insert throat clearing sounds here…

I can’t remember where I was exactly, but the other day when I was driving I pulled up to a red stoplight and I forgot where I was. For a few brief moments I could not compute that I was in Fayetteville, NC. How did I get here? Maybe I have said this before, but rarely do I identify as a military wife. I feel like there is a stereotype attached to that title that I am not quite comfortable with. With that said, it is a part of how I got here.

Zach is currently on a TDY. Of course, this is the best worst time for things to go wrong, and what can go wrong undoubtedly will go wrong. Also known commonly as chaos theory. If you are a military spouse/family you probably know exactly what I mean.

I was driving a few weekends ago and my car started to malfunction beyond my somewhat mechanical aptitude. I stopped by a car shop but they had just closed. I was able to drive it home but I felt crippled by the situation. For those of you that don’t know me, I like to have a plan for everything and plan everything. I am somewhat high-strung and have lots of anxiety. Planning is my coping mechanism. When things start to go awry it is possible that I will lose my mind. So, with my car malfunctioning I felt stuck. Zach is gone and I don’t know anyone here.

Last week, I found myself walking three miles to a Pizza Hut, for lunch. I’m sure it was a little excessive and clearly out of the way, but I wanted to feel normal for an afternoon. For several days up to this I was running low on supplies, if you will. I was probably averaging 500 calories a day. So, I put on my ipod, headed out the door, and started walking. A soldier in an SUV pulled over in the middle of traffic to offer me a ride. Of course, I declined. My mama didn’t raise no fool. The trick is to make it look like a choice. It was windy, but warm. By the time I sat down I was sweating. I devoured my food.

Since than, I put my big girl panties on and have literally been driving on. My car is still acting stupid, but I couldn’t take it. I wanted to go to the store. You are probably wondering why I didn’t just take the car to a shop. My car is 20 years old. I have had it for 5 years and we are tired of each other. We have to part ways. To make matters worse, I was driving home this afternoon from an appointment and I heard a snapping noise come from my driver-side door. It was the regulator for my window.

The worst part is, being alone. I’m sure you might be able to picture me, sitting in an empty parking lot, crying quietly, hitting my steering wheel with the side of my fist. Those are the moments you wish you had someone to call, someone to distract you, someone to talk you down and put it in perspective. I know there are people out there living inside circumstances much worse. I don’t need sympathy. I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

In the last almost 5 years, I have successfully alienated myself from everything I used to know. Much of this time has been dictated by Zach’s military service and we have been moving around the country ever since. The constant moving doesn’t really leave much room for making new friends, and in a way it’s almost easier. So, this is where I find myself, in Fayetteville.

I am a military spouse.

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