Sometimes the most accidental friends become a force in your life. Our accidental friendship began when we both sought out gymnastics for our girls and ended up at a German gym, crossing our fingers they’d love it (they didn’t), and talking to the only other American there. She was a person with interests or life experiences different from my own and maybe we’d have never met had it not been that we were connected to each other through the Army.
Anyway, she was a force. An unfiltered force who would call me on my BS, challenge my thinking on a topic, offer her requested advice sprinkled with her opinion, and somehow manage to spin my wheels in ways I didn’t know possible, all while wearing a smile and wrapping me in love. She was the best kind of accidental friend.
So, today, her question was simple and yet it stopped me in my tracks. Are you a blogger, or are you a writer? Crap. I didn’t know. Did I need to know? Did it really matter? And what’s the difference?
The difference, in her view, was in how the stories are told and why they are told. A blogger has a more relaxed and a stream of consciousness feel to their information. Bloggers write parenting posts but they also review the latest gadget. They write for the blog they don’t blog as a way to share their writing.
For years, I’ve wanted to write a book. I didn’t know what the topic would be, but I knew there were few things I enjoyed more than spending the day in front of my computer making the words reflect how I felt. So, maybe I was a writer.
In my heart, I started this journey because I saw people suffering. I saw marriages failing. I saw young military spouses isolated, struggling, and scared. I wanted to help. I wanted them to know that they aren’t alone. I wanted them to hear the stories of others who have walked the same paths and emerged stronger. I wanted to help them hope, love, and enjoy. So, I was clear on my goals but still hadn’t answered my friend’s question.
Pride and Grit came after many failed before it. Silver Linings. Military Journey. Being Military. Grit and Glory.
The options were nearly endless and overwhelming but didn’t quite tell the story. But what was I trying to do? That’s where the name lives, in the intent.
I was trying to honor the PRIDE we all feel in our Soldiers. I was trying to show how this life can be hard but can also be amazing. I was trying to open a few windows to provide a glimpse of our struggles to our families and friends. I knew I had friends that just didn’t get it, and it wasn’t their fault. I wanted to provide stories that helped start conversations. Stories to foster hope and healing. Stories to help one person feel less alone.
And so, GRIT emerged as a keyword. It’s something we all possess. Don’t get me wrong, going through life married to a Soldier can be and often is amazing. Sprinkled with new adventures, new friendships, and new ways to showcase your home decorating skills. But it does require a certain amount of GRIT to thrive. And thriving should be the goal, not surviving. And far too many of us are just surviving.
Surviving this training cycle or drill cycle, waiting for the lull until the next. Surviving this deployment. Surviving this PCS move until the next one in six months. So really, what is the point of setting up a house or making friends? Some weeks, I do a little of both, surviving and thriving. But bringing a balance to others was my goal, so Pride & Grit became the vision.
But back to my friend, I still hadn’t definitively answered her question. Am I going to populate this new vision as a writer or a blogger? Perhaps, neither. In the end, she said she saw me as a content curator. As she explained it, while I had stories I wanted to share, above all else, I didn’t want Pride & Grit to be my story.
I wanted it to be a collective story, a robust resource. I wanted it to be a place of varied experiences, challenges, and triumphs. I wanted it to tell stories of spouses, children, and even the extended family willing to be part of the conversation.
So, I’ve begun to see content curator as the perfect way to describe me. I know I don’t have all the answers. I know I haven’t had all the experiences. I know my path is just one version of this journey. But I also know that there are hundreds of women like me, with stories to tell, insights to share, and hope to build.
And so, I will continue to write, because it’s my favorite way to move through my day. I will to curate as well, adding bloggers and writers to the conversation, to the journey. I look forward to having you join me.
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