Hey peeps, and happy Monday! So, I am gonna be super raw here because this is what I want this blog to be about-being real, being honest. Even when it’s not always pretty or PC or perfect or flattering.
Have you ever wanted to apply for a job, but knew that your active duty mate had orders or was expecting orders to transfer soon? I don’t know about you, but this particular circumstance makes me furious about the sacrifices of our lifestyle. Now I’m definitely not a “poor little me” type about this lifestyle because it’s given us amazing experiences and brought so may wonderful people into our lives, but the fact that I refrain from applying for jobs because of our PCS schedule really burns me. And I acknowledge that we all have different beliefs that guide us, and I am not about to judge anyone with different inner guidance than me on this, but my personal ethic prevents me from applying for a job that I know I won’t be around to fulfill for very long, unless that fact is made clear to the employer up front. And yes, I also know that it is unlawful to ASK in an interview certain things about your personal life, and asking PCS dates may fall into that category, but it definitely impacts my decision to apply (or not) for a job. And what’s worse, is I know it’s my own decision not to apply, but it still makes me crazy! I feel like I have no other choice.
Recently I chose NOT to apply for a much desired job, because we are within about 8 months of leaving, and maybe less if I can convince hubs that the kids and I should leave a little earlier to get settled. I envisioned this job as “perfect”-part time hours well aligned with kids’ school times, for an organization that I am passionate about, with people I already knew and liked working with. The person who got the job is a great choice, extremely qualified and someone I consider my friend. A good friend. The truth is, my so-called “tribe” here is very small, and this person has quickly become part of it. And that is so important. This friend is so happy, and I love that for her. And I’m happy for the office, as she will do great things and has the opportunity of longevity and will make a great impact on those she touches. Truth is, I am so comforted knowing that the people here in this place are such a good combination of people for what the jobs entail.
But there is still this ugly green eyed monster inside me. Actually, it’s probably green and black.
The green part is the envy. Envy that these jobs I don’t get due my own response to military schedules would have provided me with fulfillment and satisfaction that my soul needs. Perhaps pathetically needs. I’ll admit, I seek validation externally. It’s not naturally within me. I don’t get it at home as a stay-at-home mom. I get it from a few choice relationships and also from clear approval and acceptance, which is what a job would provide…and I’m envious of the people who get that in these jobs that I covet. Yep, I covet. Big sin, right? But there’s more envy. The aforementioned is the biggest piece, but I also envy the regularity of adult interaction, the belonging in the small groups of like-minded people, escape from mundane household tasks, making a positive impact on others in these particular jobs, a paycheck….there’s a few more. But really the first part is what feels the worst, which thankfully is totally in me, my own issue, and completely separate from the people I have come to cherish being in the jobs that I also wanted.
Then there’s the black part of the monster. The black part is my frustration and anger at this lifestyle that plants me, then yanks me back out of the garden I’ve created, plants me and yanks me, plants me and yanks me…..it prevents me from creating long term consistency and inhibits me from pursuing things. Things that mean something me. Things that would not only enhance my personal happiness and fulfillment, but would also allow me to hopefully leave a positive impact on the world. Things that would help add balance to my life. Things that, while they allude me, I feel would help me be happy. This black part challenges that whole, “bloom where you are planted,” adage, which I actually try to embrace in this nomadic life. Sometimes. It. Is. So. Hard. To. Bloom.
Is that wrong? Please don’t judge me, I’m trying to be transparent and honest. So that is my week’s confession. I have envy. I have frustration and anger. And right now it is fresh and raw and burning. But I treasure those who will do such great things in these roles. So I hope I may be allowed the understanding that my confession is me being weak inside, and being vulnerable enough to share my innermost darkness, and trusting that part of what makes them so awesome will also allow for grace in my direction as I sit here and pout like a toddler.
Cheers and love,
You have absolutely described the life of a military spouse. I am certain you described the emotions of many who have and feel the way you do. I am impressed with your raw and honest description of what you are feeling.
When we were in the military I did not try to work outside the home so did not experience the emotions you are feeling. Yet, it was so hard to move so often and try to make friends whom you would leave in a few years. It makes me sad to know how hard this last situation has hurt you so deeply. We are working with a great group of people and you are one of the best. You have been so kind to me and my husband and I thank you for that.
I do believe that envy is alive and flourishing in most of us. I have to fight that ugly feeling rather often, and I hate that I do. I thought by this age I would not be plagued, but I am. Thank you for your words and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to become your friend, at least I hope I am. You are just a very kind and thoughtful person, thank you.
Thank you for understanding. And of course, I consider you a friend! Our experiences as military spouses, though so many years different in time, surely still shine with similarities!! And as you know, our office is full of sincere, kind & all around GOOD people, so I feel ashamed of my envy! Though never really one to journal, I find this medium helpful in “talking (writing) things out” because so many-friends, acquaintances & strangers alike, can give me new perspectives!
I understand. I totally and completely understand. Sometimes it’s ok…sometimes it all works out and you find amazing friends and have really cool experiences that you wouldn’t trade for any job and feel happily fulfilled. However, sometimes it’s not ok. Things during that tour are just meh and you are ready to move on after just a couple of months no matter how hard you try and by the end of it you feel like you have put your life on hold for nothing. Love and hugs to you my friend. I’ve definitely been there too.
Thank you, I appreciate that someone else “gets” that some tours just don’t click. As hard as I try everywhere we go to find the positive and sorta fit in, I guess its okay if I don’t love everywhere we go. That’s why I called this one “Hard to Bloom”….I definitely don’t feel like I’m blooming here right now.
It’s been a very long time since I was a military spouse, but your blog is always so accurate and it brings back the very strong feelings I had at the time. How I wish there had been someone like you to speak truth back then! I, too, remember having to leave volunteer or paid jobs I loved, or passing up opportunities that wouldn’t fit into the anticipated schedule. Wish I had some great wisdom about coping, but mostly I just remember the frustration you describe so well! However, looking back, I can see that all of those experiences added to who I am and eventually brought me to the long-term work I valued. I also want to remind you that I never regretted hiring you, even though I knew your commitment could not be long term. You brought so much to our agency in the time you were there – and it had a lasting impact. Be sure to remember that when a position tempts you. And I’d be glad to say the same to any potential employers!
Thank you, Judy! Working for you at EBCC was the first time I had worked in years, & I revealed my limited time left there nervously…so glad you were also a military spouse so you understood! Hope you are enjoying retirement.
I think so many spouses feel this way. Employment (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest challenges we face in this community! But know that you are doing great things, even if it’s not in an office!!
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Sending hugs! Being at home this year, with a challenging year of kiddo adaptations/behavior/hard to bloom has been so hard. I often say “I’m not good at this job” (staying home full time). Hoping to find the next best job for interaction, helping others, paychecks, and the reprieve that makes the kids cute again 😬
I SO feel ya on this! Funny how, no matter how much we love our kids with our whole being and would truly die for them, we so value the time away, too. I think it is healthy for us and them!