Episode 180: Never too late to chase your dreams with Annette Whittenberger

August 23, 2023

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Prepare yourself for an awe-inspiring journey with Annette Wittenberger, a woman of great strength and resilience. Annette, a retired military veteran of over 17 years, soon-to-be grandmother, and empowering podcast host, opens up about her mental health struggles just on the brink of her retirement.

Annette’s transition from military life to civilian was a daunting one, but she bravely managed and emerged stronger, sharing her experiences with others. As we discuss her life’s journey, you’ll find solace and strength in her story of navigating her struggles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. She instills the importance of focusing on one’s self amid the changes we undergo, and assures us that it’s okay not to be okay. Her story stands as an empowering testament to the strength of the human spirit and the liberating power of self-awareness.

Just when you thought you knew Annette, she surprises us by stepping into a new role at 48 – a songwriter, producer, and independent artist. She taps into her creativity by writing music that heals. Her story is a testament to the fact that age is just a number and it’s never too late to chase our dreams. Wrapping up our conversation, Annette emphasizes the crucial role a strong support network plays in achieving our dreams, while also shedding light on the fine line between self-doubt and constructive criticism. This episode is a gentle reminder that it’s important to support and encourage those around us, regardless of age. So tune in, as Annette’s incredible story of resilience and transformation awaits you.

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Annette Whittenberger


[00:00:55] Wendi Wray: Hello ladies and welcome to episode [00:01:00] 180. I have a treat for you all today. I am so happy to be here with my special guest, which I cannot wait to share with you how we met, how we connected, and just how much I love her personality. And honestly, like I, I just love this whole, you know, connection through social media, especially LinkedIn. That’s how Annette and I connected. And just to give you a little bit of background, I Typically don’t respond right away when they connect with me and they say, Hey, just, you know, wanna learn more about what you’re doing or just, uh, you know, a genuine connection. Um, but this connection was a little bit more than a typical one.

[00:01:38] Wendi Wray: And I don’t know what it was about Annette, um, that I’m gonna introduce or allow her to introduce herself here shortly. But she had this like just genuine. Um, connection and curiosity about not only what I was doing, but also the podcast and just her own willingness to share what she has on this platform. [00:02:00] And so she and I connected. She scheduled a call right away. We met as an introduction call, which by the way, if you’re a woman veteran out there and you have a business or you are focused on mental health, or you’re just a woman that wants to continue to empower, encourage other women, please reach out to me.

[00:02:18] Wendi Wray: I’m happy to not only showcase you here on this podcast, but. Also possibly other things that we could collaborate on. And so when Annette connected with me and we talked about everything that she does, which by the way, she’s doing amazing things and her focus being mental health and how she wanted to share this opportunity with all of us, I figured why not? And let me. Not only hear more, but I want to know more about you. And so I tune into her podcast. She’s also a podcast host and she helps women in business. She helps really veterans in business, any veteran that is possibly struggling with mental health, um, someone that’s seeking mentorship. And so today I figured [00:03:00] I not only introduce you to her, but really encourage you to, Take notes from what she has to, um, offer. And also really the topic for today, which by the way, we were talking about it and we’re like, this is something that women over 45 need to hear today. So I really hope, um, and even if you’re not 45 yet, even if you’re like in your thirties or maybe you’re still, you know, a young person that’s like in their eighteens, maybe under 25, this is also for you because when I tell you, How we show up and how we encourage others around us really makes an impact. And today, you know, regardless if you’re in the military or you’re working in corporate, there will be other women around you that are older than you, and sometimes need that encouragement as well. And so today I introduce you to Annette. Annette. Please introduce us. Introduce yourself.

[00:03:53] Annette Whittenberger: Hi, . Hi everybody. Uh, so I am Annette Wittenberger. I am a mom to two young adults [00:04:00] in their twenties, um, a soon to be grandma and a retired veteran of over

[00:04:05] Annette Whittenberger: 17

[00:04:06] Wendi Wray: Yay.

