There is a list a mile long of the things I wish I had known before becoming a military spouse; from the little details like tipping a bagger to the really big things like the true cost of Tricare Standard vs. Prime. There certainly is a lot to learn and I am thankful for the many resources we now have to help us navigate those things.
But there is one thing that I really wish I had known early on. A piece of advice that, looking back, was presented to me in different ways but never really sunk in for me.
Be MORE than just a Military Spouse.
When I met my husband I didn’t have the first clue about anything military-related. After we married, he made the decision to re-enlist and I still had about one half of one clue to my name. I had lived on my own, been to college, worked full-time, and developed my own interests, dreams, and goals.
Then we PCS’ed for the very first time while I was pregnant and had just lost my grandmother unexpectedly. We grew to really love North Carolina, but those first few years were a struggle for me. Being far away from family and finding my way as a new mother…I kind of put my own hopes and dreams on the back burner for a while. Eventually I made friends and had a home-based business. I created opportunities for myself, but there were definitely some dreams that I let go of completely.
Over the years we have moved, he has deployed, we have endured separations, said hello and goodbye to friends, churches and activities…the same story that many of you have to tell. I can say that, at this point in my life, I am really happy and content with the way my own hopes and dreams are panning out.