As military spouses, we are no strangers to being new kids on the block. With a new duty station every few years, we learn to make fast friends with other military spouses and our neighbors. We are networking masters. Did you say your uncle’s wife’s cousin’s daughter lives in Norfolk? Great! I’d love to grab a coffee with her!
I made my first military move a year ago. I still have my best friends since kindergarten and my college besties who are the most amazing, brilliant women, but they’re scattered all across the globe (literally). I know that I can call them anytime if I need too, but they’re not going to be much help if my car breaks down on the interstate and Bae is on a ship in the Pacific with zero access to his cell phone.
As military spouses, we often make friends where we are out of necessity – and that’s not a bad thing.
But what happens to those friendships when we get our PCS orders to move across the country?
Recently, I read an article in The Atlantic that suggested modern friendship is disposable. According to the article, millennials move around a lot; each time we leave a city, we leave our friendships behind too. It’s both an interesting and disheartening premise.
Military spouses are all too aware there is an expiration date for any new place we go. Does that automatically place our friendships in the toss pile when we move?
I call B.S. on this idea that modern friendships are disposable. My friends are my friends and I couldn’t toss any of them out with the trash.
Do we lean on some friends more than others because we live in the same place and are going through the same things?
Do friendships sometimes end unexpectedly?
Does that make friendship disposable?
Whether it lasted or not, friendships are not something that can be tossed as easily as an empty soda bottle.
Military spouses, especially, understand the value of having a large, interconnected social network. We may be moving soon, but I’d argue that my military spouse friendships grow stronger with distance because we know just how hard it is to make and maintain friendships.
I know that I can hop on Facebook when I have a Tricare question, and in under a minute my tribe will be offering words of wisdom, support and commiseration. Or when hubby is deployed, a saint from our last duty station might send me a surprise care package.
I’ve always loved the saying, “Bloom where you are planted” and I definitely think that applies to friendships.
Make friends where ever you go – you’ll need them.
Friendships need maintenance, and if you don’t want to put in the work to keep them blooming, then of course they’re not going to make it. Sometimes that’s OK too.
But I’m a millennial, and my friendships, like my deli-meat containers turned Tupperware, are definitely not going anywhere any time soon, no matter where we go next.