No really guys, I have friends. See:
Generally when you meet a military wife, her main complaints are about deployments, being away from family, and drama. I don’t care if you’re 18 and a newlywed, or 35 and an officer’s wife, at some point in time, you’ve dealt with the dreaded drama monster. I had a rough go at the beginning of military wifelyhood, but quickly realized that you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. I set off on an acquaintance cleanse. I was a newlywed with a baby on the way and had almost zero friends. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. You hear the stories, meet the crazies, you even walk into the commissary absolutely dreading running into the people you’ve had problems with in the past and suddenly become very interested in the nutritional facts of Fruit Loops. Well I can honestly say, it gets better. But only if you put in the work!
I started out slow and steady, building relationships within Adventure Moms and Stroller Warriors Okinawa. Just one problem though, I am TERRIBLE at making friends. You know how you felt on your first date with someone you really liked? You felt like a creep. You were nervous about making an arse of yourself, you weren’t sure what to say, ask…do. That’s me when trying to make friends, you wouldn’t know it though, since I’m pretty outgoing, but oh man I get so anxious and self-conscious. Then, within in SW, I realized it wasn’t a beauty pageant, and I didn’t have to say “World Peace” every time someone asked me a question. I started feeling comfortable around the girls I was seeing twice a week and began slowly letting the real me come out. Mind you I hadn’t done this since High School where I fully embraced my nerdiness.
And now, 3 years later, on the brink of our PCS move, I have a very full heart. So the rest of this post is dedicated to the women I’ve met here in Okinawa:
Dear Beautiful, Wonderful, Hilarious, Inspiring Women of Okinawa,
I am sad to be leaving Okinawa. Not because I’m overly fond of weird ass drinks from a vending machine, but because of you. I have never in my life felt the level of friendship and love I do now. You are such a diverse group of women, all with their own stories, all with their own quirks, and I love each and every one of them. Whether you’re pro status at nursing while jogging, excel at making food I shouldn’t be eating in the first place, blow past me in a race but still make me feel like a winner across the finish line, or you help me wrangle my kiddo on a trip to the zoo, you all have your own spot in my heart. I knew my life would change after my first PCS, but I never imagined the scale of change in myself that has happened while stationed here. I am a healthier, happier, motivated version of myself, and I owe most of that to all of you. You put all of those terrible military wife assumptions to absolute shame.
You’ve made me stronger physically and mentally, you’ve made me a better mother, you’ve supported me in the ups and downs of being a military wife, you’ve even cured some of my fears. I’ll never be able to fully thank you for the way my life has changed because of all of you, and you may not ever realize the differences, however small they may be, you have made. Not only have I achieved goals I never dreamed of, but I have set even more in this new year that I never thought I’d settle on. I came here with almost no friends, and I’m leaving with more than I can count on two hands. You have changed my opinions of being a military wife, quelled my fears of friendship, and healed my insecurities, and for that I am forever thankful. You are all outstandingly wonderful in so many ways and I want you to know that even though I’m leaving, I will always be here for you. I will always support you, always wonder if there’s anything I can do to help you through the adventure that is military wife-dom and mommyhood.
I’ve made entirely too many memories with all of you to list them off one by one, but just know you’ve made my time here in Okinawa beyond worth it and I will miss all of you SO MUCH. This is the first time I’ve felt so sad to leave a place because of the people. Thank GOD for facebook, otherwise I might have to roll up in a blanket, and never leave my bed because of withdrawals and missing you all too much. I look forward to all of you asking for orders to North Carolina.
* This is a new installment on my little blog, I’m trying to be organized here people. Theme days, yay!