When I was in college I had my entire life mapped out.
After graduation I would immediately move on to graduate school. After earning my master’s degree, I would embark on my career as a sports psychologist. I would establish myself in my field and live on my own until I met the right guy and got married at age 27. We would have baby #1 when I was 30, baby #2 when I was 33. My first book would be published by age 35, my second by age 40.
That’s a reasonable plan, isn’t it?
Well, not a single one of those things came true. And while I know now that the different path I created for myself was the one I was meant to follow, there are some details of that original life plan I would still like to accomplish.
I’ve had many conversations with other military spouses who feel the same way. Because of military life, many of us have had to change gears or push the pause button on certain aspects of our lives. My career took a backseat to my husband’s, and then when I thought I had finally picked up some career momentum, we moved to Japan and I found myself back in that holding pattern.
But just as I learned that it’s okay to veer from the original path I saw for myself, I’ve also learned it’s possible for some of my various life paths to intersect at some point, that one day this winding path filled with detours and GPS recalculations may have just been the scenic route that takes me to same end point as the straight and narrow (and boring!) original one.
That’s why I love this military wife quote:
It is never too late to be what you might have been." ~George EliotI may not have gone back to school when I thought I would, but I did eventually get my master’s degree. I may not have made it to the Olympics, but I’ve competed in half marathons, open-water swims and a mini triathlon. I may not have published that first book by age 35, but that just means I have more life experiences to include in the book when I do get around to writing it.
So when I hear MilSpouses say they wish they’d gone to college or pursued a different career or fulfilled any other fill-in-the blank dream they once had, I say “Go for it!” Sure, maybe you need to wait until the kids are a little older or you PCS back to the States or your servicemember returns from deployment, but don’t give up on your dreams. And don’t ever forget: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”