Mom, wife, military spouse, professional, daughter, sister, friend….all of these things are me, but I can’t tell you how many times I forget who I am. I am torn in so many different directions that I have problems putting the pieces of my identity all together. I’m constantly switching roles without truly digging in and getting in touch with who I am. It’s not that I don’t know who I am, it’s just all the different pieces of my life seem to be in constant conflict with one another…competing for my resources, time, energy, attention…that the big picture “ME” gets lost.
I know I’m not alone. I know that a lot women feel this way. Maybe you feel this way. Especially military spouses. We forget who we are. We forget our dreams and goals for ourselves. And it’s not intentional. That’s the problem.
So much of our lives are driven by our military lifestyle that we learn to be okay with putting things on hold temporarily. Just think of all the times you’ve thought:
“I might as well stay home, we’re only going to be here a year.”
“Once, baby is school-aged, I’ll go back to work/school/working out.”
“This is the best job I can get for this area.”
Goodness knows I get it. It’s such an easy pattern to start. It’s such a convenient story to tell yourself.
Are you Losing Yourself in Your Comfort Zone?
What’s that not-so-old-adage again? “Been there. Done that. Got that t-shirt,” right?
That’s kind of like the whole “temporary lifestyle” attitude. We get comfortable with the hustle and flow of our ever changing military lifestyle that it kind of becomes our badge of honor. Like an old reliable t-shirt.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to retire that old, comfy tee. It feels so good to slip on. It’s slightly worn. So soft to the touch.
Maybe you’ll pair it with a pair of baggy pj pants- the ones that you save for a rainy day. Before you know it, you’re grabbing the ice cream and wrapping yourself in a warm blanket as you sit down to watch the latest made-for-tv-movie marathon. You begin to forget your purpose.
Or ignore it.
Or a little of both.
You forget that vision you had for yourself. You forget the drive, passion, and excitement you felt when you thought about the future. You resign yourself to sitting and waiting for the right time, the right assignment, the starts to align and the Hallelujah orchestra to play on blast.
I’ve got news for you. The right time/place/star-alignment…it ain’t gonna happen. Not ever. Especially if you sit and wait for that moment to arrive. Sometimes you have to make that magic happen for yourself. But first you have to remember who you are.
You matter. Your dreams are real. Your goals are achievable. You have the strength and power to be you. You are a NextGen MilSpouse.
When It Comes to Remembering Who You Are, Don’t Confuse Complicated With Impossible
Military spouses don’t just wake up one morning and dismiss everything we’d worked so hard for. Yeah, life gets complicated. That’s life. But don’t make the mistake of confusing “complicated” with “impossible”.
We get married and have kids (or have kids and get married). We marry into the proud tradition of being a military spouse, and we’re damn proud, but that’s just one dimension of who we are.
So what if you’re only going to be somewhere a year? SO WHAT. A year is a long time, no matter what our military lifestyle might suggest. In a year you can change your life. Heck, some of you transform yourself over the course of a short deployment or TDY.
You’re telling me you can’t make time to remember who you are and what’s important to you?
If there is anything I know about today’s military spouse, is that you can hold down the home front, change a tire, install a faucet, sell a car, pack a home, buy a house, start a business, and wake up and do it all over again. Solo.
Tell Us: How do you make time to focus on you? Share your story, tips, or questions below!