How to be grateful for something and walk away from it

Ashley Chance
May 11th, 2023

I’m leaving a role that has been a dream during some pivotal moments in my life and in the world. My job as the Artemis Southeast Regional Coordinator saw me through becoming a mother during the height of the pandemic’s uncertainty. It brought me friendships that I had searched fruitlessly for, for years. Co-workers that I can’t begin to describe in their full awesomeness. Work that was aligned completely with my personal values.  

And now, I find myself walking away. Walking towards something to be sure, but still having to look over my shoulder at what used to be. It’s strange. I’m sure anyone reading this can identify with the feeling – we’ve all been in the position of leaving at some point in our lives.

Artemis is more than a group, more than a community. It is the embodiment of empowerment. For women that hunt and fish sure, but really for anyone who doesn’t feel like there is a space just for them in a pursuit (or let’s be honest – lifestyle) that they are driven towards. To be a part of Artemis is to raise your hand and say “I want to grow, I want to share my knowledge, I want to give to something bigger than me”. That’s powerful stuff, and that is what I’ve had the privilege of being immersed in for that last 2.5 years. Artemis would not be what it is without all of the authentic, dedicated, and badass women that have called, or do call themselves Ambassadors. They are the beating heart of this program and what has allowed us to reach across a nation with just 2.5 staff members. If you are an ambassador reading this – thank you. If you are anyone else, reach out to an ambassador and find out how you can plug in to the community they are building. As I said, its powerful stuff.

Watching the program grow from afar will be, to quote a co-worker, “bittersweet chocolate”. In life it seems timing is everything. This is my time to cheer from the bleachers rather than be on the ice with a stick. For anyone that didn’t land with – hockey is a normal sport where I grew up. My next official role is with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever as their Hunting Heritage Program Manager. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned as part of Artemis and apply it in a new (but similar) capacity. Until next time, be bold, stay curious and get outside!