For the past eight years my life has been grounded by one certain thing: uncertainty. During college, my now-husband and I knew he would go into active duty, that we could live anywhere, that he could be deployed at any time, and that a number of ever-changing variables could change these plans. Change, in fact, has become the one thing I expect out of this life. I’m now an expert at moving, and finding new friends every two to three years is all I know. The recent surge in unemployment rates hasn’t shocked me too much, because with this crazy lifestyle, difficulty in finding a job seems to be the norm. I’ve become very comfortable with the often uncomfortable notion of change.
In a year’s time my husband will be punching his active duty card, and we will be entering civilian life. For the first time we will be given the opportunity to move to a place for a job that we (not the monitor) have chosen, and can stay in this place for as long or as short as want. For the first time, we will be able to take out a 30-year mortgage and think to ourselves that we may actually still live there in 30 years. For the first time, the proximity of good schools – even high school, which is 10 years away for our daughter – is important.
Needless to say, the whole concept of staying put is mind-blowing. It’s a year away, and I’m already freaking out. Where are we going to live? How will we function without Uncle Sam making every decision? Others have done it before us and will be doing it with us, but the thought still seems scary.
Have you all experienced a dramatic shift, either from active to reservist duty, or vice versa, or another similar change? Any thoughts on how to best prepare? I hope to document our preparation along the way, and share it with you, and would love to hear your thoughts, too.