As you may know from reading my About Me page or perusing this blog, my husband is in the air force. Being in the military means moving, and usually you don’t have a choice in the matter. Or at least, it’s not your first choice. That being said, even though our move was a lot farther away from home than we hoped at first, I wouldn’t change our life for the world.
Our first military posting was to Nova Scotia, where we are right now, from our home town of Kitchener, Ontario. My husband moved here February 2015 while I planned our wedding in Ontario and finished up my last semester of the year. We got married December 2015, and I moved into the PMQ (military housing) he had been in on base and we are currently in.
We were newly married, in a brand-new province, trying to navigate a new marriage in a new place.
I had no friends here, no support system around. At least, not one I was comfortable with. The military has lots of resources for military spouses and families, but I wasn’t familiar with them yet and that wasn’t really the kind of support I was looking for. I just wanted some friends.
I think this was the hardest part about moving away – the solitude.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being alone sometimes. I actually do really well alone. But after living in a place your whole life, from birth to 20-something years old, you build a life. You grew up there, you made your friends there, your family is there. Leaving that all behind was exciting but challenging.
It’s something I had to get used to because moving here was like going through culture shock. It’s so quiet here, it’s a small town, everyone knows everything about everyone (or thinks they do) and you have to drive a bit of a distance to get to any major civilization. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating a bit (my husband would say I am), but I’m from a pretty big city and I liked it that way.
However, I’ve come to appreciate how quiet it can be here.
I’ve become accustomed to not moving so fast and I think that’s been one of the most beneficial things about moving – slowing down.
I’ve never been someone who’s scared of change, but this was a big one. Our friends and family supported us from afar, but we had to set up a whole new life for ourselves on our own. I started a new school, and it was all online because of how far away the school is from where we actually live, which was also new to me. It takes a lot of discipline to do your education this way!
Fast forward three years and we’ve created quite the life for ourselves.
We have friends, a community, and we are about to welcome our first baby. We’ve had friends and family visit us from home, and the great thing for me is my sister is also living on the east coast, in New Brunswick, which is still far away but not nearly as far as Ontario! It’s great being able to visit her more often.
We’ve only had this one posting so far and will likely be here a few more years before we move again because of my husband’s trade. He loves his job, and I love that he loves it. It creates some amazing security for a growing family, and he’s happy.
I can’t say what it’s like to have to move every few years, but I can say that being in the military you feel like you’re always being kept on your toes. We most likely won’t move for a bit, but you never really know. Any minute my husband could be sent on deployment and with kids on the way that’s going to be a new challenge for us to navigate.
Maybe it’s easier for families who have grown up military and are following in their families’ footsteps. What else do they know, really? My husband is the first in his family to join the military and I think it was hard on both our families. It’s been something they’ve had to adjust to as well, which is hard to remember sometimes. They always want to see and visit us, and as much as I miss them, sometimes I feel like things would be easier if they understood our lifestyle a bit more. But like us, they’ve learned and adjusted and I’m grateful for their support.
I never imagined my life going this way, but I love it.
It’s different, it’s hard sometimes, but it’s an adventure, always changing. I am blessed to have a husband who works hard and loves what he does and provides security for our growing family. I am fortunate to have chosen a career path I can take anywhere. And I’m happy to have made new friends and to have had the opportunity to start our own life away from home. It was really important and even healthy for a young couple like us I believe.
I thank the men and women that I know that serve our country every day. How lucky am I to know and live near them? We’re going to be having our own kids grow up in this lifestyle, and I’d imagine someday one or more of them will choose this lifestyle too. Not having been a military child, I hope I can do my best to support them as best I can, and I’m excited for them to know how great it can be to be a military family!
Make sure you pin this for other military wives and families!