[00:04:06] Annette Whittenberger: I retired in 2016. And , and then I’ll get into the whole, um, my purpose after, after the military beyond, beyond the military.

[00:04:22] Wendi Wray: That’s so amazing Annette. Thank you so much for that. And I just love that you said that you’re gonna be a grandma soon. I’m pretty sure. That’s super exciting. Like I cannot imagine, you know, like just thinking of my kids’ little ones. So congratulations. I cannot wait to see pictures ’cause I know you’ll post ’em.

[00:04:38] Wendi Wray: So I’m excited for that. Annette, tell us a little bit about your, your journey in the military. I know you also mentioned, um, you’re a military spouse. Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey and how that came about?

[00:04:55] Annette Whittenberger: Yes. So I got married right out of college. I was 22, [00:05:00] 23. I commissioned as a, as a, uh, chemical officer. So my first duty assignment, I was already trying to figure out how to be a, a. Young officer, a young spouse, and then a young mother. Uh, I’ve been married for over 25 years, so I never had a chance to figure out who I was by myself because I had to learn how to do all those roles at the same time.

[00:05:25] Annette Whittenberger: And it was, um, it was a challenge for sure. Dual military life was, was a struggle.

[00:05:32] Wendi Wray: Yeah. Yeah, no, I hear you loud and clear. It is definitely a struggle because you are most of the time just keeping your head above water. You’re like, okay, I’m focused on my career, but I also have Other duties, other obligations, other responsibilities. So for all my dual military ladies out there, we get it. And Annette share with us a little bit more on, um, [00:06:00] you know, you eventually got out, you said 2016, which time goes by so quickly, doesn’t it? Like now it’s been over what, 10 years. And

[00:06:09] Wendi Wray: here you are doing not only continuing to support veterans, but also now just focused on how you want to live your life. after, you know, your, um, your time in the military and even during your, your time as a military spouse, correct? Because your husband is still in the service.

[00:06:32] Annette Whittenberger: Right. So I, um, I struggled a lot. I, I retired a lot sooner than I had anticipated, and it was a rush. It was a rush of how to. Be a civilian. And I had six months to figure it out. And so I, I struggled a lot and I think that’s where I finally realized that all this time I had mental health struggles, but we didn’t talk about it.

[00:06:59] Annette Whittenberger: You know, [00:07:00] we were raised to be strong and tough, especially as a female and as a leader and the spouse and a mom, and wearing all the hats. So I didn’t know that I had so many issues until right before retirement and. That is when I realized that if I don’t say something now, I’m not gonna make it. And I, after speaking with a couple of soldiers that, that I had served under me, um, they told me that they were struggling too.

[00:07:32] Annette Whittenberger: But nobody talks about the struggle. It’s like, oh my God, you should be happy you’re outta the military. But for a, a lot of us, that wasn’t the case. And. So it was really that that’s really hard to talk about. Even now, sometimes there are a lot of other service members that are out that think, well, you should be fine.

[00:07:53] Annette Whittenberger: Like there’s, what’s the problem? And there’s times where I wanna use my voice to say [00:08:00] something, but then I’m like, I don’t even wanna fight about it because everyone’s different. And so my focus after . Taking off the uniform was, well, what am I now? When people ask me, who is Annette? I didn’t know who I was because I relied on the rank in the uniform.

[00:08:22] Annette Whittenberger: And that piece of pep paper, the o e r, that’s who def, that’s what defined me. That’s what told me

[00:08:29] Annette Whittenberger: you were a good person. ’cause you spent so many years looking at that paper saying, well man, I must have sucked. Or, oh, I’m a good leader. So you didn’t have that anymore . So it was like

[00:08:41] Annette Whittenberger: you either needed the confirmation from other people or you had to learn how to figure out yourself deep inside Who that You don’t need that from people anymore, you know?

