The Earth is dictated by seasons. Our lives are dictated by seasons too. As humans, and especially as military spouses, we experience seasons of fullness, loss, joy, and pain. Some seasons are filled with beauty and abundance, while others are marked by growth, failure, and change.
As a military spouse, I love PCS season. I enjoy moving, the change of scenery, and the thought that new opportunities and people await in the new location. Although friendships come and go in the military community, I enjoy those changes as I anticipate new connections and new opportunities to share what I’ve learned about the current duty station with other spouses. As a school teacher, I find joy in seeing my students grow with the passing of each new school year —academically, behaviorally, and physically. I find satisfaction in knowing that they have learned and developed, and that I’ve fostered a process that has encouraged them to become better versions of themselves.
While leaving behind something comfortable can seem nerve wracking or fear inducing, it can also be an opportunity for creativity as old efforts weave together with new dreams. It can allow you the chance to bloom in unexpected ways and become rooted in the areas where you may have found yourself a bit loose-footed in the past. Or it may allow a chance to start fresh, breathing new life into hidden passions.
Just know that with the right attitude and outlook, any season can be exciting.
Since my adjustment into the role of a military spouse, I’ve made a choice to embrace adjustment and welcome the changes that are inevitable. While not impossible to maintain my career as an educator, I did sense that it was the perfect time to develop a passion that I’d always kept in my back pocket. Deciding to step back from full-time school teaching allowed me to make adjustments in my profession as I stepped into the world of women’s wellness education. This decision definitely did not happen in the snap of a finger or with ease. There were months of thinking on the topic, some sleepless nights, tears as I mourned the thought of leaving teaching behind, and of course fear about stepping away from what had brought me so much comfort in years past.
· How can I leave something that I’ve known for so long?
· Why would I choose to go in a different direction when I have a master’s degree in education? Won’t I be wasting my education/efforts?
· Is the push that I feel because I am just becoming bored with what I’ve always done? Should I really move in a different direction?
· What will others think?
· How will I start down this path?
· How do I gain knowledge as I start moving in the direction of educating women in wellness-related topics?
After racking my brain for months, the moment arrived. The fact that I was questioning so much about my current job and entertaining the thought of something new meant that there was an unfulfilled part of me. I felt I had more to offer and I knew that my passions ran deeper. Although I didn’t know how it would look as I moved forward into the unknown, I decided that it was time. My “why” for living was more than just going through the motions as I had been doing for the last eight years.
Thinking back to when I found the most joy in teaching I realized: I find satisfaction in knowing that they have learned, developed, and that I’ve fostered a process that has encouraged them to become better versions of themselves.
That doesn’t need to change as I approach women’s wellness! All it would take is some effort, dreaming, planning, and creativity to weave together my desire to help educate women in wellness while providing tools, resources, and opportunities for them to become better versions of themselves. That’s it, that’s my why.
So now, I’m allowing myself to take a new path and engage in passions that have been hidden inside for so long. In the past, the timing never felt right to pursue my interest in women’s wellness so I put them on hold, but I now find myself on a fact-finding journey—experiencing joy as I unearth deeper truths about nutrition, fitness, and the connections within our bodies. Through this season of discovery, a deeper love for wellness has bloomed in me, and as I begin a new path, which seems to be a constant for military spouses, I choose to move into a new season of leading women by educating readers and encouraging them to make choices that promote total wellness.
Although the path isn’t always clear, and most days it seems as if I’m starting from nothing, I realize that in this season, I’m building a foundation for what’s to come. Even when our circumstances seem uncomfortable, as they do in uprooting the direction of a career, we have the opportunity to bloom. So, no matter which stage you are in—planting, growth, harvest, or maybe still browsing seed packets at the store, know that when the conditions are right, you will also have the opportunity to use your passions to bloom.
Alecia Ritzema is a military spouse, lover of travel, and a coffee-drinking connoisseur. She holds a BA in Psychology, a Master of Education degree, and is a certified ACE® Group Fitness Instructor. Through IDEA Health & Fitness Association, she holds the Understanding Hormones Certificate and a certification in Functional Foods. Alecia is an educator at heart and passionate about the physical and mental well-being of women everywhere. She believes that information and education are the tools that help women cultivate meaningful lives of wellness. Personally, she has seen the value that a diet rich in plants and whole foods has on the natural functions of the body. She understands the need for regular movement to maintain hormone balance and is continually learning the specifics of self-care for stress management. Alecia has an interest in the integrated connections that stress (physical, situational, mental, or emotional) can have on nutritional choices, emotions, and the body’s natural ability to repair itself. Simply stated, she enjoys living well and teaching others to do the same.
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