Lost /lôst,läst/-denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered (Oxford)
Ever feel this way? Maybe it was when you moved to a new place, before you had met anyone? Maybe it was that time you mysteriously came up $200 lighter in the wallet upon leaving the casino? Maybe it was just a hollow feeling, somewhere within, that you couldn’t quite name, but you definitely FELT it? Yep, that’s it for me.
Through our years in the aviation community, I have experienced so much benefit from a variety of sources- participating in classes and events offered by the base, some part time employment, lots of volunteering, on base housing, the Family Readiness Group, and yes, even the mythical Officer Spouses’ Club. Of course, you only get out of these something related to how much you put in, but aren’t many things in life that way? But there was a group of people under similar circumstances, experiencing similar stressors, and we could all commune, vent, share, learn and support one another.
Some of the benefits, you have to actively seek out. You do have to read or find information on the offerings at the Fleet and Family Support Center. They offer so many classes and activities that can enhance or ease the difficulties of the military lifestyle. Same with chapel events. Same with gym fitness classes. And same with volunteering.
Other benefits kinda fall into your lap, ready, or not! Literally, the benefits of being a military dependent are like this. So is membership in the command Family Readiness Group or Spouse Club….they are there for you automatically. Of course, you can still choose NOT to participate.
The most important thing I have gained from our years in the aviation community is a sense of belonging. I feel comfortable there. I know lots of people there. I know where to go to find things or information I need. I have experience and wisdom in the ways of the lifestyle. And I am embraced and uplifted by a lot of really great relationships that have been developed and nurtured through the years. Of course, there have been some not-so nice relationships and some difficulties, but you have that anywhere.
Now, we are on our second tour away from the aviation community. Hubs will either retire after this one, or we’ll go on to one more, but likely not in the aviation community. And I am sad about being away from that world. I am grieving! We went to an overseas SWO base (Surface Warfare Officer…ship drivers, for laypersons), which was SO very different, and now he’s at a staff command and commutes to work. We are not near any of the usual Navy facilities, and I am actually more surrounded by Army and Air Force than ever before. It’s totally new to me. And I MISS the familiarity of our old standby home base in Cali, where we’ve spent about 70% of our marriage. And again, I am grieving! I feel lost. I feel like my comfort and familiarity has been taken away and cannot be recovered! We’re probably done with that world, and now I am inevitably going to have to make the biggest, most difficult transition to a new familiar lifestyle! And I’m GRIEVING!
I am struggling during semi-quarantine life to rebuild a new familiar. I got a part time job. I am in the planning stage of opening a business, which is helping me connect with new people in the community. I (finally) have family nearby. I have my longest, dearest best friend 2.5 miles from my house. I am on the HOA board in my new neighborhood. I am really doing everything I can. But I still miss that previous life. Most of my friends from that life are back there at the same base in Cali. I can only say, thank God for FaceTime! And for only being 3 time zones away instead of 17!
And guess what? If you are struggling with transitioning towards a post-military lifestyle, the Fleet and Family Support Center has a class for that! Surprised?
So, instead of being lost, I am trying to FIND. I’ll let you know how it goes…
Cheers and Love,