“Truly great friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. “
Military spouses would agree finding new friends every few years can be hard and once you find them you don’t want to let them go. However, that is a part of military life always saying goodbye. Your friends in the military have a way of becoming family, they understand what you are going through, they help you get through deployments, trainings, TDY’s and whatever the military throws your way. They laugh or cry with you when “Murphy’s law” hits and your washing machine breaks, your roof falls in, your basement floods, and your kid gets sick all on the same day your spouse leaves.
But what do you do when those same friends move away? You find yourself missing them and your children are missing their friends. You are longing for the days when they came over and bossed your children around or took you to the movies on a date soon after your spouse deployed. How do you deal with your pain and that of your children? How do you put yourself out there to find a new friend?
In the past this would have caused me to go into a pity party. I would have sat around feeling sorry for myself and telling anyone who would have listened how sad my life was. It would take me forever to put myself out there and meet new people or build on the friendships I already had.
I have learned over the years to acknowledge the fact that I’m sad. I allow myself to feel sad and encourage my children to feel whatever they are feeling. I teach them that their feelings come from what they are thinking. I decide that the perfect friend is out there, and I have to be willing to put myself out there to find her. Is she someone I already know? A parent of one of my children’s friends? A new spouse? A spouse who has been here but hasn’t found her people because life is busy? As I am open and willing to put myself out there, I know the perfect person will come. How do I know? Because I choose to believe she is out there. I get to think whatever I want about anyone. I choose to be happy or not. I choose to find my friend or not. It’s all in my control and it’s all in your control. Find your friends. Love them like family and when the time comes to say goodbye be willing to feel all the feelings knowing in the end, you’ll be fine because you get to decide if you are fine or not.