Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 2 - Something You Love About Yourself

Ah, now this is a lot easier than yesterday's discussion!

I love that I am independent and resourceful, two characteristics that I think are essential for milspouses.

Meeting and shacking up with DH was a growing experience. He put all of his faith (and his paychecks) in my hands, which I'd never dealt with before. I had to ensure that all of our bills were paid and that our meager salaries were stretched to accommodate the greatest priorities. With him leaving for training, Korea, Bragg, and Afghanistan, I was on my own from May 2007 up until March 2010, aside from two week leaves and weekends here and there. Exploring my own interests independent of my husband has helped shape me and give me direction in my life. I joined the PGR, got involved with HOG, and volunteered with the FRG. Through each of these organizations, I made many great friends who loved me, accepted me, and helped me out when I called on them. I'm looking forward to doing the same here in Colorado, even if DH happens to be here most of the time. I really feel the need to reconnect with those individual interests of mine, and not let them fall by the wayside now that I have him here with me.

Being resourceful has made all of the difference for me as "flying solo" Army wife and for helping me acclimate to this lifestyle. There are so many resources out there for us as military families, and you really have to take advantage of them. I strongly believe that this life is what you make of it. You can disengage yourself, bitch about how horrible the FRG is, whine about your duty station, and not embrace his service and you'll get back exactly what you put in - NOTHING. I've connected with military families through online forums, blogs, social networking sites, as well as through volunteering. My experience has been made richer by knowing these individuals, who have been like family to me. Being resourceful also means advocating for yourself. I've learned to navigate the channels (like an FRG you haven't heard from) and speak up for myself when I need assistance or when I feel like I'm being treated unfairly. I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm one of those people who always gets what they want, but I definitely make sure I get what I'm entitled to.

There you go - rock on, ME!


Sarah said...

You are pretty awesome! I've always admired your ability to be so independent, and do it all so gracefully with no complaints. You are much stronger than me... very admirable.

Erin said...

Thanks Sarah, it's hard to be strong right now with everything going on. I try not to complain so much, but you'll definitely get to hear about what's going on with our move to civilian life! *gags*

Jessica said...

During this deployment (our first), I've come to be independent too. I still need my husband, but I know that I can get things done when he's not around because of deployments, TDY, training, etc.

Erin said...

That's awesome Jessica! I think one of the most liberating moments in my married life was when I realized I don't "need" my husband - I want him around. We just finished our first in March, but I was so used to having him gone, thanks to BCT/AIT and Korea.

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you are going to be telling your story, leaving the military causes all kinds of anxiety inside of me too. It's so "safe" here, and it really is a bubble. Going out into the cold, hard world, is really a scary thought. But, if anyone can pull it off with grace you and Bill can! :)

Erin said...

Sarah, "gracefully" is hardly a word I'd use to describe how I'm handling this transition. I know you tend to be more anxious than I, so I can't stress preparation enough to you. I'm struggling with this - it's one of the hardest things we've had to deal with, and it completely affects your marriage. I would encourage you to start saving to finance your transition (long before it comes) and also to really have a plan nailed down, resume done, jobs (hopefully) lined up, etc. I really feel like we were deficient in these areas and we're paying for it now.