Always the Wild Card



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As a military wife, the future is almost non-existent to me. Ok, it’s more like a figment of my imagination. I live in the present and sometimes the past but the future is more a mythical creature I only hear about in hushed conversations behind closed doors or at PCS time.

As military wives we have hope for the future, that it finds us well and that we have some minuscule amount of control over it, then we get smacked in the head by the reality stick and we shake it off. As military wives we can’t look to the future, at least I can’t. It doesn’t work for me, the ups and downs, the let downs, the reality stick.

I find that not even thinking about it until it almost becomes my present is the safest route to take. Many people think we can choose where we would like to live. I can’t tell you how often I hear “you like it here, can’t you just stay?” The answer is “no”.

It’s hard, really hard sometimes. When your family and friends talk about the future, talk about plans they have or how fun things will be and you have to smile and nod and in your head know that that future won’t include you. But you smile and get excited for those people anyway because if you actually open your mouth and say what you know to be the truth you become Debbie Downer and the fun conversation goes away.

Sometimes, I pretend I will be a part of the things they talk about, pretend I will be there, having fun, enjoying the ‘plan’ but the truth is, we are the wild card. You can’t plan on us and if you do there will be a let-down. 

I find it more painful to explain it to other people than to live with it. Most people don’t understand or don’t believe you are telling them the truth. “It will work out” I hear a lot or “You never know” but I do know. I know the chances, the probabilities because I have calculated them all in the past and have ended up with a face full of that darn reality stick. Don’t feel bad for me/us though, because I don’t feel bad. It makes me sad, makes me frustrated but I also get to live the adventure. I get to see new places and meet amazing people. I just don’t get to be a part of ‘the plan’.

Being a military wife and moving every two to four years has its ups and downs. We accept it because it is our life, our reality. It’s always harder to explain to those outside our ‘world’ because they don’t live the way we do. They don’t expect to be uprooted every few years and move somewhere totally new and foreign to us. They can buy homes, plant flowers, roots. We have to be portable. Sometimes I find it hard to relate but I am thankful for the life I have, for my husband, for our friends all over the country and for the faith I have in myself and in the fact that no matter where we go we will make it home.


5 thoughts on “Always the Wild Card”

  1. Great post and so very true. The harsh reality is we don’t know our future and spend countless hours playing the “why if” game knowing it will never be what the future will hold. No one understands and more so, no one can except those in our same shoes.

  2. I am pretty sure the reality stick hoovers above my head constantly. I am always thinking about a future that I am not quite sure is possible at this.

    Right now we are struggling with finding the right dog for this lifestyle. What can be an impulse buy for most is a calculated heavily thought out process for us. And don’t even ask me when we will begin having babies. Because I don’t have much say in that as well.

    Great post.

  3. Extremely well written and so very true. I am living in a fantasy world this year “pretending” about the future and trying to ignore the reality that I have NO IDEA what is going to happen…………………………….

  4. Great piece! And this is the life I live as well… I do like to joke with friends, “stability is overrated!” I kind of like living on the edge 😉

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