A military couple poses with the American flag

Don’t Forget to Look Back

Military families regularly face unexpected life changes and challenges, like PCS moves, separation and so much more. In the moment it can seem overwhelming, like a mountain to climb or a storm that will never pass. Sometimes, it’s important to look at how far you’ve come and celebrate the victories along the way.

The last few years have been a whirlwind for me (as most people can probably relate). Between graduating college and securing my first “adult” job, going through our first PCS move AND getting married, it’s been busy! The good kind of busy, but regardless busy! Recently, I was thinking back to when I was about to graduate college. My husband and I were living about four hours apart at time. I remember feeling so excited and accomplished. I also remember being stressed. It was stress that a lot of my friends and family couldn’t relate to. The stress of being a young military spouse. I didn’t know where we would move to next. I didn’t know if I would even be able to find a job as a recent graduate in a city where I didn’t know anyone. I was overwhelmed with all of the unknowns. I felt like I didn’t have control over my future.

I also remember when we finally found out we were moving to Virginia Beach and the amount of relief I felt. It wasn’t our first choice, but it was in our top three. I began my job search and spent hours working on my resume. After tirelessly searching through LinkedIn and filling out endless job applications, I was called in for interviews at three different companies. I accepted one of the offers, packed up my belongings and moved with my now-husband into our first, cozy little townhouse. It felt like in an instant everything finally fell into place.

Now looking back, three years later, I’m proud of everything we went through that got us to where we are today. If it wasn’t for the long distance, I would’ve never gotten to travel along the coast or truly learn how to cherish every moment together. I probably wouldn’t have spent hours on LinkedIn researching companies and learning more about where I wanted to work. If we didn’t end up in our “third choice,” Virginia Beach, I wouldn’t have met any of our amazing friends here. I wouldn’t even be who I am today without going through that period of my life.

We get so busy going through tough times and life changes, we forget to look back and recognize what we’ve been through. Life gets so busy, maybe even too busy. Pause for a moment. Take a second and look back on a period in your life that you thought you would never get through – a time when you thought you were given a mountain too big to climb. And give yourself a chance to appreciate being on the other side of it. That’s worth celebrating! Military families are so strong – it’s important to reflect on your tenacity and perseverance through any challenge big or small.

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