A New Outlook

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yesterday was a good day for me.
I've done a lot of thinking about life lately, my life in particular. I've looked at my experience here in Georgia, and seen a lot of things I wish I had done differently.
Basically I'd say I've learned a lot.
My husband has been stationed here in Georgia for almost four years now. I would spend weekends here occasionally while we were dating, but he usually came down to see me (I was in Tallahassee at Florida State, way more fun). I finally moved here this past summer, so Georgia has been my home for about 7 months now.
And I have learned a lot.
Since I moved here I have complained a lot about this place.
I vow not to do that again, regardless of where we get stationed. Because you know what, life is what you make it.
I did not make the most of my time in Georgia. I can honestly say that.
There are a number of things that contribute to my lack of effort. Not excuses, just reasons why I think I didn't try to make the most of it.
Being a brand new military wife is tough, especially when you know nothing about the military. Until recently, my husband never planned on making the military his career, so I never bothered to learn. When we got married he had a year left of his enlistment, and I thought that was going to be it. I didn't look into military life much, I just knew they had taken my husband from me and sent him away for the 6 months before we got married. You could say I was a bit anti-military for a while. I just associated this career with deployments, with my husband being torn away from me for extended periods of time.
Since I have been here in Georgia, I haven't really made any friends. Some of the women I have met were just plain unfriendly (I don't understand this), and others I had zero in common with.
BUT I haven't tried that hard.
I never tried to get involved in anything. I didn't put myself out there. As we get older making friends becomes tougher, and requires much more effort than it did when we were younger.
After receiving orders this past winter to Italy, the plans for him to leave the military changed. We decided to jump at the opportunity to live in Italy for a couple of years. So my husband re-enlisted for another 4 years.
Then, last month my husband discovered that he was a lot closer to finishing school than he had previously thought. Meaning, in about 2 years he could become an Officer. This then led into discussions about making the military his career.
Was I on board at first? No way.
My first reaction to ANYTHING is to freak out.
But, I calmed down and did a lot of thinking.
Not having any friends who are military spouses made things tough. I felt like an outsider, not knowing what I would be getting myself into.
The military blogging community saved me.
Reading the accounts of other women living this very unique lifestyle gave me a look into what my future could be like if my husband decided to make this a career.
It helped so much.
Learning how families make it work was really important to me.
My outlook on things has changed dramatically.

Yesterday I made my first friend here in Georgia.
I had a lovely coffee date with Jessica from Jesstagirl and Her Officer.
We are both stationed at the same base right now, and are both moving to Italy in the near future! Very exciting.
Talking to her was wonderful. It was so nice to be able to relate to someone.

Basically, I can't wait to get to a new base and start off fresh. I want to make the most of everything. I want to get involved, I want to volunteer, I want to make friends!
I have an entirely new attitude about everything, and I think this blogging community has had a lot to do with it.
Right now, it's looking like the military is going to be a part of our lives for quite some time.
And I am very optimistic about it.

18 comments:

  1. This post made me so incredibly happy for you, and I love that you're going to have a new outlook on everything! I'm going to take you under my wing and introduce you to my friends here, because a girl needs friends, especially in a new place with a new lifestyle! Oh, and we're going to rock Italy :)

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  2. Hi, Nicole! I noticed Jess' tweet about following you and decided to check out your blog. I'm glad you and Jess were able to meet up and I hope you enjoy Italy -- I look forward to reading more of your blog!

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  3. Italy will be super fun!!
    Volunteering is a good idea if you want to learn more and be more involved with the community. That's how I met most of my friends here...I heart the USO and the spouses club :) *shameless plugs for my favorite orgs*

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  4. Ugh I totally just command q'd my on my macbook and lost everything I was going to post to you about Aviano. fml.

    Let's try this again...It's really good you have a plan on what you want to do...that's a good thing

    I don't know when your landing in Italy in May but hopefully you will make the Bazzar. There are two Bazzar's hosted every year the one in the spring is hosted by the ACES (Aviano Community Enlisted Spouses) and the one in the Fall is hosted by the AOCSC (Aviano Officers and Civilian Spouses Club) they are great ways to get plugged in with volunteering...as they are the largest events hosted by each group.

    The A&FRC is going to be a great place to get plugged in from volunteering to the life of military. They host a HeartLink class possibly could be beneficial for you to help you adapt to the military fish bowl life. Even though you have lived the military life the last 7 months being overseas is going to be different...it's very fish bowl'esk as you will end up relying on the base for 95% percent of the things you need.

    Your husband will be required to take a RightStart class when he first arrives, if you can go to it. It will be very beneficial to you all living in Italy.

    Don't get stuck in a rut and Facebook your life away when you get here it's very very easy for it to happen especially (more than likely) with you not living close to any other Americans.

