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An Enlightening First Year

Photo Credit: Nicole Marie

In the eyes of a student, September is a month of renewal as you enter into a new school year. A year to start over and create a new way of life. A year ago, it was my first September as a college graduate not returning to school. However, I still was able to experience the feelings of starting a new as I took on the title of Mrs. And this year, September marks the month of my first wedding anniversary. On September 18, 2010 I married the man of my dreams. It has been a year full of firsts – a first of ups and downs – and abundant with learning experiences. Sharing it with my husband has been a blessing. 

With each wedding anniversary also comes the anniversary of joining the unique lifestyle of being a military spouse. And even though I have had a wonderful year being a wife in general, this year has brought a lot of clouded questions, in which some still go unanswered.

As soon as I said “yes” to the most anticipated question in a young woman’s life, I knew that my world would be different from the average newly engaged bride-to-be. I would have to hurry and finish school, and leave behind everything I knew to make a move across country. Blinded by unconditional love and an overwhelming presence of excitement, what I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to find myself as a person while taking on the role of military spouse.

Learning to find where I belong in society has been rather difficult. Not knowing anyone while living in a different region of the country proves to be quite intimidating. Still jobless, but proudly owning the title of housewife, I am lost. And with the unknown future of deployments and PCS, I find myself shying away from the idea of entering the workforce again – crushing my confidence, and therefore not being able to really identify myself. 

From the outside looking in, as a military wife I lead an average lifestyle. I do daily chores and spend my weekends enjoying time with my husband. However, underneath the surface there is confusion and a bit of anxiety. Not knowing when he will deploy, leaving me to live this life alone, is a constant thought in my head. Not knowing where our next home will be is an annoyance that I let get to me a little too much. Not knowing when to start a family, and continue a normal life sometimes pulls at my heart and is becoming somewhat of a sore subject. Even the idea of when to get a dog has been burdened. There are many questions that I live with now, and this past year has been just a preview of what’s to come. 

However, with the reveal of the ugly side to military life, I have also been exposed to the beauty. There is an amazing sense of pride that comes with being a part of the military family. The undeniable strength that comes with each individual I meet is extremely inspirational and makes me proud. The friendships made along the way are irreplaceable. With an understanding of each situation, there is always someone who will be by your side in times of need. Also, the chance to explore the country and meet new people is exciting. With each new encounter comes personal growth. Something I wouldn’t want to trade. I may not be as strong as most military spouses, and I may let the stress get the best of me at times; however, I couldn’t image living my life any other way.

So as we enter this new September, one year into a life that I was unprepared for, I will start anew. Again, not as a student, yet I am learning. It’s time to recognize the beauty and embrace the ugly side of the military lifestyle, while gaining my confidence back in the process. I am overjoyed to be celebrating my one year wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. And now looking forward to our future of unknowns, I am ready to start a new year as a slightly more experienced military spouse.

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2 thoughts on “An Enlightening First Year”

  1. I LOVe to hear about military weddings and the fact that it takes work and you REALLY get tested on whether you want to be married or not, but the ups and downs make you stronger as a person and couple!

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