The past few months have been stressful, to say the least. We’ve been talking about “the decision” for months and possibly even years it feels like. Getting out of the military was always our plan; we wanted to move back to Ohio, buy a house, settle down, and “start” our lives. The military life has been a rollercoaster ride since the day he signed his papers and we had been patiently waiting until the day he could divorce the Army and move on to bigger and better things.
Well we all know life throws curveballs right? And that the plans you made a few years or even months ago sometimes don’t seem so grand. Neither of us love the military but we both love what we do. He loves his job and I love mine. I was watching him apply for job after job with no excitement in his eyes. He was looking for jobs, any jobs to pay the bills and support our family. Jobs that would require a pay cut and jobs that would require me to get a full-time job outside the home. What would I do? I’m already doing exactly what I want to be doing and something I’m passionate about. Could we afford daycare? Would we adjust to the change in healthcare benefits?
So we had made our decision; we would reenlist for a few years and continue to stay in Georgia. It would be stable for the kids, we wouldn’t have to move again, and in three years, we would have a better plan financially and he would have more experience to put on a resume. But if you remember, the paperwork got messed up. In a way we felt that maybe it was a sign to get out and leave the Army behind. But as he continued his job search and we weighed the pros and cons, we decided that the best decision for us at this point in time is to have him stay in. But take a different path than we had previously decided on.
This new path means another 7 years. It means him moving to a leadership position and it means another move, possibly two. It sounds like it came out of left field and sometimes I second guess our decision and think what the heck are we doing?! But at the end of the day, we have to look at job satisfaction, job stability, healthcare benefits, and what’s best for our family. And while I’m not entirely sure it’s the best decision for our family, I have to pray that it is. And at the very least, find a way to make it the best decision.
It’s hard being away from family but we’re trying to move closer to home if we can, making it easier to visit and have visitors more frequently. I’m also terrified more time in the military means more deployments but I’m hopeful it won’t. And I can’t let the fear of that stop me from living my life and making the most out of it. Sometimes living this lifestyle means feeling like your life is on hold; you wait for them to come home, you wait for orders, you wait for deployments, you wait for trainings, you wait for PCS moves, you wait for the next visit from family, and you wait for a sense of normal. But once you realize this is your normal and that life is happening right now, not when he gets out of the military, you start living it and dealing with it all as it comes.
People may not understand our decision and hell, somedays I don’t. But we had to go with our guts and what was the best option at that point. This is all we’ve known together. We began dating right as he started his military career and we’ve known nothing but all of this chaos. It’s super scary and hard to imagine what our lives would be like without it. Do we love it? Not always. But we’ve had wonderful opportunities from it and it is what it is. I don’t know if he will make it a career or call it quits after this next go-around but we will cross that bridge when we get there I suppose. Doesn’t make sense to stress about something now when we have no idea what we will be feeling in almost a decade.
Thank you to everyone who has listened to us weigh the pros and cons and go back and forth over the past couple of months. This wasn’t easy and it was one of the biggest and hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make. Nothing matters more to us than our children and in the back of our minds, this was mostly based on them and the desire to give them the best life we can. This lifestyle isn’t easy but there are also a lot of perks that come from it and we’re trying to focus on that as we start this new chapter in our lives.
Adventure is out there… and we’re about to start a new one 🙂