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My Journey Part 2 (what do I wear?)

I’ve always been a cross between a girly girl and tom-boy, pending on your definitions of both. I love getting dressed up. I love getting pampered. I can spend all day at a spa. Facial, pedicure, manicure, massage, etc. But I also love camping. I love dirt bikes and 4-wheelers. I love driving through mud and having it spray all over the place!

Joining the Coast Guard was not hard as far as following the dress code went. I had long hair when I went to boot camp. My hair is very thin/fine, though. And no matter how tight I put it back in a pony tail and how many tubes of hair gel I used, the second I had to take off my hat, it all fell out. So, when the guys were forced to shave their heads, I asked to get a hair cut, too. There wasn’t a salon onbase in Cape May. The barber just cut my hair. Straight line just below my chin. It didn’t bother me at all. After that, I didn’t have to do push-ups for “fly aways”

I couldn’t paint my finger nails, so I just painted my toe nails instead. I would even do themes; peppermint patties on Christmas, a cupcake on my pink large toe for my birthday, a “7” on red for my trip to Vegas, multi-colored and a huge “M” for Easter, etc.

As the years went by, I became a Coastie. I was an OS. Most of my friends were/are guys. They didn’t/don’t care how I looked, so neither did I. And slowly my identity changed. I didn’t even realize it. I was damn good at my job. I was and still am very proud of that. I was promoted fast. I got awards. And that was who I was.

And then all of a sudden, I wasn’t a Coastie. And I’m not an OS. And I don’t have a career. And who the hell am I?!? And what the hell do I want to do?!? And how, how do I even begin to do it?!?

I hired a professional resume writer. I set up a LinkedIn account. I had professional headshots taken. I did mock interviews. My roommate (the same one who inspired this business), Mike, did a fake interview with me. He let me practice my handshake and introduction with him.

I went shopping. For business clothes. I had (and still have) an image in my head of a professional punk rocker. If Gwen Stefani had a desk job, how would she dress? What did I come home with instead? Blue. Blue pinstriped pants. Blue tank tops. Blue shirts. Blue. All blue.

Then Mike had to tell me that the pockets were not fake, they were just sown shut….

While all of that was scary, I also decided to get my cartilage pierced. And get purple highlights (professional punk rocker). I got acrylic nails. And immediately after my photo shoot, cut them off!!! How does anyone function with them?!? I couldn’t take my keys off my key ring, put on a necklace, open a soda, etc.

I also got a tattoo. A large phoenix on my left shin. In the mouth of the phoenix is a broken sand dollar. Why the left shin? Because (thank you Ken!) when you march, you always step out with your left foot first!

And as I step out of the Coast Guard and into my new life, I figured a good way to handle it would be through laughter. So I asked the beautiful, talented, wonderful Kearsten Leder Petra if we could chronicle my journey through photos. And she agreed.

So, even though this is the second blog, these are actually the first two pictures in the series. These are pictures of Hillary trying desperately to change her identity from OS1 to professional punk rocker–and only somewhat accomplishing it.

I don’t know who I am. I have a full time job, as a contractor for the Coast Guard, and I’m interviewing for part time jobs. I’m also blogging and making clocks. I don’t wear and don’t ever see myself wearing much make-up–for starters, an extra 20 min of sleep, YES PLEASE!! I also hate and almost fear things in or near my eyes. (I wear glasses verses contacts for this same reason) And make-up is expensive and itches.

Kearsten has volunteered to teach me how to do my hair. I love my look in the pictures, but again, extra sleep….But maybe on the weekends.

While I got rid of the fake nails, I do like my nails being painted and I still like wearing multiple rings. I love, love, love my cartilage ring. And the more into crystals I get, the more necklaces and bracelets get added to my collection.

I don’t know who I am, but I am figuring it out. I am trying things out. I’m asking myself “what did I learn?” when things go wrong. I’m doing my best not to beat myself up for not knowing things that should be “common sense”

I don’t know who I am and I’m guessing most of you don’t know who you are, either. Especially those of you going through changes. Weather it be a career, marriage, children, retirement, etc. Please know that you are not alone. When you are feeling down about yourself, please look at these pictures and remind yourself “that Hillary blogger girl, she only knows how to dress in blue”

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