I was raised on my family’s resilience and molded by the tales of my people’s lineage which were handed down to me by my grandparents and great-grandmothers. From birth I was taught responsibility thanks to my father’s service to country as a Special Operations Law Enforcement Officer and my mother’s service to country as a United States Postal Worker and Community Activist. As a child I adored art and history and spent much of my free time creating or reading about the lives and customs of Americana and its diverse culture. I draw blood from both immigrants to this country seeking hope, as well as from its proud first people.
Despite being diagnosed with an aggressive auto immune illness and cardiac condition as a young girl, I was able to earn multiple NAIA National & All-American Varsity Swimming titles during my college years. Furthermore, I was able to earn an education in American Studies, Native American Studies, Historic Preservation, and eventually graduated with a Visual Communication Arts degree from The Savannah College of Art & Design- one of the top art & design schools in the country.
Today I find myself bride to my college sweetheart- a man who after college had decided to join the Navy. Like many military wives, I found it difficult enough to find a career that fit our military lifestyle. However, my biggest challenge was finding a way to support our family being that my chronic illness made traditional employment next to impossible. Soon after being wed, we welcomed our first child- a son. Four months later we moved to his first duty station and we had quite a shock when we found out we were expecting a baby girl, who would be born in the middle of my husband’s first deployment in 2018!
The deployment’s separation, having little to no respite, and the increasingly delicate state of my health left me feeling extremely isolated, exhausted, and anxious with no outlet. I began to stop leaving the house and my health rapidly deteriorated as a result of Postpartum Anxiety & Depression. As a mother and military wife, I recognized just how vital my health and happiness were and refused to let my limitations limit the lives of my children, nor jeopardize the mission of my patriot. With the help of my husband, family, and community, I embraced my vulnerability and reached out for support.
Furthermore I began to utilize my Visual Arts degree to start a blog as means to express myself. Blogging and content creation have allowed me to share my family’s story which has added tremendous purpose to our lives, by connecting us to our community. My spark for life was relit and I rose from the ashes of limitation- reborn as The Patriot Belle. The Belle is both a way for me to serve my country despite the cards I was dealt and a way that I can support my family through my work. The Patriot Belle is my warrior’s cry in a battle against suffering and isolation.
I am The Patriot Belle and this is my American Dream, I pray it inspires you to fulfill yours!
*Friendly Note: I prefer to be referred to as Belle, however it is a nickname. My family called me Belle as a child. While grown, the name still empowers me and thus I utilize it. It is not my legal name and in transparency I wish to disclose this. Thank you for respecting my preference in this personal matter.