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Finding time to shift focus

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jennifer McCoy
  • 375th Medical Operations Squadron
As a young Airman striking out on your own for the first time, it's easy to find yourself losing traits that make you into who you are.

Losing your familiar support system--combined with all the stresses of the work place--may challenge your ability to maintain the balance between being an Airman and a young adult. This challenge can range anywhere between difficult to seemingly impossible. However, it's important to hold true to the Air Force core values while not losing sight of your own.

I'm not writing to portray myself as the role model for mental wellness. In all honesty, this is an issue I still find myself struggling with. When times get hard, and I find myself going in endless circles, it's beneficial for me to turn to my hobby and passion in life--photography.

I find myself taking more photos when I'm completely balanced and feeling most like myself. My intent when taking pictures is to capture a moment, a memory and emotion in time, so that I can reflect on the feeling later. It's almost like sampling my past.

I draw inspiration and strength from my photos, and I pin pictures around my room as well as my desk. When I find myself losing sight of who I am, I look at any them, take a deep breath and lose myself in a memory. It may only last moments, but it's all I need for a quick pick-me-up during the day.

There are days that seem to drag on and on making it difficult to tell the difference between one day and the next. In these moments, it is important to hold true to the individual under the uniform and stand strong. Give yourself reminders and surround yourself with positive people. No one said it was going to be easy, but it isn't impossible.
The beauty of being a young Airman is we have the rest of our lives and the world before us. Figuring where to fit in is an ongoing battle and finding outlets isn't always easy, but we aren't alone.

You can find helping hands and willing people almost everywhere you turn. Don't sell yourself short because you'll find you are surrounded by a solid support system, and that much closer to knowing yourself.