You know when you start a new chapter in your life and there is excitement, fear, anxiety and stress all coming and going? Sometimes it’s a new job, new town, facing old demons, etc.
For me, that new chapter was dropping my husband off at the white buses before a big plane took him miles and miles away. I had no personal experience with military prior to marrying my husband, which means I had a lot to learn; actually I’m still learning.
I knew it would be tough and there would be hard days. I also knew that I had lived on my own before. I had taken care of myself and managed just fine. I knew my family would be there to lean on and that I had friends close by.
Here’s the thing, my family is even more green to military life than I am. They didn’t know how to be there for me. For them, our lives went back to the way things were before I was married. Coming home on the weekends and holidays like I did when I was in college. They even treated me like we went back in time three-four years before Justin was even in my life. It seemed like they constantly asked how Justin was doing, but failed to ask how I was holding up.
You see, every fall since kindergarten, I have been in school or working. I graduated last spring after finishing my student teaching. Unfortunately, there were no positions available here locally; which wasn’t a bad thing since I bumped my head and ended up with a concussion before Memorial Day. My husband and I talked and decided it would be best for me to take the summer off and try to let my brain heal. When fall rolled around (and Justin deployed) I felt lost. I didn’t know anyone in the town. I felt like an outsider.
I couldn’t tell how much of it was genuinely missing my husband and trying to adjust to the changes and responsibilities; or feeling off, out-of-place, even worthless because I wasn’t significantly contributing financially.
I reached out to friends and they all said “we need to get together” but when it came time to actually meet up … nothing. I couldn’t and still can’t get upset, I know they are all busy. None of them have been this deep in military life. There are things I could have done prior to the deployment to ensure and secure my support system.
Some days I’m up at 6am and rocking my day; sticking to my schedule, and generally feeling good. Other days, I stay in my pjs, eat straight out of the container/bag, and strengthen my relationship with Netflix. I have strayed some and dabbled a little with Hulu and Amazon video 😉
It isn’t the balance I was hoping to achieve when I set my New Year’s resolutions, but I’m a rookie. I know that isn’t an excuse or even an acceptable response coming from an adult, but that’s all part of figuring things out… I think.
We are near the end of the deployment. I’m healthy, the dog is still alive, and the house is still standing with minimum destruction. I wasn’t the most productive, the kindest, or even the most social. I’m not looking for sympathy or pity, I’m just reflecting on how things went the last few months; what I kind of learned about myself and those close to me. This is just the base, the first chapter in my life as an Air Force wife; good or bad, happy or disappointed; we all have to start somewhere.