Do you ever ask yourself how you got where you are? It takes a special person to be a navy wife. Are you ready to be more than a navy wife?
When I met my husband almost 20 years ago, I was a Chemical Engineer working in Pensacola, Florida, close to my hometown and my mother. I had a new shiny sports car, my own apartment and enough money to shop. I was in 24-year old heaven.
We married about 15 months later and we moved to Maine.
Scrrreeeeeetch. Hold it. Did you say Maine?
That was a shock to my Gulf Coast system. I was far away from everything that I had ever known. I moved to Maine on Memorial Day weekend. It was hot and steamy in Pensacola. When I got to Maine, my toes were cold! I had to dig my sweats out of a box in the basement!
Fortunately, I was accepted into graduate school at MIT. It was one of the top 3 business schools in the United States. It looked like I would be able to follow my dreams and so could my husband. I completed the program and visited with my husband on deployment in France, Spain and Italy. I was hired by one of the largest consulting firms in the world and I was making a six- figure salary plus bonuses. I managed to transfer to the Washington, D C office when his orders to D. C. came in. All was well.
I had clients that counted on me to solve their problems. I had teams that counted on me to point them in the right direction. I brought valued experience and insights that they wanted to hear. It was a lot of responsibility. And. I.Loved.It.
I loved being smart and feeling smart. I loved being the one that had to be on the call. I mean, if I wasn’t on the call then why even have the call. I am not bragging. It felt good to be more than the keeper of the checkbook and the one who knows where every sock and key is located.
After 5 years of marriage, we had our first child and things got tricky.
How can I commit to such a demanding career and be available for my husband and little baby when my spouse may have to leave the country for 6 or more months at a time?
Being a navy wife was going to be harder than I thought.
Then came conflict. Inner conflict. I want this. My family needs that. And it was time to move. Again. I left my career. We moved to Virginia Beach and I became a navy wife and stay-at-home mom.
I felt like I stepped in the phone booth as Super Woman and I came out as Clarke Kent (but a woman–you get the point!)
For years, it felt good. No more pressure. My biggest decision was whether to go to the commissary on Tuesday on Wednesday. This navy wife thing is ongoing to be ok.
Then it got kind of boring. What can I do to stay busy? I volunteered, I chaperoned field trips, I supported my spouse, I exercised and I started a home-based business and another and another.
It is a good life, don’t get me wrong. But something was missing. Like lobster tails without the butter.
Then the resentment set in. Oh sure, another move. Let’s go. I love to unpack an entire house every two or three years. Who wouldn’t love finding new doctors, new dentists, new hair salons, new dry cleaners, new lunch spots, new drug stores, new everything — every two or three years?
Stop. There is a serious problem here.
It is not the person that I married. I adore him. He is spectacular, like a sunrise.
It is not the kids. They are yummy, like the last lemon drop in the box.
It is not actually the moving. Truth be told, I love having the chance to create an entirely new and wonderful life every couple of years. I always know that if I don’t like my neighbors, I just need to hold on for a few more months. If I don’t like the time that kids have to start school, I just need to hold on for a few more months.
So what is the problem?
We have heard it said that the first step in solving a problem is to recognize the problem.
My problem was that I told myself lies for many years to make myself more comfortable. The lies were like a pacifier to a baby or a warm bath to tired, aching feet. But not now.
They assault my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Confessions of a Navy Wife
What are some of those lies told by this navy wife?
1. It is my duty as a navy wife to follow my spouse.
Nope. Not even close. It is my choice and I made a commitment to my spouse. We committed to each other and to building our lives together. I chose my spouse and our family over everything else and I would choose it again a hundred times over. Once that decision is made, the next question becomes how can I make this work for me as well as my spouse?
2. Working at a job that pays well will make up for the disappointment of not following my passion and calling.
I told myself that I could receive the same sense of accomplishment from finding a job somewhat related to my interests that fit with our schedule and helped with the finances. While those jobs were blessings that I am grateful for, they did not quench my thirst.
3. Pouring myself into the lives of my kids makes up for leaving behind the places and other people I love.
The kids love the attention. The school appreciates the help. But it is still not my passion.
4. Celebrating the achievements of your spouse makes up for walking away from your dream and passion.
My husband was ranked #1 on more than one performance evaluation aka Fit Rep. I would tell him that it must also mean that I am the number one navy wife. We would have a good laugh and he would agree. But, it just didn’t feel the same.
5. Every navy wife struggles with the same things so I just have to suck it up and move on.
We do have common challenges but we each have very personal dreams and goals. I refuse to suck it up any more.
Now that the lies are uncovered, I can almost see them evaporating like a puff of steam. I hear them fading out like the end of a song. They lose their flavor like a stick of cheap chewing gum.
This navy wife has decided to go back into the phone booth ( I know that I am showing my age with that comment) and come out again as Super Woman. That is where Empower Network fits in.
I decided to start another home based-business. But this one is portable. I work it from anywhere and I reach people everywhere.
I decided to learn how to make money online and to show others how to do it too. I decided to become the new and empowered super woman with a better toolset. I am more than a navy wife.
Instead of a boring navy blue suit, I can wear whatever I want. Instead of PowerPoint presentations, I use social media, articles, videos, webinars and blogs. Instead of clients who are looking for my input, I find people who are looking for an example of what is possible. Instead of catching a plane every week, I stroll downstairs to my office and go to work.
Are you ready to show the world your Super Woman or SuperMan again?
Are you ready to strut your stuff like you used to?
Are you ready to show your kids a different side of you?
Are you ready to let your paycheck be your performance evaluation?
Are you ready to share your passion and calling with the world?
Are you ready to pour into the lives of others?
Are you ready to be more than a navy wife?
You probably asked, “How do you suggest I do all of that?”
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