• Amber Epperson

Air Force vets are gonna hate me...lol

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Me, 18 yrs old, Air Force Basic Military Training

The Whole Person Concept

This is a popular tag line I’m stealing from back when I was active duty Air Force. Essentially, what it means in #AirForce terms is that there is more to a person than just their job and being good at your job. Because that's expected, right? So how well-rounded are you off-duty? Are you volunteering? Are you in school? How are you contributing to the Air Force and the community outside of your 0730 to 1630 (cuz there's no such thing as a 9 to 5 in the Air Force hunty).

Soooo…what else is there?? Who are you outside of your job, outside of wifehood, motherhood and the many other roles and spaces you occupy?

Sadly, many women, to include myself at one time, are unable to properly answer this question. We can’t even begin to describe ourselves outside of our many titles.

As women, we are often coined to be #multitaskers, right? We wear many hats and we can do it all, right? But often when it comes down to this topic we find that women kind of fall into one of two categories of some sort of an identity rut:

1. Mother, wife or career woman and nothing outside of that


2. We are wife, mother, career woman AND life coach AND choir director AND the kid’s soccer coach every Saturday morning THEN on Sunday you drag the hubby and kids to the sanctuary to ensure eternal salvation for us all- AMEN!!

Either way, either way, either way…girlfriend, you are in a #box! Honey you are living in a box and you don’t even know who you are outside of it because for a multitude of reasons or regardless of any reason, you rarely step even a toe outside of said box.

Right now, I am challenging you and your box.

So with that, you might feel a range of emotions yes?

- Empowerment, encouraged, finally understood for once


- You may be feeling attacked, defensive, protective

But let’s take it there, yes? Let’s chat about how we are living. This is how we have adjusted to living. This is how you’ve adapted to getting along, day in and day out. As women, we believe we must be the glue that binds our families. We think we are the only ones who can properly perform our job duties. We believe if ever we stop moving, our world will fall apart. Then at the end of the day, after everything is done, the kitchen is clean and kids are in bed, there is nothing left…for us to give and there's nothing to receive. It hit me hard when I realized that I had NO true #senseofself outside of my many titles, responsibilities, outward and inward expectations.

When I finally realized how grossly imbalanced my life was, in a sense, it was already too late. It was too late in that I was no longer in a position to just simply shift or hit the backspace button….naw girl, I had to drastically #revamp my life. I had to change the way I was living but most importantly I had to change the way I thought. I had to change the way I received and interpreted all incoming information.

But first and foremost, I had to confront who I was at that moment -- that very moment. I really had to take the time to see myself. Really open my eyes to not just the parts of me that I knew and acknowledged but learn and accept the parts of me that I didn’t recognize and the parts that I didn’t even know existed.

I was not #whole in any sense of the word. I was barely good at my job (at that point), virtually failing as a mother but absolutely failing at being Amber.

I was giving so much to everything and everyone else, I literally told myself that I didn’t have time to take care of myself. I was putting “band aids” over every hurt and wound that kept ripping open over and over again.

I would often wonder, “How did I get here? How did I get so lost?” The answer for me was trauma. I was in what seemed like a decade long storm and looking back, it was actually longer. However, let’s be clear, it does not take a trauma to necessarily steer you off course and straight into that box. Sometimes, it’s just because we stopped planning, we became complacent in one way or another. We rationalized this stagnant place we found ourselves in and we stayed.

And more often than not, these reasons for finding ourselves at that standstill is because of others. We are always placing the kids before us, our significant other, our parents, a supervisor, or the job itself.

Anything and anyone right?

So here’s the million dollar question:

While we are healing the wounded, supporting the hurt, encouraging the meek, defending the helpless, nurturing our young, going the extra mile and then 1 more on top of that for the undeserving…

Who is taking care of you?

Who is healing you?

...supporting you?

...encouraging you?

...defending you?

...nurturing you?

...going the extra mile x2 for you?

Who is loving you?

…is it you?

Now bear with me fellow #veterans, but this is where the ‘whole person concept’ comes back into play, lol.

Ladies we need to adopt the whole person concept but apply it toward our wellness, to our wholeness as a woman, as a person, hell as a human being!

Because girlfriend, you cannot tell me that you feel happy and whole deep down while you are sitting in that damn box! There is so much more to life that just trying to be the most reliable employee, the best friend, the perfect spouse or significant other, or…. dare I say…there is more to life than even being the perfect mom!


But seriously sis, there is so much more to you than what the world – and ourselves – have defined for us and limited us to.

You are an incredibly multifaceted person with complex emotions. You have your own likes and dislikes! Your own wants, goals and ambitions! Your own set of strengths and weaknesses. You have your very own good and bad! And you have every right to it, so you better own it girl!

It is up to you…to step out of that box! Step out of that box girl and own your life!

You are the alpha and omega of your story! Your story begins and ends with you!

So girl, go on and explore your life and your world. Most importantly, explore yourself and your mind intimately.

Because then and only then, can you truly elevate yourself to the next level. So yes homegirl, there are levels to this shit (life) and to mental wellness. Nothing has to stay the same and honestly, its up to you to change and lead your life course as you see fit.

So, let me encourage you sis, break down the walls and barriers that keep you confined and level up! Be a whole person, sis!

Be well, be blessed and BeYOUtiful! And Takecare!


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