[00:08:55] Annette Whittenberger: And that’s

[00:08:56] Annette Whittenberger: that’s hard.

[00:08:59] Wendi Wray: [00:09:00] Yeah, no,

[00:09:01] Annette Whittenberger: So I

[00:09:02] Wendi Wray: love that you said that. Oh, go ahead.

[00:09:10] Annette Whittenberger: Oh,

[00:09:11] Annette Whittenberger: no. It’s okay. I, I just, I, I think so, but it’s, it’s okay. I, the, the thing that I was gonna say was I had to learn how to use my voice, and to me, that turned into what I started was a blog back in 2017, and the blog has grown from there. But I think I just needed to just share the, share with the world because I.

[00:09:36] Annette Whittenberger: I needed to feel like I wasn’t alone, and I needed others to feel that it was okay to finally say something. And so that’s,

[00:09:47] Annette Whittenberger: that’s how it all started.

[00:09:53] Wendi Wray: Yeah. No, I love that. And like you mentioned earlier, people or other veterans assume that [00:10:00] once you get out that it’s just going to be. Roses and it’s gonna be great and it’s gonna get better. And don’t get me wrong, of course there will be days that are, you know, a lot better than the full agenda that you have from four in the morning all the way to like 7:00 PM at night. But that does not take away that you’re still human and that you still have a brain that is constantly offering you all these negative thoughts and it’s offering you experiences that you wish you would’ve done differently or maybe other challenges that you maybe dealt. In a way that you possibly didn’t, didn’t want to or didn’t have the outcome that you expected, right? And so 100% on that. And so for you, I know you mentioned a blog, a podcast, and so now, um, Annette, as you are figuring yourself out and you’re like, okay, now that I am, um, a mom that has, or my kids are becoming adults and my husband is, you know, [00:11:00] doing pretty well in the military now, now it’s My turn right now, it’s your turn to focus on you and for all the women out there, you know, that are possibly struggling with this too.

[00:11:11] Wendi Wray: I think we all struggle with this identity shift as our lives keep evolving, as we continue to turn to different chapters and it, it becomes hard because most of the time we’re focused on others, so it’s a little easier for us to just Kind of come along that journey. But now as your kids have, you know, now they’re adults or on their own, your husband is, is doing amazing. He, he, not that he doesn’t need you, he does, but in a different way Right now it’s more of, okay, how can we support each other without having so much responsibility. And now you being on your own, how has that, um, really looked like for you? Based on where you’re at now, because I, I hear you’re doing a lot of great things and I, I’m [00:12:00] really excited for everyone to hear what you have going on now.

[00:12:08] Annette Whittenberger: I have to say it’s, it’s still a challenge. There’s still days because, you know, I do live with, um, P T S D, depression and anxiety, and he doesn’t understand those, you know, he’s, he is a very, um, Just a totally different person than me. And so, uh, as I learned to navigate through my own struggles and still figure out who I am and what I wanna do with my life, um, I.

[00:12:37] Annette Whittenberger: It’s, it’s almost, it’s a little bit freeing, but it’s also a struggle and it’s never gonna be a perfect day, I think. And that, and that for me, that’s okay to say, you know, social media makes, it, makes it look like, oh my God, you’re doing so great. You’re doing so many things, you’re so famous. No, no, no, no,

[00:12:54] Annette Whittenberger: I’m just trying to make it and, and, I want people to know that you know, that [00:13:00] now that my kids are , That are older, I want them to know it’s okay to talk about things. You know, all the years of them, of trying to raise them in the military life, they were young, so they didn’t really understand all that.

[00:13:14] Annette Whittenberger: But now it’s like, okay, now it’s time Your generation needs to know. And so that’s, that’s my whole thing now, is to leave a legacy of, of knowing that it’s okay to to be, to not be okay. Um, And I use, I do use all the platforms possible to help other people learn to live with their mental health struggles instead of suffer from them.

