An open letter to military spouses: warrior women
I am humbled. I am part of many different communities; communities that reflect where I have lived, worshipped, gone to school, worked, travelled. But there’ll be a new community soon. Soon, I will become part of a community of those who support those they love who serve in uniform. At one time I was the one in uniform and so it’s tempting to think this means that I have it all in hand, but this will be different.
I am daunted. I don’t know how different it will be. My hope is that my past experiences will be helpful. But, I don’t yet know what I don’t know. I don’t know what questions to ask about how it will be different.
I am unsure. I don’t yet know the insecurities and struggles these women and men deal with, i don’t know the difficulties and joys I will experience as I become one of their number.
I am ignorant. I don’t yet know what I don’t know about being at home while he is gone. At the moment, we are both far away.
I am hopeful. We know we have found a way to make our relationship thrive while being on different continents, but we know we will be rediscovering each other and how to make it great with each new machination. We will be discovering just how much we don’t have control over where we live, at least for a season.
I am curious. I find myself seeking out wisdom from those who understand this less than pedestrian life. It is easy to busy ourselves with practical details and with the complex formalities – alongside crazy work schedules, planning for Overland from Oz, and the legal processes involved, finding time to reflect carefully on just how big a life change this will be is actually nigh impossible.
But what remains is this truth: until I experience my own life within this community of warrior women, I really don’t know what I don’t know.
Ps: If you have any resources or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments.
Note: The post above was written before I truly understood the diversity of the community of military spouses into which I entered. My language around the idea of partners and spouses has radically changed over the last few years – largely because we are a community made of families with a large variety of different types of relationships. This was me beginning to understand what it might look like to be one of their numbers. I realize now that I was entering into a rich community of military spouses living out their lives in extraordinary situations. I consciously try to make my language as inclusive of our military spouse community as possible – so while I am a “military wife” I am far more likely to identify now with the broader term military spouse or military family member.