Why didn't you tell me my goals would change? Since I was young I always wanted to achieve something great with my life. I decided without a doubt, I wanted to go to college. I actually didn’t see any other option for myself.
Once admitted, I was eager to learn everything I possibly could, as well as finish as quickly as I could to avoid acquiring too much student loan debt.
When I started college I started to dream of achieving more than my Bachelor’s Degree, I started to look into PhD programs as I had conducted research as an undergraduate and desired to achieve more than the Bachelor’s Degree that has seemed to become increasingly more prevalent. Though, with age, I began to become more turned off by the idea of continuing. After a rough start to my college career, due to a series of events, I had become very apathetic about college and my goals. While I was at college I constantly was attached to my laptop and phone in order to talk with my then boyfriend.
Luckily he was very uplifting and constantly reminding me, “You finish what you start no matter what.” He has always been very motivating, likely something he acquired by becoming a Marine.
I remember at night I would sit there and think to myself how sorry I felt for making him be alone in order for me to achieve my own goals. I would actually tell him sometimes, “I am sorry for being such a crappy girlfriend.”
This I think came as a result of no longer having the drive to achieve what I once had set as a live goal but still pushing myself to achieve it because in some small corner of my heart still laid the fact that it was all I had ever wanted for myself to achieve.
He would comfort me like any good man would do. I realized that he could probably relate to my dismay. He had to leave behind his family and friends to go through the training to become a Marine and then move across the country away from what he knew and was comfortable with.
And then I realized this common ground we were sharing. Sometimes in life, as much as you love people, you have to do things for yourself and the priorities we have are depend of the circumstances of our life at the time.
As we get older, we see the world differently and we begin to prioritize things differently as well. This goes for any military wife with goals of their own.
You are married to someone who is constantly moving and often whose career takes precedences over yours. Often times we have to modify our goals to allow them to achieve theirs.
It is the quality in military wives that makes them selfless and for this I have always respected anyone who was married to someone in the Armed Forces.
Yes, achieving my goals would be harder, but my priorities were different. I looked at a lot of my peers who were PhD students that felt resentment for what they had to give up to get where they were.
In life no matter what you are pursuing as a goal, whether it be to obtain a degree, raise children or even start a business, you have to give up some things to get where you want to be going. The amount we each give up is subjective, but regardless of what it is we all have to adjust and move forward.
Also, each person’s desires for their own life are of equal value to those of others, though some choose to be mothers who stay at home and raise their children, this desire is no greater or lesser in value than someone who wants to become the CEO of a large company.
Each of our lives is unique, with different paths and different scenarios that shape us into who we are. You should never feel like what you are doing with your own is inadequate when comparing yourself to others. As a military wife you recognize that yes accomplishing any goal is going to be more difficult, but that is what makes us more versatile.
Achieving my goals could be harder, but to me it is worth the struggle and in the end that is what matters the most, that it is worth it TO YOU.
Melissa is a Marine Corps spouse. Both she and her husband are living in the Nation's Capitol, where he is currently stationed.