[00:13:38] Annette Whittenberger: A lot of us suffer ’cause we don’t know what to do. We don’t know resources, we don’t know people, we don’t know all the, we don’t know what we don’t know. And so that’s where I come in and say, look,

[00:13:48] Annette Whittenberger: please talk to this person. This person knows, this person understands or talk to me. So it’s um, It’s still a challenge, [00:14:00] but it’s okay.

[00:14:01] Annette Whittenberger: You know, it, it really is. It’s okay. ’cause we’re just trying to live life no matter what age we are, you know? And trying to be that person for our kids, for our spouse, for, for whoever

[00:14:12] Annette Whittenberger: it is.

[00:14:16] Wendi Wray: Yeah. And I love how your podcast is a wild ride called life, which of course it’s the most wild life. I mean, journey ride that we would take on, right? And so you hit on a great point now I. Regardless of your age, right? Like we all have struggles, like there’s always something in our lives, you know, obstacles, challenges, and especially when you are someone that wants to keep going, right?

[00:14:44] Wendi Wray: Like when there’s goals and you have maybe big dreams, big audacious goals, there will always be like this self-doubt. There will be this wanting of just not go forth with it because, [00:15:00] There’s a lot of. Stuff happening in our minds that are telling us otherwise, right? Maybe, you know, um, the, you can’t do this anymore because of, you know, you have two kids, or, you know, you still have to support your husband or, you know, you’re getting older, whatever that may be. Or maybe even, you know, you’re struggling with P T S D, you’re not the person for this, right? Like, there’s so many things that it’s being offered. We’re thinking all these great things. We’re like, we can do this, we can do that. But then we get to that point where our minds are like pretty much winning and telling us and reminding us that we can’t do certain things. Um, have you felt that way? And I know you and I talked about this before we started recording, but. Can you give us an example, or maybe, you know, maybe you’re going through it now, where you sometimes think that you know what, what I’m doing is not even going to like, make an impact [00:16:00] and maybe you should stop what you’re doing or anything that is keeping you from possibly even like looking at all the great things that are gonna come out of this.

[00:16:12] Track 1: No, a absolutely, um, imposter syndrome. It, it hits you hard on certain days where you feel like, well, how come I can’t

[00:16:21] Track 1: be that person? Or How come I’m not as successful as that person? And so it does, it hits, but I’m a, I believe I have, I have faith and I believe in higher power. I believe in God. So with that, I have to

[00:16:38] Track 1: Go back to my faith and say, God has put you in the place you’re supposed to be, um, at the time you’re supposed to be there. So that one thing may not have happened for me because I wasn’t ready. Um, even though in my mind I’m like, I’m ready. I could do this now. He’s like, no, you’re not . Um, and with the one thing that you

[00:16:58] Track 1: said with thinking, well, [00:17:00] you have P T S D, you’re not meant for this, you are meant for whoever,

[00:17:06] Track 1: You want to be meant for? Like, I, it never stops seeking opportunities. Never stop doing what sets your soul on fire. It, it is. Our mind always wins, but if we want something, it’ll come when it’s meant to come. And I truly believe that there’s, it has taken me seven years to get to where I’m at, because now I’m ready for it.

[00:17:28] Track 1: I wasn’t before and I, I think people need to hear that. I think people need to really believe in the fact that it’ll come if it’s meant to. You know, we don’t, if we rush it and we push it, then it’s not gonna end. We’re not gonna get the results we want. Just because we have P T S D depression, anxiety, trauma doesn’t mean that you can’t do what you want.

[00:17:50] Track 1: Um, we just need to learn to stop suffering from it and letting it hinder us to the point where it completely paralyzes us because I’ve been there. [00:18:00] I have started over

[00:18:02] Track 1: in so many different things and people make fun of me ’cause they’re like, Annette, Annette, you need to find what you need to find a niche.

