Military Spouse Magazine

FEB 2019

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Page 31 of 35

Building My Business How I went from struggling to success after ditching a job I hated. By Iris Green, President and CEO of Military Home Base, Army Spouse (Retired) Every military spouse carries the weight of responsibilities and transitional independence. I picture it as a board across our shoulders with bricks on top. More bricks are added as our responsibilities and stressors grow during deployments, or when things happen with our families and friends left behind. Every so often, that balance shifts or increases, causing us to falter or lean too far one way to compensate. Sometimes we have to carry the bricks for others so they don't fall. G O O D A D V I C E In February 2011, my bricks were piled high and very shaky. In preparation for our move from Monterey, Calif., to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, I quit my GS-8 position. Due to the high population of veterans and retirees in the Tampa Bay area, I would make the interview lists, but never pull for the interview. On top of it, I felt overweight and unattractive. My husband was away at school and I had two young daughters, four dogs, a cross-country move, and an upcoming fifth deployment. FALTERING UNDER THE WEIGHT OF IT ALL In the middle of all of these difficulties, I landed a phone interview with a well-known lender and was hired to start work within weeks of our arrival. By March, my world was falling apart. Things were tense between me and my husband. Constant separation was taking a toll on our marriage and I suspected he was planning to leave us. I was unaware he was in the depths of a severe untreated depression and had a more permanent abandonment in mind. We sought marriage and individual counseling, but our girls picked up on the vibes in the house as children often do. I hit bottom within months. I hated my new job, but was afraid to quit. I found myself crying into my coffee three hours before work, searching Craigslist for a new opportu- nity. My bricks had increased and the weight was crippling me. This became our turning point. My husband said his first supportive words in over a year: "I don't want you to be miserable, quit. The money isn't that important." That day I made the call that changed our lives. I called the person who had been our Realtor; she was the broker and team leader of a small real estate office. She hired me as a temporary receptionist. The Photo provided by Iris Green 32 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / FEBRUARY 2019

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