One of my most significant pieces of advice for new military spouses is to build a village wherever you go.
A village is a group of people who are your people. They’re your support system, the ones you call if your world falls apart, they’re the friends who don’t judge you, but judge with you. They’re the Yang to your Grey, the Dom to your Brian (Toretto to your O’Connor), the Rachel to your Monica, or the Chandler to your Joey.
Simply put, your village has your back and will keep you going. We all need people; it’s human nature. As military spouses, a village is, quite literally, essential to survival. Honestly, it should be at the top of all in-processing spouse checklists for every PCS. (I know spouses do not have a checklist, but this needs to change so I’m manifesting it.)
We pack up and move every two to four years, which means we have to keep starting over. We get familiar and find comfort where we plant our temporary roots only to uproot and throw all comfort and familiarity out the window. That means unpacking new homes, finding new schools, jobs, and day cares, and “re-building” our villages yet again.
It also means starting over with deployments and saying our routine – dreaded but expected – goodbyes to our friends and family. It means hopping on the emotional rollercoaster that is the military ride.
It’s wild how hard it can be to make friends as an adult. So many seasons of life make it difficult, and I’ve learned that location, or rather, a duty station overseas versus stateside, is a huge factor.
Maybe it’s harder to make friends as adults because we’re too picky; we know what we like or who we can handle, right? Or maybe we don’t have the time. Better yet, perhaps the older we get, the more we realize the importance of quality over quantity, and we know that finding the people we “click” with is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
So finding those people becomes that much more remarkable. The struggle to make friends and the hardships behind building our village station after station might be life’s way of making us appreciate those friendships. Whatever the reason, as hard as it may be, it is worth the struggle.
I am so lucky to have found my people and built the village that I have in past and present locations. It hasn’t been easy, but because I respect my friends and want them in my life, I put in the work, make the time for FaceTime or Zoom meetings, text and, more recently, embarrass myself using apps like Marco Polo.
I love my people so dang hard that I want to tell you about my village. It is built on commiserating about military life, raising tiny humans, good food, and life in general. It’s about rallying around each other when days are hard. We are each other’s cheerleaders, travel buddies, day-drinking companions, coffee dates, confidants, partners in crime and backup.
You pick on one of us, you get the whole village, it’s that kind of bond, and it’s such a genuine, heart-is-whole-and-happy, kind of feeling. We spend holidays together and eat our way through London, Tokyo and Paris together. We’re Air Force aunties, godmothers and emergency contacts. These ladies are my people, and I can’t imagine not having them in my life.
With my whole soul, I urge you to find and build your village and cherish them. They’re not just there when our life falls apart or when we’re whole, but for everything else in between.Read comments