24 years ago today, I earned the title of US Marine. I no longer think of it as an accomplishment but as one of the first powerful transformations I’ve experienced as a woman. 

What I learned most from Parris Island is that with mental clarity and toughness you get through the things, as difficult as they seem at first. The conflicts and struggles are created within when our intentions and desires are not aligned with our actions. It’s a matter of holding true to your belief, unerring and without doubt. Only your fear stands in the way of your peace and happiness. 

I also learned that little things do matter greatly. The way you do anything is the way you end up doing everything. Attention to the finest details is of utmost importance. So don’t expect to cut corners, gloss things over and think you’ll end up with a masterpiece. You will end up with a pile of doodoo with whipped cream and maybe a fake cherry on top, if you’re lucky. Nobody wants doodoo. Nobody deserves doodoo unless you act like doodoo. 

It was also very transformative for me to realize that we, as humans, can do and live and love, owning not much in terms of material resources. I had no real money, no clothes besides uniform issue, no smartphone, no convenient baubles. But my love for life, my family, my friends grew even stronger. You begin to see the truly important stuff. LOVE! 

And I would be remiss to not mention one of the most uniquely strong traits we develop in the Marine Corps. LOYALTY. Semper Fidelis. Always faithful. I have many sisters and brothers who’ve got my back if the shit ever hit the fan. That is a true blessing in our world which can often feel disconnected, singular, divided.

Life is very short. Life is unpredictable. Take each moment and live it to the fullest, aligning your passions with your actions. Mind, body, and soul must work in harmony for true health and happiness.  

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