This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StrengthHasNoGender #CollectiveBias
The embodiment of strength comes in all shapes, sizes and genders. Everyone has their own story of how they’ve shown strength. For Women’s History Month in March, the Brawny® man is stepping aside and will be replaced by the Brawny® woman on the Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus packs to show that Strength Has No Gender™. The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign highlights the inspirational stories of women across America who show that strength truly does not discriminate. There are women who break down gender barriers and women who empower others through their strength. Today, I’ve teamed up with Brawny® for the #StrengthHasNoGender campaign to bring you my own story of strength.
Through college and my early 20s, I had dreams and ambitions to move to a big city. I wanted the big office job where my passions could thrive. After receiving a job with a top aviation University, I quickly moved up the ranks into an upper-management advisement position. I was content with where I was at the time, but I strived for bigger and better.
I’ve always been very independent, both professionally and personally. I’ve made my own mistakes, had my heartbroken and learned more lessons than I could count. But I always wanted to do things MY way. I didn’t want anyone to tie me down. In my head, I was a strong, independent woman who didn’t need anyone else to be successful or happy.
Just when I was beginning to look for a career change in a new city, my life and plans completely changed. I fell in love with a man in the military.
When I met my husband, Matt, I had no idea how much he would actually change my life. Matt was (and still is) Active Duty United States Coast Guard. We dated a little over a year before we were married. After barely being together for two years and being new parents – we were facing our first military transfer as a family of three to Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak is a small island with a high cost of living and a low source of jobs.
My husband never asked me to give up my career, but because I love him I decided to change my goals for the time being.
After arriving in Kodiak, I received a huge culture shock. Kodiak is a tiny island, so all goods have to be shipped in or arrive by plane. If there is bad weather the stores can go days without receiving milk or produce. My husband immediately hit the ground running with his new job. I was forced to learn how to single parent while my husband was away for deployments, duty or training. Moving to a strange new town while my husband immediately never knew when he’d be around was not easy.
In addition, I was also adjusting from being a career woman, to being a stay-at-home mom. Adjusting to little sleep and play dates instead of conference calls and meetings, was a huge change. But it’s one that I eventually accustomed to and loved. I loved being able to watch my daughter accomplish milestones and to spend everyday watching her grow. With the help of blogging and freelance writing, I have something that I feel gives me the brain stimulation I need to function. This has become something more than just an outlet for me. This has become a job that I hope one day my daughter realizes how hard I work to do well at.
There have been times where I’ve been scared, upset and overall clueless as to when I’ll see my husband again, but my mental strength has allowed me to pull through. The fact that my daughter looks to my every move and action gives me the strength to put in 200% every single day. Just like my husband has the strength to serve our great country, I have the strength to hold my family together, even when distance separates us.
Being 5,000 miles away from all the friends and family I’ve ever known forced me to become even more independent than I already was. While my husband tries his hardest to be here and do for his family, sometimes the Coast Guard has other plans. Life often throws us messes that need something strong to help us clean up. Just like my mental strength has helped me survive eight-plus months of figuratively cleaning up messes in Alaska, Brawny® Paper Towels help us clean up the literal messes that life throws at us.
As a woman, I feel like we all have our own personal stories and background that make us who we are. Sometimes these stories change and that’s perfectly okay. I’m not running the corporate world like I once thought I would be, but I’ve proven to myself that I’m strong in my own right. I’ve put family first and done what’s best for us as a whole. Just like I believe my husband is such a strong person for serving in the military, I think it also takes a strong person to marry military. It takes a strong and secure person to move far away to a place where they’re literally stuck on an island with little access to civilization. I believe that I’m empowering my daughter by showing her that I’m being strong for her. I work for sometimes 6-8 hours after she goes to bed in order to finish an article. While she may not know during her toddler years how hard her Mom works to support her career but also her family, she will one day. With every mess, every spilled drink and every piece of food that she throws on the ground – she’ll know that I like my mental state like I like my paper towels, strong.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the woman on the Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus pack yet, be sure to check it out at your local Walmart! As a Mom, I find comfort in knowing that Brawny® Paper Towels offer more sheets on every roll (vs. leading national brand comparable roll and sheet size) and help you clean up whatever life throws down. Want to know more about this campaign? Check out the video below!