A couple weeks back “Sex and the City” came on cable. My spouse was doing something on the computer and I had a project to finish, so I thought the movie would be good background noise.
As I sat there re-watching the first scene, I found myself sucked in because it brought back a flood of memories from more than 10 years ago. At the beginning of the movie, Carrie Bradshaw explains the moment she arrived in New York City and I immediately remembered my own personal experience.
At 18, I moved from Texas to start college in NYC. After graduating, I started a career. Although I wasn’t an exact representation of Carrie Bradshaw, I did also have a love for the city that shaped me. The opportunity and excitement was what drew me into the city. Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself leaving.
But, a soldier came into my life in the most unexpected and amazing way. And, at 28, I moved out to start a new adventure.
I wouldn’t re-do anything if I had the chance. I’m so happy with how things have come together (besides military forced separation, of course). I just had this moment, sitting next to my spouse, while my cat ran around the living room, when I realized, am I any different?
As the movie ended, I began to cry because I’ve realized how far I’ve gone since the 22 year old that saw “Sex in the City” for the first time. I feel a little silly for having this movie affect me so much now, but my life has drastically changed.
I can’t walk around Central Park whenever I feel like it.
I now have to wait for traveling Broadway shows, if I want my live musical fix.
The sounds of sirens and plates smashing on the street are no more (I lived in a predominantly Greek neighborhood).
My 18-year-old self would have been like,
“what are you doing?! You’ve worked so hard to bring yourself to where you are at. Why are you going to marry a soldier?”
It does seem like I left my life behind for a man. What my younger self doesn’t realize is that I was actually making the decision for myself and despite all the little details of my life that are different, I’m still the same person that left the city.
I still bite my nails when I’m nervous.
I still snort when I’m laughing.
I still LOVE the Yankees.
And most importantly, I still have a passion to do the best for myself no matter what the circumstances.
When we become a significant other to a service member, it seems like a struggle to keep your identity. You’re dealt a different hand of cards than your civilian friends and it’s a constant battle of dealing with the unexpected.
I’m here to tell you the goods news.
After my emotional moment was over, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always been and done the things that were true to myself.
Even when it feels like military life may have changed more than your address, you are still you.
Because you agreed to share your life with a service member, you already are amazing, please remember that. You’ve accepted a rewarding challenge.
We might not be exactly where we expected to be in our lives, but the one thing that’s for certain is that we can always be our best selves. Watching the “Sex and the City” movie again was my aha moment that showed me that being true to ourselves is what makes us genuinely ourselves no matter the lifestyle we’re in.
You will always be you.