[00:18:08] Track 1: And I’m like, no. My niche is all the things that I do because that’s , that’s what I’m passionate about, you know? And I’m not,

[00:18:18] Track 1: stop.

[00:18:19] Wendi Wray: Yeah.

[00:18:19] Annette Whittenberger: I have helped people in each one of those categories. And I know that I’m meant to do that when it stops and, and I am no longer to help people, I will redirect them to somebody else.

[00:18:33] Annette Whittenberger: I will never claim to have all the answers, but I will help in any way possible doing those 50 things. It sounds cra crazy to some people, but when I’ll go back to doing what sets your soul on fire. That’s what it does. And you know, some people think

[00:18:48] Annette Whittenberger: I was too old to do what we’ll talk about next, but um, I did it and I made it, and I prayed every single day.

[00:18:56] Annette Whittenberger: My God, if I’m supposed to do this, help me get through it because I [00:19:00] don’t know if I’m gonna make it. And, And, you will. So I

[00:19:05] Annette Whittenberger: just love, I just love to, and I do that with my kids. If this is what you wanna do, we will help you do it. You just have to really commit. You have to want it. What is your why? Why do you do it?

[00:19:18] Annette Whittenberger: You know, if it, I,

[00:19:19] Annette Whittenberger: I just that that’s, That’s the one thing that I always have to go back to is what, what is your why?

[00:19:27] Wendi Wray: Yeah. 100%. I love that. And I love that you, you know, shared with us kind of like, what are these like limiting beliefs that others will put on us, right? Others will say, well, you’re too old and that’s crazy. But the crazier part of this is that we’ll sometimes believe them. And so, you know, now that

[00:19:48] Wendi Wray: you’ve brought us to this topic, I think that this is something that we really need to talk about more, especially as we’re getting older. For those of you that are listening in that are over the age of 40, [00:20:00] and listen, I’m getting to this year, I’ll be 34. I am just really excited to not only turn 24 and you know, I’m blessed and I’m thankful, but I’m also like already planning, you know, what would my 40th look like, right? Like where do I wanna be?

[00:20:16] Wendi Wray: Like how do I wanna be when I’m 40? And not in a way where like, what do I wanna have, like tangibles, but like where do I wanna be mentally and emotionally? Right? And I think

[00:20:26] Wendi Wray: that that’s something that we don’t focus on a lot. We’re focused so much on these other like Tangible goals. I wanna have this degree and I wanna have this home and this vehicle and X amount in the bank and have so many houses, or real estate, whatever it may be. But we really don’t focus on how do we want to show up and how, like who we want to become at that age. Right. And a lot of us, like at least I’ll, you know, speaking about me here, when I was younger, I used to be like, oh my gosh, I wonder. How it’s gonna be when [00:21:00] I’m 35. Like I used to dread even thinking about 35 and now as I’m, you know, getting older and I am always involved in like self-development and, you know, how do I help myself so that I can help others around me because I mean, I. We all know here we are women of service. Like we love to serve, we love to give back. And that’s just who we are. And another reason why I love other women veterans and you know, female veterans because that’s just our innate nature. And so for you, can you share with us, Annette, I think this is something that everyone needs to hear, you know, what is it that you’re working on and why now?

[00:21:39] Wendi Wray: Like what is it about you and I And I think you mentioned, um, 47. Is your age now or you’re going to be this year, but I think that that’s like a beautiful thing. And so can you elaborate on everything that you’re working on? Even at 47?

[00:21:58] Track 1: Yeah, so I actually turned [00:22:00] 48 on July 24th . So, but last year, um, I decided to go, I had an opportunity to go back to, to school. I. It was a program that was offered to to veterans, and I was like, I’m just gonna try it. I’m just gonna try it. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. And the, because I’m in the mental health field, I was leaning towards being a mental health specialist and I wanted to see, you know, where can I go with that?

