Not knowing what to expect is scary! I am a big planner, and I hate when things are up in the air. I want to know what is going to happen and when. And if you tell me a date for when something is supposed to happen, I want that date to stick. I don’t want the date to change.
I also want to know that everything is going to work out okay and that everything will figure itself out. Well, life, especiallymilitary life doesn’t work this way. I learned this lesson pretty quickly.
My husband re-enlisted in the Army, and he was sent to Germany. We had to wait to join him to get Command Sponsorship, which would allow me and my son to stay in Germany long term. I had been told this would take a month. In the end, we had to wait 4.5 months to join him.
Every day I would do my part to get us over there. That might be turning in paperwork or following up on some. Unfortunately, not everyone was doing the same, or so it seemed. It felt like my paperwork, that just needed a quick signature, was just sitting on someone’s desk for weeks and weeks. I didn’t understand why things were not happening the way I thought they should.
As I look back, I have to laugh. This is just what the Army does. There is paperwork, and you have to wait for it, sometimes for a very long time.
Things don’t flow the way you expect them to and plans change all the time.
My next big lesson was when my husband’s first deployment went from 9 months to 12 to 14 to 15. Our homecoming date changed so much I lost count. But in the end, my husband came home, and that deployment ended.
So to the military spouse who is afraid of the unknown, know, you are normal. A lot of us are terrified of what is going to happen next. But we have learned to understand that military life is all about the unknown.
We don’t always know when they will leave for a deployment. Will it be before or after the baby is born? We don’t know.
We don’t always know when we will PCS to our next duty station. Will it be before summer starts or after? Will we have to pull our kids out of school?
We don’t always know when our spouse will need to head for that school he has been on the list for. Will he go over Christmas? Or sometime in January?
During deployments, the fear of the unknown can take our breath away.
Will my husband come home to me? What if he is one who doesn’t? What will I do?
Will my spouse be injured? Will they come back the same person? Will I be the same person when they return?
Military life is one unknown after another. Even after you have been waiting for something and received an answer, that answer could still change.
So military spouse, try not to be afraid of the unknown. Try to embrace it.
Whether that means stepping out of your comfort zone to make friends in a place you never thought you would go or making the best of a crappy deployment. Embrace what this life gives you. From the people, you meet to the places you get to explore.
Do what you can each day that is in within your control and let the rest go. Breathe. Reach out. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
While the unknown will always be apart of your military life, you don’t have to let your fear of it take over. Remember, most things do get resolved, even if they take longer than you want them to. Deployments end, PCS orders get cut, and you will find the flexibility you need to handle all of these changes.