It’s happened. After 16 years of service, my husband received orders to a place we decidedly did NOT want to live. I’ve always been a person who believes that I can be happy anywhere, as long as I am with my family. I believe in blooming where I am planted. I believe in being positive.
But I wasn’t prepared for this.
We painstakingly poured over our dream sheet. It was filled with locations on the East Coast (where my job and college are located), Overseas locations (we love to travel) and warm locations with beach access (I’m from a beach town in California). We ended up moving where it is cold, rural, landlocked, and a more than three days drive to the ocean.
When we were given our orders, I cried for days. I don’t say this to be melodramatic, and I can’t say I am proud of my behavior. But, it’s honest. I cried, and I cried and I complained to everyone who dared ask me if we were excited about the upcoming move.
The reaction I got from everyone went something like this…
They said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about – everyone LOVES that duty station!”
They said, “You’ll learn to love it and be sad when you have to leave!”
They said, “You’ll feel at home there in no time.”
All things I have said to other spouses. Not that long ago, I even wrote an article on HOW to bloom where you are planted. And now, now that I have been sent where I don’t want to be, it is painful to hear these things. I have been at the new duty station six months now. I am NOT loving it, and I am not blooming.
It’s time for me to change my advice for other spouses. I have something different that I want to say to you. It is okay to hate where you are stationed. It is okay to be a city person who hates living in rural areas. It’s okay to be a mountain person who hates the beach. It’s okay to hate the most popular duty station ever. It’s OKAY to feel the way you are feeling. It’s okay to need time and space. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to even wallow in how much you hate things for a while.
As military spouses, it seems like we are always expected to suck it up and make the most of the situation. And, I have no doubt in my mind that all of us poor souls stuck in whatever our personal version of duty station hell WILL eventually do just this.
We will decorate our homes and get organized and get into routines. We will meet people. We will find new jobs to love and new clubs to join. We will go places. We will learn to tolerate the cold weather, and layer our children, and scrape the ice off of our cars. We’ll learn about the traditions and culture of our new homes. We’ll settle in eventually, and maybe start to feel comfortable (and dare I say, even love) our new homes.
But before we get there?
Take your time to feel bad about the situation. Grump and grouch about it if you want. Cry if you need to. I will be here, offering up a glass of wine, some dark chocolate, and a tissue. I’ll give you space to feel your feelings.
And I will no longer tell you to bloom where you are planted.
Have you or any of your milspouse friends ever felt this way? Give them some encouragement and share this post with them!