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Growing up, I lived a life where military was part of every day life. I saw how challenging that life could be. I saw the loneliness, the sadness, the stress. I saw the long empty nights of being home alone, I saw the missing parent, I saw the control. From the time I was about eight, I swore that when I grew up, I was never going to live a life with military connections. I knew what it could do to family life, and I swore that I would never do it.
I don’t want it to sound like I am anti-military, because I respect the men and women who serve this country more than anything. I just know that I personally am not in the position where I am willing to make such sacrifices in a relationship to have this lifestyle.
Flashback to July 2014. I am moving across the country for a fresh start. I had just left an unpleasant relationship, and was ready to take some “me” time. No boys, no relationships, no drama. Just taking some time getting to know me, myself, and I. August 2014, less than two full weeks since I have moved. I’m invited to the girl next door's birthday. Being honest, it was the pity invite to the new girl who lives next door and doesn’t have friends. I’m working at the bar that night so I actually can’t make it to the party.
By fate, I ended up getting off work early. I finally decide why not go to the party, even just for a few minutes. I don’t want to be rude and not go, so I will make an appearance. I get home about five hours later, and get a Facebook message from a guy I met in passing. I get invited out the next night with him and his friends, and after much persistence, I finally agree.
Tall, dark, and handsome... He’s the whole package. We wander off from the group, and spend the next four hours talking like I had never talked before. We learned more about each other in that time than I usually learn in months of knowing someone. We fell hard. Within weeks, we were madly in love. The next 3 years are a flash of light. It often feels like you just met yesterday. He springs the news you never thought you would hear. “I’m enrolling into the military.”
Your stomach drops. The one thing you have always said, your worst nightmare, dropped on you like a ton of bricks. It’s hard. You are battling back and fourth in your mind on what to do. On one hand, you want to walk away so badly because you don’t want to live this life, and you’re terrified, but you would be miserable because you walked away from the love of your life. On the other hand, you want to stay, and work damn hard to make it work, even though you’ll be unhappy due to the lifestyle.
3 years is too much to throw the towel in on. You’re dedicated to making this work. You’ve invested so much into this relationship, and bettering your life for your partner and yourself, you’ll do anything. So here you are, 5 months in, only seeing him for 13 days in the last 155 days. You’ve made it through so much these months, you still struggle with wanting to give up at times, but you’re now engaged, he proposed in Montreal during his basic training graduation. You’re doing everything you can to make the most of it.
You’re broke and back to living with your parents because you are back in school getting your diploma as an educational assistant, you are more lonely than you’ve ever been because the love of your life is in another province and you miss him terribly, and you’re doing the one thing you always said you wouldn’t. You’re living a happy, but sad, but stressed, but whole, overall confusing life, but you are so dedicated to making it work because you are the luckiest woman alive, so you will do anything.
I am a military spouse, a navy wife to be, a student, a fiancé, a sister, a cat momma, an auntie, and a big mess of emotion, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my crazy, dysfunctional life.