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Life & Work with Melissa Vasquez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Vasquez.

Hi Melissa, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I feel like my story started when I was a teenager. I always seemed to be seeking ways to better myself. I attended church and Alateen meetings alone to learn to cope with my father’s alcoholism as well as other trauma I experienced as a kid. In my 20’s, after having kids I found myself struggling with postpartum anxiety and feeling like I had lost myself in motherhood. During that time, I did talk therapy and tried medication for my anxiety. I found the therapy to be very helpful, but the medication was difficult for me to adjust to and I decided not to continue with it. In my early 30’s I started feeling better. My depression was gone, but my anxiety and feeling lost were still an issue. When I was about 33, I took a leap of faith and joined a network marketing company in hopes to gain an extra income to help support my family of 6. Looking back, I see that while making extra money was important, that wasn’t what attracted me the most. What I found mesmerizing was the powerhouse women I was being introduced to. They seemed to know exactly who they were and where they were going, and I wanted that.

The company was big on personal development and pushed us all to work on ourselves. It was then that I read the first of many personal development books to come. I also practiced using affirmations, listening to motivational speeches, making vision boards and so much more. I experienced such a drastic change from all these things that not only could I feel it, but my husband could see it too. Over the next year, I found myself. I remembered who I was at the core of me. I remembered how much I enjoyed crafting, how much I wanted to travel, that I loved to write, and all the rest of my big dreams. I learned how to control my anxiety too. It was then that I realized not only how important this work was but that other people, moms specifically could use it. I began sharing everything I learned with everyone around me, but that didn’t feel like enough so I started my social media page. Since then, I have traveled to Europe, Mexico, and within the U.S., I’ve volunteered my time to facilitate small group training on goal setting at a local Domestic Violence Shelter and in other small groups. I became a certified Resiliency Trainer for the highly esteemed FBINAA, and I’m currently working on self-publishing a mom journal.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Growth is usually uncomfortable because you are doing something you haven’t done before and that can be scary. With every big step, I’ve experienced some doubt and fear. For me, that manifests into procrastination, which drags out the doubt and fear I’m feeling. Over the years, I’ve learned how to move past those limiting beliefs so I could move forward in my purpose.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Having worked in law enforcement for over 18 years as a Police Cadet, 911 Dispatcher, and now Records Clerk, I have always had a heart to serve others. Five years ago, I felt the call to focus on taking my personal development to a new level. I committed to my practices and as a result, I had a newfound joy for work and life. I also realized that while I was passionate about helping others, my heart was most connected to helping moms who felt just like me so I began pouring my heart into social media with my experiences and information. Along the way, it became apparent to me that I could serve my law enforcement community as well. Together, with a co-worker/friend we combined our knowledge and began sharing in our Communications Center. Two years ago, we took our training a step further and became Resiliency Trainers for the highly esteemed FBINAA. This training has allowed us to teach other law enforcement officers and civilian employees techniques to keep them resilient in their highly stressful careers.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My advice to someone just starting out would be, “Don’t give up!” There have been so many times I’ve doubted myself and wondered if I was really making an impact, but five years later I can I know with certainty that not only have I made an impact, but I have more work to do. When you are passionate about what you are doing nothing can stop you but yourself. Do the work and if you feel any doubt, get down to the nitty-gritty of it. Why do you feel that doubt? Work through it. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.

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Image Credits:

Kristen Jauregui

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