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Challenge: WHO Are You?

Who am I? I am a constant work in progress.

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I am a constant work in progress, a statement I adopted about seven years ago, one year into becoming a parent. Without realizing, I had become complacent, going along to get along not realizing I wasn’t pursuing my passion until running into a classmate in the mall. “Aren’t you Eric’s wife,” the classmate asked as we passed. I quickly answered yes and walked off and thought about an earlier reference from the daycare as Noah’s mom; I truly began questioning who am I? Of course, I was happy being a wife and mother, both titles are a dream come true, but I needed to dream bigger.

The morning of my son’s first birthday party, I completed my first graduate school assignment. I realized that for me to feel grounded and happy as a parent, I needed to have a moniker outside of mom and wife. My non-profit experience paired with my MBA helped me to land a corporate role in marketing. I now lead the internal communications function for a billion-dollar industry. I found happiness by keeping resentment at bay. Let me be clear, it's not my job that brings me joy, but the knowledge that I can achieve my dreams by investing the time and energy with the backing of a strong support system.

In addition to furthering my education and changing careers, I found non-career aspirations to further my happy. Every month, I meet with a group of friends to discuss important topics like Beyoncé, The Real Housewives franchise and current fashion trends while trying new restaurants in Atlanta. I love to countdown the days leading to my next travel adventure to see new sites, listen to the beach waves, and taste various culinary flavors. I read books to learn what I don’t know, to laugh, to cry, and to gain motivation to accomplish a new goal. Lastly, I write. I still enjoy crafting words for my company’s senior leadership and chronicling about my shower snacking habits to avoid sharing with my children.

Who am I still isn’t an easy question for me to answer. I am a dreamer. I am an over comer. I am passionate. I am committed to living my best life. I am happy, and yes, I’m a mom.

-Chrystal Neely

More Lemonade Please

Photo Credit: Brittany Smith

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