Change is coming. I can feel its slow approach and there’s nothing I can do about it. My husband is down to less than six months in the Army.
Army life is the only life we’ve known together and the idea of choosing what we do next is exciting and scary. The last time I made a choice about where I’d live was 2008. After being laid off from my first job out of college, I packed everything I could fit into my parent’s Honda Element and they dropped me off in Brooklyn, N.Y. Something like that is easier when you’re alone. You can make choices based on what you want and live as you choose. If you fail, you only hurt yourself.
But now there’s someone else in my life and together, we haven’t made any of these sort of decisions. The Army brought us to Fort Hood, and guaranteed his employment for as long as he wanted. Miraculously, I was able to find a job I loved within a month of moving here and we’ve been settled into life in Killeen for four years.
These days we spend a lot of time flipping through online photos of houses for rent in cities we could possibly move to later this year. But without a solid plan, it’s all just dreams right now. While Matt tends to look for homes we could actually afford, I lean toward photos of million-dollar homes with ocean views. Like I said, it’s too far off to feel like reality.
Since Matt returned from Afghanistan last year people have been asking when we are moving. Anyone with Army experience knows that returning from deployment is an opportunity to be moved. But where most of my friends answer this question with Fort Benning or Fort Lee, I have no answer. I honestly just don’t know.
Just this past week, we got a save the date for a wedding in the mail and Matt said we should book our flights.
“Where from?” I asked him. “Maybe we’ll be driving distance. Who knows?”
Now I don’t want it to sound like we are just sitting back and waiting for the universe to send down a sign of what’s next — we have a plan, and are making positive steps toward the future.
Matt has two hiring conferences lined up and I’m confident he’ll get something there, or make the connections necessary to gain civilian employment. And while I love my job here, I understand that this next chapter of our life is an adventure that could bring us anywhere, or nowhere. I’m up for the adventure.
We’ve also started transitioning Matt’s wardrobe into something a little more civilian-friendly. We spent a long evening at Men’s Warehouse as a very patient woman dressed him in all different suits and shirts and ties. And lots of new dress socks.
For a week during his transition classes, Matt wore his new business attire and it was shocking. To see him leave the house in something other than his Army Combat Uniform was strange.
He looked so handsome. When I saw his confidence in his new suit or slacks and a tie, I knew we’d be OK. To see him go back to his uniform the next week felt like a step backward. Maybe that sounds crazy, but I firmly believe you have to look like the life you want. That’s half the battle. From there, sure you have to do the work, but if you feel confident, you exude confidence.
Now it’s really all about time. We’re in a holding pattern just waiting for our chance to go after our goals and face change head on. And we might as well embrace it with open arms, because change comes whether you’re ready or not.