Let’s be real: we do not have any choice in where we live. The military picks a place and we go.
Sometimes you luck out. You move to a place with lots of sunshine, warm temperatures, amazing friends and maybe even some beautiful beaches.
Other times you get stuck in a less than desirable location. Suddenly you’re in the middle of nowhere, with just the buffalo for company.
My ideal duty station might be totally different from yours. But we all have them: places that we never want to live. Ever.
This can make it seem like we HAVE to enjoy where we live or we’re not being good military spouses. That if we dislike something, anything, about the current duty station that we are simply terrible people.
So not the case. At all.
Repeat After Me: You’re Not Going to Love Every Duty Station and That’s OK
There are so many reasons to dislike or outright hate the place you are currently living. It could be anything, from the job prospects to the climate, from the people around you to your spouse’s schedule.
These little, and not so little, things can really add up and influence your opinion of a military base.
For me, I need to be near water. Not necessarily the ocean, although that is preferred. Being landlocked would drive me absolutely nuts! Luckily, those choices are limited for my family right now.
I don’t think that I would do well in, say, Fort Sill, Okla. I would have a hard time blooming there.
In fact, I might go dormant.
Now, San Diego…If we got sent there again, I would be over the moon! I’d be blooming all over SoCal.
You don’t need to justify your feelings.
Chalk this up as something you don’t need to do anymore. Your best place ever might be someone else’s living nightmare.
Instead of trying to “just” explain away why you don’t quite feel at home in your new hometown, own it. It might “just” not be the kind of place that you enjoy. Or the humidity might destroy your curls. You might be a country girl stuck in the city, or vice versa. The school options might be limited or the house you got saddled with is a dump.
There are as many reasons to dislike somewhere as there are stars in the sky. And you do not need to explain it to anyone else. Even if your friend LOVES that place. Even if you thought that you would love it too.
The only opinion that matters is your own. And maybe your spouse. And the kids. But that’s it!
It’s OK to countdown to moving day.
I’ll admit it, I’m kind of doing this right now. Not because I hate where I live, but because I would rather live somewhere else. I miss the last 2 places we got stationed with a deep ache.
So I’m counting down to moving day already.
In 2 or so more years, we get to roll the dice again and hope for a location that works for our family a little bit better.
Counting down shows that you have hope that you will like the next place more. It shows that you are still in the game and willing to play.
It’s OK to complain.
Everyone needs an outlet. It’s fine to let it out, to moan and groan about the things you don’t like about your duty station.
Even while you’re dissing on the place, it’s super important to not let the negative overwhelm the positive. You can dislike the place or the situation, and still find at least one thing that you can tolerate.
In the middle of disliking your base, seek out something that makes you smile. It could be that the barista at the local cafe makes your soy macchiato just right. At least you’ll be caffeinated while you complain!
It’s OK to not love where you are stationed.
Seriously. It’s fine.
You’re playing the odds and rolling the dice every time orders are pending. Sometimes you win. And other times you get the short stick.
If you land somewhere that was last on your list, it’s perfectly OK to dislike where you live. It’s even OK to outright hate it.
In 3 years, maybe less, you get to play the PCS game again. You’ll have the chance to move somewhere much, much better.