My short story.
What I do consistently is dive deep into topics that interest me and strive to share all that I learn in a useful and inspiring way. I’m an advocate for enhanced well-being through disciplined attention to mindset and focus. I write about career development, mindset strategy, and relationship building. My favorite topic is intuition for daily living. I see opportunities that others might not see. I like to encourage.
My long story.
I grew up on a few acres of land in Skiatook, Oklahoma in a little house my parents built. I had a beloved pony, Trigger, to ride bareback and do “circus” tricks on his back. There were always critters drifting through my house thanks to my parents' and sisters’ penchants catching and observing them for a while. We often had frogs, snakes, lizards, or tarantulas around besides the standard horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. Even an injured owl found reprieve with us once upon a time. Besides helping with chores, I enjoyed making mud pies, swimming in the creek, running the trotline with dad, and climbing trees.
As a teenager, I was a lifeguard at the city pool year after year. I met my husband-to-be at the ripe old age of fifteen. I loved school and couldn’t get enough information. I participated in student council and several sports including basketball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. I was also a cheerleader. I made Academic All-State for basketball (6-on-6, half court ball actually…Oklahoma and Iowa were the last the switch to 5-on-5 for girls, interestingly enough). I was also Salutatorian for high school graduating class of 100 or so people (a B in a semester of Geometry as a freshman kept me from a three-way tie for Valedictorian…boo!).
The first in my extended family to graduate from college, I completed a B.S. Degree in Sports/Exercise Science from Oklahoma State University in three and a half years and played on the university's burgeoning women’s soccer team (before they gave out scholarships to players). I was also on the President’s Leadership Council.
After college, I married my high school sweetheart at the age of twenty. Shortly after, I left Oklahoma as they set off on his career with the Air Force which spanned 20 years and a plethora of homes across the country including California (twice), Wyoming, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, and Nevada. Now she lives in Virginia with her husband and two kids who homeschool (Unschool, actually…heard of it? It’s incredible!).
It turns out I’m a gypsy at heart, and I might never have known it if I wasn’t dragged kicking and screaming from Oklahoma. Where are we going next? Who knows? That’s half the fun!
Along the way, I've worked a variety of jobs including executive assistant and various clerical temporary positions, recreation center facilities manager, sports league director, medical office coordinator, workforce development program manager, career consultant, and adjunct faculty.
Formal education has been quite a journey for me. I earned an M.A. in Counseling from Seton Hall University and a career counseling certificate from the University of California at San Diego. Also, I completed 65 graduate credit hours in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. That’s an interesting story actually. I flunked the final pharmacology exam and was told to take the whole second year over if I wanted to continue in the M.S. degree program. Can you believe that? Well, I took the second year again and passed it all and pharmacology the second time through. Then, while on rotations at Trenton Hospital, I had the realization that medicine just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t take the bureaucracy. I felt I just didn’t belong there. So I quit. To this day I wish I would have listened to my intuition the day I received that acceptance letter. I was glad to get accepted, but I didn’t want to go. The timing just didn’t feel right but I didn’t want to let anyone down plus I had a lot of ego wrapped up in being in medicine. I learned a lot not only about medicine but about career development and listening to intuition through that painful process.
Eventually, I came to understand (and prefer) that my husband and I would not be settling down anywhere. Thus, I created a portable career for myself. SparksPress LLC is the umbrella for my projects. I’m mainly a personal and career development consultant. I also narrate and blog, and I wrote a book (*Bliss Or Bust: Uplifting Thoughts) and may someday write more books.
Thank you for your interest in my story. I hope you will find some of the information I've shared and the resources I've gathered on my websites helpful and inspiring. I appreciate if you would please generously share articles you enjoy with your friends and family. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to continue in consultation about your career and personal development or if you want me to produce your book in audiobook format.
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