Today has been a contemplative one. I was thinking, how did my life end up this way. How did I end up in this place? However, I couldn't be more happy with how its gone thus far. You see, I had my life all planned out by the time I was a senior in high school. I was going to attend LSU (Go Tigers!) and graduate in 4 years, get into and graduate dental school, establish my career, meet the man of my dreams, start a family, and then be a working mom. Then fate intervened....The first part of my plan panned out, but that was it!
When I met my hubs, I had no idea the guy sitting across from me in Latin II would be my soul mate. It wasn't love at first sight. We became fast friends though. We were both the same major (Biological Sciences) so we were taking many of the same classes. He was in the Air Force National Guard and served overseas after 9/11. Eventually our friendship became something more and soon we were engaged. The biggest thing standing in our way was the military.
He was up for re-enlistment and that meant more training. I never intended to be a military wife. I had heard so many horror stories about the military lifestyle. I didn't want our wedding date to revolve around an undependable schedule so we decided not to reenlist. Now before you think badly of me, my husband never intended to make the military his career. Also, his job wouldn't transfer over to a civilian one: Without getting technical, he built bombs. About 2 months after getting out, he was offered a huge resigning bonus. It was too good of a deal to pass up, he really wanted for us to have some money to start our lives together. He had all the paperwork filled out, all he needed was to be sworn in.
Then Hurricane Katrina happened. The base went underwater. They misplaced his paperwork and due to the disaster, the bonus went away. However, because he was never sworn in, he was able to get out of the reenlistment. We both had our last semester at LSU up ahead, but it was a tough one due to Katrina. We both managed to graduated in December 2005, then we were married the following April.
We had the small, family wedding of our dreams. Now, the plan was that I would get into dental school and he would attend med school or graduate school. Neither of us managed to get in :( Whatever happened to my master plan? So here we were, newlyweds and new grads with no jobs. Well, we were still working part time waiting tables. Somehow, this managed to turn into a career for my new husband. The owner of the restaurant wanted to make my hubs the general manager of his other restaurant in New Orleans. With no other offers on the table, he decided to take the job. One thing I have to say about my husband, he is willing to do whatever it takes to support his family.
So we moved to New Orleans and my husband started managing the restaurant. I decided that I no longer wanted to be a dentist and I wanted to pursue a career in nursing. I took classes at UNO in order to fulfill the prerequisites for nursing school while waiting tables part-time at my hubs restaurant. I only had to take 2 semesters before I could apply for nursing school. Now, the plan was I would go to nursing school while my husband worked. For any of you out there that think military wives are the only ones that have to deal with shitty work schedules, boy are you misinformed! The restaurant was a wreck (thanks Katrina!) and my husband was putting in 50-60 hours a week. The only time I saw him was when I was working with him. The job was stressful for him and he was miserable. I hated seeing him so unhappy because he was trying to do the right thing for our family. Somehow, the military managed to poke its head back into our lives.
My husband came home from work one day and told me he decided he was going to be a corpsman in the Navy. His job was literally sucking the life out of him. He was miserable. I wanted him to be happy, so we agreed he would join the military. Again. He went ahead and took the ASVAB. After taking the test, the recruiter told my husband that he wasn't going to be a corpsman, he was going to be a nuke. My husband never even thought about being a nuke, but he liked the idea. Before I knew it, he was going off to boot camp and I was moving in with my parents. Now the plan was I would go to nursing school while my husband was in training. However, after he finished boot camp we both knew we couldn't live our lives apart like that. We soon moved to Charleston, SC into base housing. Funny enough, while I was unpacking our stuff I received a phone call from a nursing school telling me that I was accepted. Instead of being elated, I was sad. The school was back in Louisiana.
I didn't settle into the military spouse life so well. Now looking back, my husband says he was pretty sure I was going to leave him. I was away from my parents for the first time, I never got to see my husband, and I had a hard time making or keeping friends in this new place. It was like being around a bunch of high schoolers; they were gossipy and back stabbing. I eventually distracted myself with my new plan: I was going to get a job and I was going to attend nursing school in SC. I ended up doing some temp work while filling out nursing school applications. That fall, I submitted all the applications and was playing the waiting game. Around Valentine's Day I came down with a flu that I just couldn't shake. Or so I thought it was the flu. Turns out morning sickness is alot like having the flu!
I freaked out. THIS WAS NOT IN THE PLAN!! Hadn't my plan been altered enough? I wasn't ready for a baby, how was I going to deal with my husband's work schedule, raising a child, and taking care of everything that my hubs can't? I was a bit overwhelmed. I partially blame the pregnancy hormones. I never figured I'd be a mother before 30. After I settled down and started getting excited about our pregnancy, I realized something. Someone out there has a master plan and it sure as hell isn't me.
We welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world in mid October and by December we moved to our first duty station. I couldn't be happier with my family and our situation. My daughter and the military have changed my life. Since moving here, I've learned alot. I've learned what people to avoid and what people to welcome into my life. I've learned to embrace the changes in my life and that the key to my happiness is by finding the upside to whatever comes my way. So that is the story of my accidental life :)