I never wanted to be a military spouse… until I met my husband. And then I really wanted to be one. I read books and visited websites, in fact that’s how I found my way to this blog! I felt called not only to be his wife but to the unique lifestyle that comes with military life.
I pictured myself as resilient. Ready to pack up and move at a moment’s notice. “Where to next? Hawaii, California, Italy? Tomorrow? Next week? No problem!” I imagined the community of spouses I would join. Strong, patriotic women. Women who jumped a dead car battery with a baby on the hip and still made it to the event on time, homemade baked goods in tow.
Have you seen the shirts that say, “I’m a military spouse, what’s your superpower?” Yeah, that. That’s what I was imagining. And sometimes the experience has been like that and I have been like that, feeling positively super-powered. Those are the good days. But there are other days too. Like the day my husband left for his deployment and our kind neighbor rang the doorbell to see how I was. I answered and promptly broke into a messy, snotty, cry, all the while insisting that I was “fine, really fine, okay.”
I was not okay. Just like I wasn’t okay the day my husband and I went to the doctor for my ten-week ultrasound and found that our baby had no heartbeat. There is no superpower for that. Five months after the miscarriage, no further in our journey to conceive, we moved to the Middle East for his job. I always thought we would move overseas, I just thought it would be somewhere else. I imagined myself agonizing over the decision to go to Japan or Spain (sushi or sangria?). I did not expect to take up residence in the “land of sand.” But here I am.
At 36 years old, I left behind a job that I loved and a home that had just become homey. We left friends and family…so many friends and family. I miss garbage disposals and Target and voicemail. I long to instantly understand how much I am paying for an item and easily navigate from place to place. And still, most of all, I long for a baby.
I found a doctor and started fertility treatments in our new home, a scary prospect at first. And though we’ve had no luck so far, there is hope in getting help. The adjustment has not been easy (jet lag being just the tip of the iceberg) but then again it shouldn’t be. Easy is often overrated. I now mark success in smaller accomplishments: driving by myself, setting up our water delivery service, navigating the corridors of the hospital. This is not the stuff of glory. But I am pretty sure it takes a certain kind of superpower nonetheless.
Aimee is a Jersey girl turned military spouse currently living in the Middle East with her husband. She is trying to figure out the culture, create a home, travel a bunch and… oh yeah, have a baby. She blogs at The Story Ends Well.