“I hate it here.”
“We just got orders there and I am scared. I have only heard bad things.”
“I really don’t want to leave here and have to move there. It is the worst place we could go.”
“I really just want the next three years to pass quickly so we can move somewhere else.”
“This place is so boring. There is nothing to do here. I hate it.”
Have you heard people say things like that before? Maybe it was you? I am not going to lie. I was so ready to leave Germany after we had been there a few years. That was hard for me. Very hard. And it was Germany. A place many people would LOVE to go and who never want to leave.
It was the end of 2007. I was standing outside a bookstore with my Mother-in-law in California during our post-deployment vacation. “I don’t want to go back to Germany. I really really don’t” I told her. And I didn’t. I just wasn’t excited about going back. I knew another deployment was coming and didn’t want to be over there anymore. However, my husband still had a few years left before we would move back to the US.
I did what you have to do as a Military Spouse, I sucked it up and got on the airplane and we went back “home” to Germany.
A few months later, we moved to a different duty station in Germany. Our housing was a lot better. So much so that I cried happy tears when I walked into our new home. But still, I was missing the United States and just wanted to be back there. I didn’t want to still be in Germany. Then I bought a new camera. I started taking pictures every day and started really noticing where I was. From the trees to the flowers to the old buildings. I was in a magical land. I needed to take advantage of that.
Things being what they were, having two little kids, I wasn’t going to be able to travel every week or even all that often. But I could put them in the stroller and walk around my village. I could walk them around town and into the country a little bit. So that is what I did. One Sunday my husband had to work so I decided to take them for a long walk. It took us five hours there and back but that walk was amazing and one I will never forget. We passed by forests, rivers, fields, apple trees, sheep and old buildings. I still enjoy looking at the photos I took that day.
If you are feeling like you are hating your current duty station, maybe you should try to change things up.
Grab your camera, grab a friend or just go and explore. You never know what you might encounter. Remember that once you leave, you might never be able to return. Try to find the positives in where you live, even if they are well hidden. Of course, some places are easier to do this than others.
When you can bloom where you are stationed, you can have good experiences anywhere you go. You will learn how to find the positives in every situation and figure out creative ways to enjoy yourself even if you are not feeling too happy at first. If you are set to go to a duty station most people don’t like, see if you can talk to people who do like it there. Find out what they have to say and find things about that place to look forward to. Make a list of positives and get ready for your next adventure as a military spouse.