This week, I turned twenty-three! It was actually on Wednesday and you might not have known.
You see, I felt a little upset about my birthday this year. I was living in a new place (Fort Bragg) with few friends (mostly superficial still at this point) and the one person I moved down here to be with- Casey- couldn’t be here. Now obviously I know that the Army didn’t try to keep him away on my birthday (obviously) it was just the luck of the draw that his FTX fell on my birthday.
We’ve been apart for months at a time before. We’ve gone months without talking. The Army has, can, and will continue to take Casey away for work for extended periods of time, especially at times that are inconvenient for me and my life (Murphy’s Law, duh!).
But I was in a new place. I just gave up my life to come be here with Casey! I gave up my friends, being 3 hours from family, my own space, my life before to come down here to be with HIM. And now he couldn’t be here on a day that was so important to ME. I wasn’t angry or upset with him, but I was angry and upset.
Knowing that this FTX was going to be a big deal, though, I tried to suck it up and not show my feelings too much.
I had taken the day off work and Casey didn’t have to go in until later in the day, so we got to sleep in later than usual. When we finally decided to wake up, Casey made me a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon in a warm pita with tabouli.
I cried. And I cried. And I cried. And then we ate lunch and I cried some more.
But I poured my heart out to her and she said to me exactly what I needed to hear: “You’re not the only one who has felt that way.”
It’s not just me. I’m not the only one who missed my sister and my family and my friends and my previous life when I moved because the Army sent us to a new post. I’m not the only one who has spent a birthday/anniversary/holiday alone without my significant other because of the Army. I knew this, but talking to her I really got it. This is not going to be the last time Casey is gone when I would really prefer he not be but I don’t have to just suck it up because I’m not alone. Katie came thiiiiiis close to having her husband miss the birth of their second baby. Casey is going to have a deployment at some point and be gone for, with my luck, everything.
I might not control his schedule, but I do control my happiness. I’ve decided that I cannot let the Army ruin my happiness. Instead, in those moments of difficulty, I need to cling to the community of other women around me who get it.
I’ve always been a Type-A planner. But here’s what I’ve realized: Life is an adventure and we don’t get to plan adventures. We just have to make the most of the hand we’re dealt.
… you know the saying:
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan.”
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.