Am I cut out for being a military wife?

It’s gettin’ real, folks, this Air Force thing.

My husband is going to Officer Training School in nine weeks and we are moving this June.

I expect the wide-eyed “WOW!!” when I tell people about our plans. I see their eyes though. Their eyes say, “Woah. You’re insane, girl. How are you going to handle four kids (Plus autism. Plus ADHD), a husband in the Air Force, and being a military wife?”

But they don’t say that with their mouths. Instead, they clutch my forearm and gush, “It is going to be such an adventure!”

“I know!” I agree. “An adventure for sure!” and I smile in what I hope is a genuine way.

 I’m am excited. I’m supporting my husband 100%.

But I’m kind of freaking out. Just a little bit (or a lot a bit).

Honestly, I have no clue what to expect with military life and I wonder if I’m really, really cut out for it.

Adventure is out there! I keep telling myself. But then I wonder, is it in here? Inside me? Am I cut out for adventure?
I hate packing.
I hate moving.
I hate being off-schedule.
I hate feeling unsettled.

Am I going to suck as a military wife?

Why did I think I could do this?

I am not an adventurous person.
I’m not spontaneous or free-spirited.
I don’t even like to travel that much (packing, ya’ll).

Adventure is out there….Yay?

In looking to the future I started frantically searching my past, looking for any instance in my life that spelled “Adventure” or “maybe-you-won’t-suck-as-a-military-wife.”

And I found a few things, quiet things, things that say, “maybe you’ve got what it takes.”

I chose to go to college 1,100 miles away from home. When my family and I said our tearful goodbyes when I was a freshman, I knew no one. I was lonely and scared, but I was determined.

That year was one of the best years of my life. I met my husband and I met myself too.

I became a mom before any of my friends were even married. I was lonely and scared, but I was determined.
That was one of the hardest years of my life but slowly I built a community of women around me who were in the same stage of life I was in. As my babies grew up, so did I.

I’ve done some other brave, insane, and adventurous (I guess?) things too: I went back to school for my master’s degree when I had two toddlers and earned a 3.9 GPA.
That was crazy hard.
But I loved grad school so, so much, and I found my confidence in the middle of that two-year whirlwind.

The dictionary defines “adventure” as an “exciting or very unusual experience or “a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.”

I don’t really see myself as an adventurous person but I’ve certainly had some unusual experiences (twins, anyone?) and undertaken some risky and uncertain endeavors.

And when I look back on these choices and risks, I see a pattern:
I was scared.
I felt alone.
But I was determined and I kept moving forward.
Slowly I found a community of like-minded people and within that community, I learned more about myself.

I became more myself, more grounded, more comfortable, more confident. More me.

 This military thing? It scares me a lot. I get why people give me the “you’re crazy” look.

I know this is crazy!

It’s crazy that my husband is joining the Air Force at age 33, that we’re moving from the only home we’ve ever known as a family, that I’m uprooting my Autistic son from familiarity.

I’m worried about my kids, my husband, my marriage, myself. I don’t know what to expect—even though everyone says the Air Force is awesome and I’ve read a million articles about military life.

But…I have done some brave, risky, uncertain things in the past. Maybe I do have a little bit of an adventurous streak in me. I’ve stepped out there in the past, found my footing, and gained balance and strength.

This one is probably the biggest step yet. Adventure is out there. I hope I’m ready.

The wild, blue yonder is calling.

What about you? Do you consider yourself adventurous?
Share one brave thing you’ve done (or WANT to do) this year!
Are you a military spouse? Share your story below!

3 Comments

  1. Nicole M

    My top tip for packing is to put a note on the top and side of every box with: 1. General contents, 2. Which room it belongs in, 3. A general weight (light, medium, heavy), 4. Urgency to open (urgent, open soon, not urgent). I really wanted to color code my boxes by room and put up corresponding colors at the new place but our spaces are too small for that. 🙂

  2. […] She listened while I spoke in long quavering narratives about myself and my sons, about Autism and ADHD and the Air Force, about quitting my job, about 4 year olds with big emotions, toddlers who still do not sleep through the night, and this crazy life change that is happening in a matter of months. […]

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