If you’re just joining in on the blog, I invite you to read Dating Someone in the Military: How to Reclaim Your Identity Part I before beginning.
As soon as I began recognizing that living a life in the military would be extremely difficult, I made a conscious effort to express my feelings to Felix and be as transparent as I could, which was incredibly awkward and made me self-conscious in the beginning.
I’ve always been the person that my family and friends see as having their life together, and here I was falling apart in front of a man who I knew loved me, but I questioned because of my own insecurities.
Being open and honest was the jumpstart I needed to feel confident in taking back control of my life and finding my footing again. I made the decision to bloom where I was planted as opposed to living in a constant battle with myself.
I started making changes in my life, but they took work.
I left the marketing job that was not making me feel happy, fulfilled or paying me nearly enough. Money isn’t everything, but I know my worth.
I found a new job whose mission I align with and pays me what I deserve. I have coworkers who are my own age and live close by and who are absolutely amazing to spend my days with.
I started making friends and hanging out with them.
I started getting out of the house more and viewing the apartment as a haven and not a prison.
I started treating my body with care, physically and especially mentally. If I need a minute, I give it to myself and I’m not ashamed when I need to sit in silence by a candle over going to the gym. Or taking a bubble bath on a Friday night instead of going out.
I started stepping outside of my comfort zone more often, which was terrifying but necessary if I wanted to build a life I was proud of.
I started opening myself up to the possibilities of life more often, like making new friends and nurturing those relationships instead of hiding and waiting for them to fall into my lap.
I started accepting myself in its entirety. Flaws, hiccups, bumps and bruises. You name it, I accept it. Self-care and believing in my confidence got me through plenty of darker days.
The most important thing that I began doing, and the one change that is the most recent, is letting myself love.
After letting myself fall in love with me for the first time in my life, I let myself fall in love with Felix.
You might be wondering why someone would relocate their entire life for a guy she didn’t love, and I want to stop you before you get the wrong idea.
I love Felix. I’ve loved Felix since I met him. But, to me, the most important part of love is trust, and it’s taken me nearly two and a half years to place my trust in him and our relationship. My inhibitions were never his doing. They were my insecurities and reservations shining through and settling like a cloud over me. Like most people, I fear being hurt. Like most military girlfriends and spouses, I fear losing my identity. In an effort to save myself from my fears, I never quite brought down the wall all the way. Not fully, anyway. Not until recently.
Something in me switched, and I decided that I needed and wanted to give back the love I was receiving, because not only did my circle of people deserve that, but I did too.
In order to have an identity crisis, one must be unsure of themselves and where they are in their lives. Being unsure of oneself also leads to comparisons and feelings of unhappiness and coveting what other people have.
But if there’s one thing in life that I am sure of, it’s that I am completely happy with how my life is today.
Am I starring on Broadway or a recurring role in a TV series like I wanted when I graduated from college? No, I am not.
Am I a famous blogger with hundreds of thousands of views and Instagram followers? No, I am not.
Am I rich and have perfect skin and a list of places I’ve traveled to that’s longer than the line in Trader Joe’s on a Sunday evening? To all of the above, no.
But I am happy.
I’m happy with my body for the very first time in my life. I’m happy with the friends I have at home and the friends I’ve made here. I’m happy with my small but mighty family and the two wonderful pets that greet me daily with wagging tails and purring. I’m happy with being able to afford a healthful lifestyle and I don’t take that for granted. I’m happy to have a small an cozy apartment that really and truly feels like home. I’m happy to have a partner who listens to me when I’m having a moment, who comforts me when I’m anxious, who kisses me when I’m not feeling well or who greets me every single day with a smile and a hug first thing in the morning and after work, regardless of what he’s going through.
I’m happy with my life.
And my happiness means I’m successful, and my success means I’m sure of my direction, and my sureness means I know who I am, and if I know who I am, than I’ve found myself.
And if I’ve found myself, I have an identity.
It’s the strangest thing, this life in the military.
It’s unpredictable and sporadic and can oftentimes be lonely.
But it’s strange that the thing that made me feel so lost turned into the biggest moment of self-discovery of my life.
And the thing I ran from the most for all of these years is now what I find myself running towards every single day.
That thing is love.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out my other posts in my Dating Someone in the Military series for a further glimpse into what it’s really like to date (and live with) someone in the military.
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Question of the Day!
What do you run towards everyday? A goal? A person? Your Keurig? I’d love to know.