[00:22:30] Track 1: But something stuck. Stuck stuck out at me that was like screaming at my 16 year old self. When I was in my, when I was in my teens, I wanted to be a famous singer. I wanted to, I played piano, I sung, I did all the things, but then I stopped it because of self-doubt. So I did the military, did all that thing la So last year, uh, I had the opportunity to apply for, uh, music school.

[00:22:56] Track 1: I said, you know what? My kids were like, mom, you’re in the mental health field. [00:23:00] Why don’t you do this? It’s like, I just, something I wanted, I wanna do this music thing. I went to music school. It was a very, um, condensed version. Very, very demanding, just like losing my shit over every day. But I did it. I, I graduated with a, um, I am a songwriter, producer, independent music artist, and I worked on a couple of songs that were just projects, but I decided that I wanted to do something with these projects and like, I didn’t do this for nothing.

[00:23:34] Track 1: we’re gonna make something happen. And I, um, I finished them and now I just, uh, approved my cover art for my EP and I will have it published. I will literally have two songs published that my daughter

[00:23:48] Wendi Wray: Nice.

[00:23:48] Annette Whittenberger: and wrote, and I produced

[00:23:54] Wendi Wray: Congratulations, Annette. Like,

[00:23:55] Annette Whittenberger: at 47

[00:23:56] Wendi Wray: Do we know when it’s coming out?

[00:23:59] Annette Whittenberger: Thank you. [00:24:00] I am, I gotta, I gotta see, there’s so many little things that, that need to happen, but I want, I’m hoping for, for the end of this month, so we’ll see. But I will definitely let you know. But it goes back to that fear of you. Maybe you should have done this instead of this. Or maybe you’re too old.

[00:24:23] Annette Whittenberger: Like why are you going back to school right now and why are you doing this? All of that happened, but something inside of me was like, I need to do it. I need to try it. Um, that’s what set my soul on fire music. How could I

[00:24:39] Annette Whittenberger: make that happen with mental health? We all listen, we all listen to something. It could be raised music, rap, music, classical meditation, something helps us heal and that’s what I wanna do.

[00:24:51] Annette Whittenberger: I want to use our words to create something . Beautiful. And as a matter of fact, the songs that [00:25:00] were written was right after my daughter’s very, very difficult breakup. So, but she used that as a part of her healing process. So that’s something that, that’s something I wanna do and I’m, I’m proud of it.

[00:25:17] Wendi Wray: I love it. I love it, and you should be, uh, really proud of this because this is something that you wanted to do a long time ago. That you’re like, you know what? I’m not ready. Like you said, right? We think we’re ready at the time you weren’t ready, but now, is the time that you possibly have more time on your hand, right?

[00:25:34] Wendi Wray: Maybe not too much, but you have some more, um, or at least time that you are able to focus on writing this music, and now you’re going to put this out to the world and help others that you may not even know. Right? Someone may listen to this in

[00:25:51] Wendi Wray: a couple of months and you may not even know this person, but this person is going to Not only feel better for, you know, or in, [00:26:00] like you mentioned, like in, in the process of dealing with what they’re going through, because we’re all going through something. It could be relationships, it could be financial, it could be emotional. It, it just, there’s always something that we’re constantly stressed about or overwhelmed because again, that’s just the nature of how our minds are. Not to mention you, you know, we’re in the military. Like that alone does a lot, you know, to our, our mental. And, um, wellbeing and everything else. And so I am really happy for you, Annette. And really this just shows, you know, for any of you that are listening that are, you know, over 40, over 50, over 60, like there’s never a time that you should. You know, stop just because of your age. Like, I think that that is something that we need to get better at doing. You know, we need to encourage older women. We need to encourage our elders. We need to encourage, um, everyone [00:27:00] around us, regardless of how old they are. Right. Even if, you know they’re only teenagers. That’s another thing. Right? And the podcast before this one, we share and we talk about Gen Z, right? Regardless of What generation you’re from, like this is the time for you to really focus on what is it that you’re desiring to do, and is this something that really aligns with your values? Right? I think we always forget that most of what we want to do comes from our beliefs, our foundation of, you know, values that we, that we have already, and so, Also, like you mentioned earlier, your why, right?

