I used to be a very pessimistic person.
If things didn’t go as I thought they should have, negative feelings would fester until I lashed out in some way. I would often be in a bad mood but covered it with a smile, rolled my eyes at overly cheerful people, stressed out about the small stuff, and put up walls to block out criticism.
I didn’t realize how miserable I was, and that I was doing it to myself.
I honestly cannot tell you at what point my perspective began to change. I can only say that it happened slowly, and it wasn’t due to one single event. But I do remember how I had surrounded myself with other pessimistic people. I remember how poisonous and awful it made me feel, and how I projected it onto my marriage at times. I remember not wanting to be like that anymore.
It was very easy to be pessimistic, especially with constant change in my life due to military standards that impact it. I didn’t always have the best attitude because I didn’t feel I had a choice in the matter as a spouse.
Do military spouses have a choice?
A word many military spouses feel they cannot use because of the authority and power the military does have. But we can choose. There is always a choice, even when it may not feel that way. Whatever the situation happens to be, like when we lose something dear to our hearts, or if an identity has gone missing, we choose our attitude.
I chose to marry someone who chose to serve his country. So I choose to search for the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel, the brightest star in the sky, and any other uplifting line I can think of that reminds me to find the good in the not so glamorous parts of my life… when I can.
Choosing to recognize the good aspects of military culture is something that keeps me going, because it isn’t all doom and gloom, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows either.
What I feel I am is a realist. I prefer to be optimistic, but I appreciate and respect the pessimist in me because I want to be honest about my life as a military spouse. So I choose to be real, and that is OK with me because I want other military spouses to know that it’s OK to feel whatever they choose.
I would want someone to be real with me. How about you?
Heather has twelve years under her belt as an Air Force spouse and uses her passion for writing to reflect on her honest views of being a modern day military spouse at her blog Military Wife Military Life. She navigates her days with two young boys and two dogs by her side. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Want more on military life?
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Do you think military spouses have choices in military life? Let’s chat in the comments!