I got the idea for this post while I was blow drying my hair today and it got me fired up to write! I’ve mentioned on here numerous times that my husband is in the military and we move often (typically anywhere from 3-5 years.) This summer we are transferring again after 4 years and each time I tend to get the same responses from (well-meaning) friends and family that often gets a little…annoying? I figured I could clear things up and get a little tongue in cheek on here. We JUST found out where we are moving (Mobile, Alabama!), and I find the responses I get during transfer season are often the most interesting. Let’s do this!
- Upon hearing what is on “dream sheet” (a list you submit 6 months before you move that gives a bunch of choices where you’d LIKE to move)…I hear, “oh, don’t put (insert this location) on the list, I’ve heard from my best friend’s, boyfriends’ cousin (etc) that it is terrible.” Here’s the deal: putting together the “list” takes months of debates, figuring out that would be best for your husband’s career, and finding what place has the job he needs, as well as the opening there. Once that list is submitted there is NO GOING BACK. Once that sucker goes in you just hope for the best, and hopefully you haven’t put something on there that you would be upset to go to. However, hearing from people after the fact that something on this list is “bad” or that you should not have it there DOES NOT HELP. Also, once you put in this list you often get a call saying none of them will fit, and “would you consider…” Most military folks get a choice, but often you are steered towards a location or job. Again, there is not a lot of choice.
- Once we have finally heard about the place we are moving (6 months after you submit the list and about 2-5 months before you move), you have to tell people. Here’s the kicker. Don’t ever act disappointed when your military friend or family member tells you where they are moving, even if you are. I want to say this again: we don’t have a choice where we are moving. Hearing that you would have “rather we moved to Hawaii versus Savannah” is hurtful. Most likely there is some sort of trepidation about the move, or we ourselves aren’t the happiest about the new location. BUT, we have to move to this new place no matter what. So positivity helps! Please don’t tell me horror stories about how bad you have heard the area is, or how you are afraid we are going to be killed in a hurricane down there, or that we will die of heat in the South. We know all of these things. We’ve spent time researching every possible place where we could move, cross referenced housing and schools, doctors and hairdressers. And once they tell us we are going, that is it, no matter how much you might like to tell us not to.
- Lastly, once you hear about where we are going, please never complain about how hard it will be to get to. Or act pissed off because the new place I am moving isn’t “easy” for you. I get it is annoying to take 2 planes or to fly somewhere farther and have to get a car, or that it is more expensive. Or telling me you wished we had been assigned a more “convenient location” to fly into. This stinks. It all comes down to this, we are living far away from everyone we know, and have been for a while. We move to a place where, if we are lucky, we know 1-2 people already living there (maybe.) We have to move across the country, buy or rent homes in locations we have never seen, learn a whole new area and find new schools, doctors, dentists, hair dressers, learn new grocery stores, and basically restart our whole lives all over again. On repeat. I could wish for things to be easier or more convenient myself, but I never have that choice. I have to take what is given to me and run with it.
That’s it! I mean, I COULD write a book about all this stuff, I swear;) I choose to be as positive as I can about moving and living this life. I choose to see it as an adventure, a blessing for my kids, husband and I, and a chance to see things I might never have if we didn’t have to relocate so often. I have yet to move somewhere where I haven’t made great friends, or haven’t been happy. I take a lot of comfort in that fact. Here’s to a new adventure!