My life has been far from what I expected. And that makes it beautiful, exhilarating, and, at times, terrifying. I’ve come a long way in learning to accept my circumstances, to not fight vehemently against what life brings my way.
Last weekend, I attended a seminar for military wives with a friend. We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, but we welcomed the opportunity for little getaway and some time to unwind. What drew us to the event was a performance by a comedienne who wrote a book we both found charming and entertaining – Confessions of a Military Wife. While I was reading this book, there were so many moments I felt validated and understood (albeit by a complete stranger) because there was someone else who felt the way I did. Before our witty author took the stage, there was a panel discussion, complete with lots of time for “audience participation”. What took place seemed to be a venting/complaining/woe-is-me session by the women in attendance. I had expressed to Ben this was a fear of mine before going – that it would be a day of “our-life-is-so-hard” wallowing.
I agree, the military lifestyle is not easy. It drains you. But it is also full of incredible opportunities. It is a life that embodies community, sacrifice, and love in a way that I have never experienced before. There is something truly special about a group of individuals who have volunteered to dedicate their talents and time to benefit and protect others. I came away from our day a bit disappointed in the seminar, but thankful for the time spent with my friend. There is such a strong unspoken bond among those who know first-hand what your life is like. It has been difficult for me to not feel understood by friends and family at times. It is not because they don’t care to, it is simply because they haven’t lived it.
Ben and I had the opportunity to celebrate the major accomplishment of one of our dearest friends this week – he got his wings! (Think of it as graduating from flight school…) It was a wonderful day – and a timely reminder that life in the Navy is full of great things. Soon, he and other friends of ours will be leaving us for their next duty stations. It’s sad to think of, but I have hope that we’ll be meeting up with some of them soon. We’ve come to be a family here.
Each day, I am reminded of how blessed my life is, how fortunate I am to share this life with the man I love. Our life has not followed a conventional or predictable path, but that is part of what makes it wonderful. As long as I am with him, I’m home.