A blog from Army&You’s spring 2024 edition by Ellen Owusu

Two and a half years ago, when my husband shared with me the news of his new posting to Belgium, I was beside myself with conflicting emotions. On one hand, the prospect of living in Belgium thrilled me and yet, beneath that thrill, a silent frustration just ate me up. How many times in my life do I have to look for a job? Two and a half years later, it is time to pack up and head back to the UK again!

My family and friends often mention how they know I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Belgium. I was able to do that because I had made up my mind that I was going to make the most of that posting. I do get anxious and overwhelmed by the zillion things to be done before and after the move, especially finding a job.

Throughout the years, I have found inspiration in the quote “bloom where you are planted” by Saint Francis de Sales. “To bloom where you are planted” is to flourish, thrive, or blossom. It must be intentional and driven by a desire to take advantage of the opportunities you find in the place where you are.

How can you bloom wherever you are? To begin with, you need to speak to yourself. This is me; this is where I am right now. It may or may not be permanent, but I choose to live my best life. I may or may not have what I need, but I choose to be positive, resilient and happy.

Secondly, dare to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Most of my career had been in financial services. When I arrived in Belgium job opportunities for spouses in the military camp were limited.

Then I found a job as an administrator in the medical centre. Talk about diving in at the deep end! The beginning was a bit challenging, but I got in there and performed my role excellently.

One reason why people fail to bloom is that they do not invest fully in their new situation. They have one foot in and the other out. Whether it’s a friendship or a romantic relationship, success requires a wholehearted 100 per cent commitment.

You may think you’re in a tough spot, perhaps at a challenging workplace, surrounded by difficult people, or feeling unappreciated in your current job. Be your best where you are right now. While anticipating better opportunities, choose to grow in your current situation.

By consciously deciding to bloom in Belgium I can do the same at our next destination. You can do that too. Wherever you are today, choose to bloom!

Find Ellen on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ellen-owusu-b009681a

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