I never imagined donning this pair of shoes…the sometimes clunky, sometimes beautiful pair of military spouse shoes.
I lived in the same house from the time I was brought home from the hospital until the time I left to attend college. The biggest move I made prior was when I relocated my bed from one wall in my bedroom to the other. Drastic!
And I never thought dudes in military uniforms were hot. I remember watching “An Officer and A Gentleman” and not getting it. Dudes in baseball uniforms were waaaaay hotter. And Air Force hats (excuse me…covers) either made me want to inquire on the fare to ride the bus, or order a milkshake. Extra thick, please.
Even during high school, which was zoned to include the nearby naval base kids, I never imagined having a military way of life. It all just seemed so foreign to me. So foreign, in fact, that I honestly didn’t even give it a much thought. So you just moved here, your dad’s/mom’s job is just a job, blah blah blah, your grocery store is called what? Whatever. That info was on the “I will never need to know” basis.
When my then-boyfriend, now-husband, announced in high school that he wanted a career in the Air Force, I honestly thought, “Well, that was a waste of two years.” He went one direction for college; I went another. Headstrong, sure of myself, and equally sure that the ‘thing’ I had with that guy in high school would never pan out, I earned the degree I wanted without a thought of whether it would grant me ease of relocating every two to three years.
Oh, but he snuck his way back into my life, with his crazy new military talk and walk. I so totally got it this time around, cried Uncle, and gave in to the inevitable yet unpredictable: Heidi as a military spouse.
The walk has not always been easy; sometimes it feels more like a hike. Yet after many trip-ups, stumbles, and lessons learned the hard and often humbling way, I have finally found a way to wear these shoes comfortably and honestly. So honestly, in fact, that I am no longer afraid to say I am still learning, that I need help from time to time, or that there I times when I am floundering in all the military-ness of my life.
Some spouses have a knack making these shoes look super chic at all times and I wonder at times what I am doing wrong. And then I hear from my non-military friends and family, who can't imagine how I do any of it, and it reminds me that even when on the difficult journeys, those shoes are still on my feet. While no one should walk a mile in these shoes if they are not prepared for the blisters, the walk, so far, has been worth it for me. Even when I have to admit it is time for new soles.