Be the Impact you Seek to See

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We all remember a simpler time, growing up and going to school as children.  Then we hit the identify phase usually beginning in middle school or high school. During this time, one’s self is vague or may be influenced by peers whether that is good or bad. It isn’t until after graduation or beginning college when one realizes they must shape their life’s direction, create purpose or find which pieces belong. During this chapter, life is so exciting and full of possibility and it’s hard to pinpoint where that fades or why.

When do individuals start to just go through the motions and lose sight of goals, aspirations, and self?

This is a very challenging yet intriguing question because it is different for everyone, influenced by internal/ external factors as well as environments/situations, and the moving parts are infinite. Military spouses have more complex interchanging parts, which makes self-discovery that much more challenging. The military members adhere to their duty and service. The contract and job are placed first because it was what was signed up for. In this case, identity is easier established due to military structure, ranks, on the job training, and overall stated/expected responsibilities. Spouses have the difficult task of finding self or family balance and coming to terms with the sacrifices such as: moving when told, schedules and long hours, missed occasions, taking on multiple roles, tdy/deployments, and the possibility of losing their loved ones. Their own self-identity becomes entwined with the overall military lifestyle and can often become overshadowed or take a back seat.

How can balance be found when uncertainty is a constant while actively serving?  

Military lifestyle dynamics are very unique, and can be painted as a give and take process, but often also have a ripple effect. At any time the tide may reach high peaks and then at other times, a sense of calm is present. With all that is involved one thing is certain or can be measured, yourself and your personal mindset and actions. A sense of self, strengths/weakness, and the ability to prepare, adapt and react creates the difference between managing to get by and thriving. Empowerment is essential and should be utilized as a driving force during those not so storybook times.  

So where does this personal strength come from? How and when does it develop, and what shapes it?   

Empowerment, whether it is regarding simple or complex situations, the importance to draw upon, would be building yourself up. This helps unlock how you can find your own personal recognition and grow/develop. Many accomplish this by careers, professions, on the job training, certifications or volunteer opportunities. It may feel like a daunting task to find your niche or passion in life. However, don’t let that lingering doubt confine you or continue you down the path of “what if”.  Be open to all experiences, viewing them as platforms shifting you in directions you seek to discover. Find comfort in all the struggles, mishaps/mistakes, and recognize these minor or major aspects make up parts of yourself. Success, in essence, comes from those willing to fail and who have the courage to continue on, standing tall.

Carlie James Petrovics is a freelance writer originally from Georgetown, Delaware. (2).png