You mean there is a link up for military wives across the blogosphere to talk about our experiences and the things we really wish people knew about being a military spouse? Naturally, I'm in." That was my reaction last week when I found out about said link-up. It's obvious from this blog that I am a military spouse, but there are definitely a few subjects I haven't really touched on that go hand in hand with this lifestyle. There are a ton of different stereotypes when it comes to military wives- some are good, some are not so flattering. It's something you can't truly understand until you've lived it, but allow me to give a little insight into the glamorous world of the military wife.
Let's back up for a second. Parker and I started dating in college when we were 19. We were babies! Okay, we still are. He was a Navy contract, something that never deterred me nor encouraged me to date him. I fell in love with a man who happened to be contracted to serve in the Navy. When you're 19 and won't graduate for 3 years, the Navy really isn't something on the forefront of your mind. When Parker and I got more serious in our relationship and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, the Navy was still a non-factor. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be prouder to be a military wife, but I would have married Parker regardless. Like I said, I fell in love with a man who happened to be going into the Navy.
scenes from the early days
Everyone has different ideas about military life, but the one thing we can probably all agree on is that military life is an adventure. We have lived in Pensacola, FL, Kingsville, TX, Corpus Christi, TX, and will be heading to Norfolk, VA next month. Four moves in under three years of marriage is nothing short of an adventure, I'll tell you that much! Something a lot of people don't know though? Being a military wife is really fun! I may be in the 1% with this mindset, but I get excited about the moves. I get excited to meet new people and decorate a new house. I get excited to make new memories in new places. It's just plain fun.
I feel like a lot of people look at military wives and feel sorry for us, and that's my biggest pet peeve. Some people view it as the guy dragging you all across the country and away from your family and then leaving you for long periods of time while you have to hold down the home front. Um, no. I mean, yes, that's the negative way to state the reality, but I chose this life. I chose to move across the country. I chose to support Parker at home when he has to go away. I chose Parker. Therefore, I chose this lifestyle. It was my choice. I can't speak for all military wives, but I don't want people to ever pity me. I covet prayers and support during the hard times, but I never, ever want people to feel sorry for me. I love this life! But more importantly, I was fully aware of what I signed up for.
The second thing I wish people knew about being a military wife? You did not earn your husband's rank. I cannot tell you how much it frustrates me when people throw around their husband's rank like they somehow did something to earn it. We are women who fell in love with men who serve our country. Our husbands have ranks. We do not. We are all on an equal playing field, and I think it's our job to build each other up and support each other, not brag because our husband is this or feel inferior because our husband is that. There is no rank between the wives. If there is, there certainly shouldn't be.
All in all, I love this life. I can't imagine being anything but a military wife. So bring on the short-notice moving and constant readjusting. Life's about the journey, not the destination.