NC and worked briefly as a social worker in the beautiful riverside community where I was raised— Washington, NC.
So, you may be thinking— WHY leave a “good ole state job,” a solid feel-good-contributing-to-the-betterment-of-society-and-mankind career path?
I’ll tell you why:
Plain and simple.
I was tired and frazzled. I did not have energy for myself nor my family.
After many grueling months of second guessing myself and going back and forth with myself and husband about all the reasons why I should not leave my career, we finally decided there were more positives to why I should.
I feel fortunate to have a supportive spouse who encouraged me to go chase my dreams which is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past two years.
This is NOT to say anything negative against holding a career in human services. I have the greatest respect for ALL Social Workers, Counselors, and Mental Health Professionals. These people put their hearts and souls into the betterment of every community and we should thank God for them everyday!
But, it was my time to grow in new and different ways and I have grown in ways I could not have imagined when I walked out of my state employers office that last day.
I was freeeee to be me!
But, I was a nervous Nelly and the fear of the unknown almost got the best of me.
So, I rallied on and started plotting out what my goals in life were:
1) Be a good, loving and present mom.
2) Be a good, loving and present wife.
3) Be a good, loving and present daughter.
4) Have time to finally connect with our Army community and make new, lasting friendships.
5) To grow in my faith.
6) To write.
7) To become published.
8) To try new things.
10) Embrace my life and be happy in the here and now.
And the list went on and on.
I am proud to say that here, three years later, I am checking off my itemized list of goals one by one and it FEELS AWESOME!
Look. I’m not saying everyone should up and quit their jobs to go on a pursuit of self-purpose.
Especially if you are the only bread winner in your family or you are up to your eyeballs in debt.
Just say no.
However, if you are stifled and miserable and desperately need a new direction, then start making your list of goals and put in place a solid plan.
You can do it— eventually.
Hard-work truly pays off in the end.
So, this is a little introduction of who I am.
If you are looking for motivation? Let me help you (I have a Masters in counseling, remember?).
If you love North Carolina or just want to know more about this awesome Old North State, I’m your girl.
If you like books, writing, and journalistic pursuits, well, “Hello!”
If you are a milspouse or are curious about what life is like for military families, I promise to give you the 411.
And whatever else I can come up with!
I also promise to entertain you.
Or, at least give it my best shot.
Keep chasing your dreams, and I will see you back here next time on Hodge Podge.
Alison Paul Klakowicz, BA, MS
Hodge Podge Podcast: anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom