I like the uniform, but I LOVE the man wearing it

When I move to a new place and start looking to make friends with other military wives, there are a few things that I look for as signs that we will be compatible or not. I try not to judge too much right off the start, but a red flag for me is anything along the lines of:

“If your with a Marine raise your glass, if you’re not, raise your standards”

or

While I do think the military is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle, it in no way makes the service member any better than somebody who works a civilain job.

I love my husband, and I will continue to love him in 3 years when he is done with his contract.

I respect everyone who makes the choice to voluntarily serve their country. But that one choice does not make them a respectable person. One choice, one action, does not define an entire person.

The military is filled with cheaters, alcholics, child abusers and assholes. Their job in the military doesn’t mean they are automatically a good person. I still respect the choice they made to serve their country, but that doesn’t mean I have to respect all their other bad choices.

My husband is not better than a civilian guy, and our marriage is not better than a civilian marriage. It may be different, with different challenges and strengths, but it’s not better. I’ve seen wounderful marriages outside of the military, and I’ve seen abusvie unhappy marriges in the military.

In conclusion, this is pretty much how I feel

“I like the uniform, but I LOVE the man wearing it”

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Civilian vs. Military Friends

I was somewhat of a social butterfly this weekend, which is unusual for me. If I go out more than one night during the weekend then it’s a busy weekend for me.

It made me stop and think about my friends, my military and civilian friends, and just friendship in general.

I’ve never been one of those girls to have tons of friends, I like to have one or two really good friends, and that’s it. I don’t need to win a popularity contest.

When I moved down to San Diego for college I made friends, they were girls that lived in my dorm and went to college with me. We would go out on the weekends and party or just hang out.

But then I went and got married at 20, and started to realize that I wasn’t connecting as much with my college friends. I was a married woman living with my husband, I didn’t want to party anymore.

So I started looking for married friends, which turned out to be military wives. Now, I could have a whole post about military wives, they are a crazy bunch of people, but let’s just say that I did eventually find some that I clicked with, and I ended up having more military friends then I did civilian friends.

When I started graduate school I wasn’t really looking to make tons of friends, I had a pretty set group that I was hanging out with, and Jeremy and I were always doing things on the weekend. But I did make some friends, and when Jeremy deployed this summer we got a lot closer. Now I have a group of girls that I hang out with at least once a weekend.

So, getting back to this current weekend. I went out with a fellow military wife for lunch on Friday, then out with my civilian friends that night. On Saturday I went to a Halloween party hosted by my military friends, then on Sunday watched football with another military wife.

I noticed that when I’m with fellow military wives, we talk about our husbands and the military a lot. It’s what we have in common. And I love being able to talk about deployment and duty stations and all the trial and tribulations that come with being married to the military, without having to explain everything. They get it.

But when I’m with my civilian friends, I love that fact that I only talk about me. I’m not Alison, military wife. I’m Alison, student, social worker, country music fanatic, etc. Jeremy almost never comes up in conversation. I talk about school and my work and my clients. Its awesome.

So I guess my conclusion is that I like having both civilian and military friends. I like the balance.

Having friends outside the military has also made me realize that it’s important to have friends for myself. When Jeremy is home we typically hang out with people in groups, he knows the guys from work, and I know the wives.

But with my civilian friends, I go out with them alone, Jeremy stays home. And I like that separation, having something that is just mine. Him being gone has really opened my eyes to the fact that I LIKE girls nights. I LIKE going out without him sometimes. I think it’s healthy in a relationship, and I plan on keeping it up after he comes home.

And to close on a completely different topic. Here is a picture of my Halloween costume. I just had to share because I am super proud of how it came out 🙂 Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

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Begin Again

I will admit, I am a Taylor Swift fan. I’m a country music fan in general so I enjoy her older, more “country” style.  Her new “pop” style isn’t really for me though, so I was hesitant to check out her new CD since she seems to be moving away from country and more towards pop. I still haven’t bought it, but I did listen to it online to see if I would like it. The one song that stood out to me was the last one on the CD: Begin Again

Took a deep breath in the mirror.
He didn’t like it when I wore high heels but I do.
Turn the lock and put my headphones on.
He always said he didn’t get this song but I do.
I do.

Walked in expecting you’d be late.
But you got here early and you stand and wait.
I walk to you.
You pull my chair out and help me in.
And you don’t know how nice that is but I do.

And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid.
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause he never did.

 The song really resonated with me because it reminded me of when I first started dating Jeremy. I have had bad relationships in my past, I don’t speak of it openly or often, but I’ve been through domestic violence and emotional abuse. And this song reminded me of what it felt like going from that relationship to the one I have with Jeremy. It was so strange for me to be with somebody who thought I was wonderful, beautiful, smart and funny. To be with somebody who thought they were lucky to have me.

 Whether or not its domestic violence, when you’re with the wrong guy, someone who puts you down and doesn’t appreciate you, it’s hard on your self-esteem. And to leave that relationship, and to find the right guy, a healthy relationship, it’s surprising and it feels a little strange at first.

I think she captures it perfectly in just that one line
“I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause he never did”

75% Done with Deployment #2!

Today is a big milestone for our second deployment: 75% down!

This milestone can nicely tie into the description of my new blog. The new title is “Look Beyond the Imperfections”, which is taken from one of my favorite quotes:

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Deployments aren’t typically something you want in your life when your aiming for “happy”, but just because someone is going threw a deployment, doesn’t mean they can’t be happy.

There have been many times during this deployment and the last one where I have been happy, because I appreciate what I have, rather than ruminating on what I don’t.

Yes, Jeremy is deployed.

But, I am lucky to be in school, I’m in my last year of college, I have wonderful friends, my family loves me, I fall more in love with my husband every day, our marriage continues to get stronger, I’m healthy, Jeremy is healthy, we have a home and many other material luxuries. I could go on and on, you get the point lol.

Focus on the positive and you will find happiness