[00:27:40] Wendi Wray: Like the impact that it’s going to have. Like, and you may never know how many people it impact it, or you know, you may not even make money out of this, right? But you know in your heart that

[00:27:52] Wendi Wray: this is something that you needed to do, that you wanted to do in a way you know that you’re providing something [00:28:00] to someone, especially. You having all this experience and going through all these different experiences, and so I applaud you and I cannot wait for you to share with us, you know, your, your music. I’ll listen to it and you know, I just want to also, um, allow you to share, you know, if there’s one thing that you want older women to get out of this, like what would that be?

[00:28:36] Annette Whittenberger: Oh, I, like I mentioned before, I, I really think thinking back about what really does set your soul on fire, what do you want to do and not let our past traumas, you know, paralyze us from continuing to move forward. I think that’s one of the hardest things is because we live with so many, Struggles that [00:29:00] we don’t know how to move forward.

[00:29:01] Annette Whittenberger: So it stops us from doing everything else. And the other thing I think now in my at my age, the importance of your circle of, of people, you know, your core circle when we were younger was all about how popular we, we were, how many friends we had. Social media doesn’t help with that. But now I have a core of those women and men who, who

[00:29:26] Annette Whittenberger: Are there to tell me if that’s what you wanna do, how can we help you do it? That’s the kind of people you need. How can we help you? Yeah, that’s probably crazy. That is probably some real crazy stuff, but how can we help you do it? I have a friend who always did that. I was like, Hey Chris, I think I wanna make a music video deal.

[00:29:44] Annette Whittenberger: He’s like, Let’s, how can we make it happen? And that’s

[00:29:48] Annette Whittenberger: that’s who you need, I think now is to just how can we help you? And, and I think that’s one of the things I love about, because I’m also a big mentor. One of the things I love about mentoring is when [00:30:00] people call and they wanna know, how can I do this?

[00:30:02] Annette Whittenberger: I can do that. I was like, how can I help you do it? I, how can I help motivate you? Like, Um, who can I introduce you to? You need that kind of people, not someone who’s like, oh, don’t look. That’s a lot. Um, that’s gonna cost you much. You don’t need the self doubters. I know that. I know that we have people who are trying to be real, and I get that, but if there’s something that’s really inside of you, try it.

[00:30:28] Annette Whittenberger: At least try it. You know, and I wish I was, I wish I had your mentality at 34. I love how you are, like how can I plan my future? I wasn’t there yet. I was still trying to figure out how to survive in the military world, so I. I mean, I need to give credit to you too. ’cause you’re, you’re exactly what people need as well is, is to know how to plan for that.

[00:30:53] Annette Whittenberger: You know, even I, I mean, I’m not, I’m not saying that, um, at, at my age and other people at my [00:31:00] age who can’t, who can’t do it, but start now and it’s never too late. Just continue to keep going and, and I, I, don’t know. I just get, I get like, so passionate about it because I’m like, no, if you wanna do it, at least try it.

[00:31:12] Annette Whittenberger: At least try it.

[00:31:13] Wendi Wray: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, thank you Annette. Thank you so much for your kind words. And you know, it’s, you hit spot on. You need people around you that are going to encourage you. They may not believe it, right? They may not believe the full dream and, and everything. There’s always that one person that, like you mentioned, like, okay, how are we gonna make this happen?

[00:31:36] Wendi Wray: How can I help you? How can I support you? Oh, by the way, I know this one person that I can connect you with, right? There’s always that one person. We just have to really connect with them and be okay with getting help from them, because that’s another thing, right? And I think that’s a whole nother podcast episode for another time. We sometimes.

[00:31:54] Annette Whittenberger: Yes,

[00:31:55] Wendi Wray: Shy away from getting help because we’re like, wait, no, I can do it.

