Have you ever heard the saying “it’s like trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole”?
I’m the peg. The military is the hole.
Don’t get me wrong. If you met me, you wouldn’t think that right off the bat. I LOVE what the military has given us. I love my country, and I certainly love my Airman.
However, I don’t exactly fit the mold of a traditional military spouse. I’ve always struggled to fit in with the other spouses. I understand what it’s like to be the outsider, the odd man out, the minority.
There are many ways that I fit the military spouse stereotype. I got married at 21, in a courthouse, at my husband’s first duty station. I have learned to PCS with the best of them, and I have handled our 6 deployments like a champ.
But that’s where the similarities start to fade. I do not have any children, nor do I want any. Try saying that to a group of junior enlisted spouses at a baby shower at the community center on base. I have- the reactions were priceless. Some people nod and smile. Others outright demand that I will want them some day. Well, I’m now 36 and someday never happened.
I am highly educated. Now, I know lots of spouses are educated. In fact, military spouses are more educated than their civilian counterparts. However, I have a PhD. My husband is enlisted. I have yet to meet another military spouse with a PhD whose husband is enlisted. I KNOW they have to exist (someone leave me a comment!), but I have yet to meet one.
I also work. A LOT. With travel! *gasp*. That’s right, folks. I leave my husband at home to fend for himself while I go to other cities to work. He can do his own laundry. We have completely separate bank accounts. *another gasp*
Here’s the thing. I know all of the norms I am breaking are just stereotypes of a milspo misunderstood…but it’s still all good.
Not all military spouses have children, stay at home, and don’t go to school. I know that. But when 9 out of 10 spouses you meet fit that mold, you start to feel like an outsider.
I’ve met other military spouses “like me” and most of them totally shun anything to do with the military. They don’t volunteer, they don’t join the spouse’s group, and they certainly aren’t Key Spouses.
I decided, you know what? I am not going to ostracize myself further! I want to show other outsiders that they can be insiders. I joined all the clubs- spouse’s club, book club, food club, you name it, I joined it. Squadron needs Key Spouses? Sign me up! Need food for the squadron picnic? I got you!
And guess what I found out? I am not different from anyone else. I have made the most amazing military spouse friends from ALL walks of life. Stay at home moms, spouses that work, active duty spouses, and they are all wonderful! You just have to put yourself out there and accept people as they are. Just as I hoped they’d accept me.
A square peg can fit in a round hole, you just have to keep hammering it in there.
***Welcome**** To our newest Blog Teammate Georgia Jones