Each week, our Friday Feature will celebrate powerful women from our tribe who share their magic with the world in unique and inspiring ways. This week, we chatted with Petty Officer First Class Aubree Miller, a tribe member who is a a mother, a US Navy Sailor, a lifter, and an independent woman who chooses herself. An especially poignant moment we got to be part of with Aubree (pictured just below) was when she received her First Class crows (indicates her new rank in the Navy, from Petty Officer Second Class, to Petty Officer, First Class). While formatting this feature, I found myself in tears. I admire her so much, and know you will, too.
When you were a child, what made you the happiest?
Growing up, I loved playing sports. Being out on the field or court, seeing my parents cheering me on from the sidelines, made me the happiest, no matter the sport, or the outcome. Their support meant the most to me. One or both of them came to every game, regardless of the weather or the distance they had to travel, they were there.
What inspired you to do what you’re doing in your career at this time?
I got to a point in my life where I didn't know what I was doing anymore. I had received my Associates' degree and had spent 3 months living in Bali, Indonesia, basically one long vacation. I got back and went back to what I was doing before I left: working at a grocery store. I had considered joining the Navy back in high school, and my parents asked if it was still something I wanted to do. It felt like as good a time as any, so at 22, I enlisted and went off to boot camp. It was the best decision I had ever made.
Can you give us a story that exemplifies why you get fulfillment out of the work you do?
A lot of the things I do for work are behind closed doors and stay that way. Something as simple as a "Thank you for your service" is more than enough fulfillment for me.
Is there a roadblock you had to overcome to get where you are today? How did you do it?
Being a single mom in the military is not easy. All I can really do is take life and work day by day, and to not be afraid to ask for help from my support system when I need it.
What does choosing yourself mean to you?
Choosing myself means taking care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally and putting those needs ahead of others. If I can't take care of myself, choose and love myself, how can I expect to do those things for someone else? You can't properly navigate through your own life if you are constantly bending to the will and needs of others and putting yourself last.
How do you practice self love and care on a daily/weekly basis?
I meditate most mornings and get a good stretch in before I start my day. I also go to the gym typically five days a week, as it is my happy place and keeps me focused. If I am in any situation where I am overwhelmed or uncomfortable, I take 5 minutes to myself to recenter and relax.
What is your advice to your 10 year old, 18 year old, 25 and 30 year old self (as applicable)?
My advice to myself for every age is to be your true self, to live in the moment, not worry about the future or what other people think. Trust your instinct, and follow your heart.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love most that I am empathic and unabashedly me. It can be incredibly overwhelming at times to feel so much, but I prefer that to feeling little or nothing at all. I do my best to protect myself, but helping others makes me feel fulfilled.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far?
I am most proud to be the single mother of an outspoken, sweet but sassy, giggly, multifaceted, and resilient little girl.
What is your message for our tribe?
These are not my words, but they always resonate with me. "You will be too much for some people. Those are not your people." Be your own person, love yourself proudly, take care of your heart.
Anything else you'd like to share?
You are worthy.
Finish these sentences:
Women should: love themselves, unabashedly, while also loving, cherishing, and supporting the women in their life.
Women can: do anything and everything.
Women will: continue to thrive. The future is female.
I am: a mother, a US Navy Sailor, a lifter, an independent woman and I choose me.
How people can connect with you?