[00:31:59] Wendi Wray: I [00:32:00] know how to Google and I have a degree and I have family to help me, but we don’t let them help us. Kind of. There was this meme on, I think it was on Instagram, I can’t remember, or it was a reels, I can’t remember, but it says something along the lines of Um, is this, you, you’re always exhausted as a mom, but you never wanna, um, leave your kids with anybody else, And I was like, oh my gosh. It’s talking to me. I’m always like, oh my gosh, I’m so tired of the kids.

[00:32:29] Wendi Wray: But then I’m like, I don’t call anyone to help me with the kids. I’m like, so how am I going to recover?

[00:32:34] Wendi Wray: Right? And so we do this a lot. and you hit spot on Annette, like, I love that you said rely and depend on the people around you that are going to encourage you. That’s who we need. And of course, it’s okay if we have people that are like, oh no, Annette, it’s gonna be too much money. You know, you’re a little older, you know, all because. They also help us to identify the, the self-doubt that is happening, right? They’re just [00:33:00] voicing it out for us. It’s in here, but they’re helping us voicing it out. And I

[00:33:04] Wendi Wray: think the important thing too, that I wanna add to what you just said is to be able to discern when. You know that that’s, um, a self-doubt that you’re having, but also it’s something that the self-doubt that they’re putting on us as well.

[00:33:20] Wendi Wray: So being able to discern that

[00:33:22] Wendi Wray: and even pray about it, right. Like you said, praying about,

[00:33:26] Wendi Wray: you know, um, you know, not only strength, motivation and even, you know, how to get you connected with other people, because I truly believe that you and I, Annette, were connected. Not only because we happen to be on LinkedIn at the same time, but because God knows that we’re really trying to impact and make things happen for other women around us, especially the veteran community, the military community.

[00:33:49] Wendi Wray: So I’m just so grateful that you and I were able to connect and for you to come on here and share your story and encourage other women that are around your age, and even as 30 [00:34:00] year olds, sometimes for some reason we think that when we’re 30, we should have it all figured out. That we should have X amount of money in the bank.

[00:34:08] Wendi Wray: We should, you know, have this degree and have X amount of kids and you know, be well off. No, like this is just the beginning, like 40 is just the beginning 50. We’re not even barely halfway there. Right. I think even

[00:34:23] Wendi Wray: now, like we’re getting to a point where everyone is living, well, not everyone, but most of us are living, you know, over 80 years old, so it’s. There’s so much that we have to offer and let’s not use age, our age against us, our experience against us, like you said, our mental health. Let’s not use us against, let, lemme say that again. Don’t let us use that against us because at the end of the day, we do not know how many other people are struggling with it, and it’s a way that you could also encourage other people around you. So thank you [00:35:00] so much,

[00:35:00] Annette Whittenberger: Absolutely .Thank you.

[00:35:03] Wendi Wray: and now Annette, where can they find you?

[00:35:07] Annette Whittenberger: You can find me on basically all the platforms at a wild ride called

[00:35:14] Wendi Wray: I love that. Yeah, I see you a lot on LinkedIn, so I’m gonna continue to follow you on LinkedIn and I know you have a lot of great things coming up, so please keep us posted and listen, everyone ever, all of her information, everything will be in the show notes so you can find her there. And if you’re not driving, You can also find this on YouTube or if you just wanna see our beautiful faces, you can too.

[00:35:35] Wendi Wray: On our on the show notes, you’ll find the video. But thank you Annette, so much for tuning in and being here with us today for this interview. Thank you so much for your time and I really wish you the best, not only on what you’re doing now, but for many different other things I know you’re gonna be involved in.

[00:35:52] Wendi Wray: Thank you so much.

[00:35:54] Annette Whittenberger: Thank you.

[00:35:55] Wendi Wray: Have a great rest of your day everyone. Talk to you soon. Bye.