Deployment is… a whole mess of emotions that I don’t even have a word for. It was like going through puberty, it was like I was dating a ghost, the beginning, middle and end all had totally different vibes to them.
Wanting to better yourself is a beautiful thing. Everyone can use some self improvement and the New Year is always good motivation to move forward with it. However, you will set yourself up for failure, or at least make success more challenging, if you don’t have a plan to go along with your aspirations.
Let’s say that you want to quit smoking, for example. It’s a great thought but it has no meat to it.
Every deployment and situation is different. You may go through a deployment and have decent communication the whole way through or there could be periods of time where you haven’t received any kind of communication for weeks or maybe months.
It would be an understatement to say that going with no emails or phone calls is hard. It’s hell. I had no idea if he was okay, I missed his voice, I missed telling him about my day and his advice, I missed hearing about his day and I hated that I couldn’t comfort him or celebrate his successes.
It’s a test of your patience and of your relationship but there are ways to make it through.
I’ve heard it at least three times since I came back from Hawaii…how silly or naive I am for being a military significant other. I started a new job at a bar to make a little extra cash and wore my new Navy hoodie I got in Hawaii. A man, who I had met one other time, asked me with enthusiasm who I knew in the Navy while I was counting some money. I piped up, excited and said, “My boyfriend!” and his expression instantly changed. The brightness vanished. He just replied with, “Oh” and went on talking to someone else sitting next to him.
I stood there honestly confused, money held idly in my hands. What just happened? I kept wondering if maybe his reaction would have been different if I said my cousin or sibling was in the Navy instead. I couldn’t figure out why my boyfriend being in the military was so different.
For two years I have had more people than I can count ask me, “How do you do it?”
And I have never had an answer. I didn’t really know how, I just did.
But after two years of getting asked this question and then asking myself, “Yeah… how the hell do I do this?” on my car rides back home I have finally come up with the answer.
So, here it goes. The three things that you need to have in order to be a military girlfriend: