i recently read a blog post by my sweet friend elise. in the post she spoke very honestly about not identifying with the term "military wife". that she was more than that...that that didn't define or shape who she was. i thought she was so brave to admit that. and i felt like that as well when i was new to the whole army world.
i didn't think i had a lot in common with the wives. their seemed to be lots of gossip. a bit of negativity. i didn't like that.
i've learned since that that small cross-section was in no way indicative of army wives as a whole.
just like any group of ANY women...there are some i don't identify with. some i don't like being around.
but i opened myself up. starting attending coffees. events. and i found the most AMAZING women in the world.
women that i would be friends with whether or not we had the "army wife" label.
friends i would cry with.hold hands with in fear as we watched our husbands on the news. friends i could (and can) call any hour, any day, any occasion. and they are there. no questions asked.
we are one big family. we hold one another's babies as if they are our own. gently chide one another's children.
we grip each other's hands when we are in labor and our husbands aren't there. commisserate over emotions,fears,ridiculous tricare issues.
we can pack up our home with our eyes blindfolded. we know how to be both mommy and daddy, how to do things for ourselves, we don't rely on anyone else.
i am an army wife.
i know my husband's social security number better than i know my own. i know WAY too many acronyms. i know well the smell of dusty uniforms and stinky PTs.
this is too big of a part of who i am now to say that it doesn't define me. it IS me. it has shaped who i am. what i believe. my perspective. my heart.
the army has taught me to be independent. to be patient. to think positively. to have more pride than i ever imagined. to figure out how to solve my own problems instead of depending on others the moment something small goes wrong.
to be fair, it's also taught me that i DON'T ever want to be a mopey complainer. that i don't want to be a gossip. that i want to support my husband and build him up, but never wear his rank as if it is mine.
it may or may not have also made me the type of person that rolls their eyes to the heavens when women like alexis (on the real housewives of beverly hills- yes i admit i watch bravo reality tv) cry because THEY HAVE TO GO TO ONE DINNER WITHOUT THEIR HUSBANDS.
i knew nothing about the military before J. absolutely nothing.
i had no perspective. no idea what the world could be like. what military wives go through. it was kind of silly how naive i was.
i was pretty selfish. i can admit that.
i look at what i've learned the last 8 years, and it seems like a lifetime ago that my biggest concerns were what someone thought of me, or where to go shopping, or if gossip i'd heard was true.
i never ever would have thought i'd have four children and a husband who is always gone,even when he is home. i never would have imagined i'd be strong enough for that. i probably would have said "how do you even DO that?".
you do it. that's all there is to it.
i am a mother, a wife, a child of God. a daughter, a sister, a friend, a scrapbooker. and i am an army wife.
it's a calling that seems like a burden some days. but MOST days it's a gift.
a gift that i NEVER could have imagined for myself. but now i see it has made me who i am.