I am Challen. I'm an accountant, but a momma first.
I've spent many, many hours running trails. Sometimes being outside keeps me grounded, and other times it sets me free. Anyway, I feel most like the real me when I'm doing something outdoors.
Besides being outside to witness the real thing, I like to create beauty in my own way, too. I like the satisfaction of using some paint and a brush to turn an abandoned old chair into a rainbow of colors, or the way a camera can change an afternoon walk in the city into art. And the joy of listening to an audio book, while I paint and transform someone's room into the haven it's meant to be.
It was my children who taught me I love these things. Taking a breather from sloppy toddler kisses, up on a blue mountain ridge, so I could return home a better momma. Sitting on the carport with a little one on a sweet summer day, painting her first desk the perfect shade of sky blue. Piling the bunch of us onto my bed at night to get lost in a good story. And reminding my eldest, 'I love you everyday;' he's the one who called me 'momma.'
This is the truth of me. And, I really love my dog. He's just perfect, the way he cuddles and snores.
I'm a farmer's daughter. A farmer's daughter, and a soldier's daughter. It's hard to say whether I feel more pleasure going out of my pampered urban way to buy locally farmed food, or running into an opportunity to tell a soldier thank you. Either way, it is heartfelt. I've born witness to that kind of sweat, in the way a first daughter does.
While my daddy was flying helicopters, we tended the garden that he helped us plant on weekends (he knew how to do that, growing up farming like he did). We made bread, we sewed clothes, we picked beans, we played. My momma took care of us. This was the love we knew.
We reaped what we sowed.
I think some would say I'm a soldier, of sorts. I'm determined, I'm persistent, and I'm real. And I will stand for freedom and choices, any day. For me. For you.
Sometimes I wonder. Why is it no one ever explained to us in college or the entry level jobs, that being an accountant is a privilege? No matter, I figured it out in my own time. How great it is, to finally experience that under all the layers of classes, tests and attests, suits, certifications, jobs, and career plans, that I am simply a person with an opportunity to be of service, in a place of unmatched trust.
When somebody lets me really use my talents, I get to help transform a dream into the real thing. Lean right in, so we can build this thing together. It's the best feeling.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?