    More on Volunteering:
    When you get here ask the A&FRC for a list of private orgs...they I believe have one (You won't be able to find online as the 31 Force Support Squadron can't publicize it due to their rules.) Private Orgs are another great way for you to volunteer and stay busy.

    The biggest thing being here that I had to adjust to is that my husband works a lot...It's like being in Korea but with family...if you know anything about Korea they can work from 10-14 hour days some times. So keep busy busy.

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  5. I have to try to remember this. We are excitedly waiting PCS orders, and this will be my first Air Force duty station, because I work for the army (and Joel, of course, is Air Force). I know nothing about the AF, but I think it is about time to learn!

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  6. I can relate to so much of this post!
    there's definitely way more stuff to do and fun to be had at FSU! That is so great you have a friend that will be moving to Italy when y'all do.. your new outlook will make all the difference in Italy. I'm sure you'll love it!

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  7. I think Italy is an easy base to make friends. Being so small, you seem to see someone every time you are out and most of the people are friendly. The base is busy here, but not all people work 10-14 hour days. I know there are plenty that do, but I wouldn't worry about that until you get here and see how your husbands schedule is. I did an orientation a few weeks ago through the Red Cross, so that's always a volunteer opportunity as well. I remember being in college (also in Tally) with my now hubby, I remember thinking how hard it was going to be moving all of the time and not being around family. It does get easier and it gets to the point where you look forward to moving somewhere new. There's something about not knowing where you will be next that is exciting. That's how it is for me anyway. I like living in different places, hopefully you will to! Hope all your paperwork is going smoothly, hope to meet you when you get here!

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  8. I know how you feel! My ex husband was in the military. He joined shortly before we got married (married for 3 years). We were stationed at Ft Riley in KS and it was miserable. I never made any friends and could hardly stand any of the women I met. I'm glad you are opening up to a much better outlook on it and I hope things start looking up for you. And hello Italy! Amazing! I'm sure that will make you forget all about how boring Georgia is!

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  9. I'm friends with Jess and she said you would be a wonderful girl to follow! She's an amazing girl and I hope that you get to meet other amazing ladies like her-enjoy the adventure!

    My husband is in the Army and I think I live in Hell-we are stationed in Missouri and I've had to learn quickly that the duty station IS what you make of it!

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  10. Honestly I think we all go through the same thing in a way. I know I did. When we first moved away from home it was to NC and I honestly never gave it a chance so my time there was the worst.

    I am so excited for you that you will get to travel overseas. We haven't had the opportunity yet but from what I have heard you meet amazing people and make great friendships because all you have is each other.

    Give it time. From all of your posts, I can say that you are doing just fine and I have a feeling that your adventures in the future are going to be great ones!!

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  11. I love when we PCS because it's always a "fresh start"! If you're looking for volunteer opportunities, the Red Cross is always in need of volunteers in various capacities!

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  12. I'm glad your excited for a fresh start here in Italy! There are tons of volunteer opportunities here! That being said...I haven't exactly volunteered a lot. I know most people say that getting involved with base functions will help you make friends, but that wasn't my case. I can't think of a single friend I made through a base function. I think it's a case by case situation. You seem like an outgoing person, so I doubt you'll have trouble making friends. :) Plus you already know me, and a few other ladies who will be here when you get here! I'm not sure what your husband does, but mine rarely works 12 hour shifts.

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  13. such a smart attitude to take with the military! there'll be challenges (both people-related and otherwise) at whatever new base you go to, and have an optimistic view from the outset is the best way to thrive in it. you will *love* italy, we were there for seven months and adored the food, language, and culture. can't wait to hear about your move - good luck!!

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  14. Life is what you make of it and that is especially true with the military. I'm excited to see you attitude about what's to come. I wish you all the best!!

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  15. I went thru a similar phase at our 1st duty station. I kept saying how much I hated it, but then I didn't do anything to NOT hate it! I think living in Japan really made me understand how important it is to make the effort to make the best of every situation.

    And I'm so glad that this wonderful military spouse blogging community has been a help for you. I love it too! Don't know how I lived without it. :)

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  16. I'm so glad you have found a new outlook! And I'm sure you have found the mil-spouse blogging community that you are far from alone in your feelings. I find that comforting. We aren't near a base and that has made it quite difficult to make friends, and the way things around here, its just not that kind of group. sigh. but anyway, I'm so glad to have found you. and I'm sure i'm just joining the list of wives who have offered to answer any questions you might have. I also run a small forum if you'd like to stop by there. its a one stop shop of support and education.

    www.loveanddogtags.freeforums.org

    Rheanna @ Cammo Style Love

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  17. SOOO I've had my blog for a little while now, and started it for myself, but just decided I would let a few select people in on it....you made the cut.

    FUNNY thing is....you say, "Because you know what, life is what you make it." aaand, that just so happens to be the name of my blog. Oh how we think alike even from afar.

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