I need a manual

BrookeandAndrewWeddingPartTwo 065

I vowed to myself that I’d never marry a guy in the military.

I mean who wants to pick up and leave everything you have; your friends and family, your church, your favorite bar, or even that homeless guy who ascetically plays electric guitar on Mill Avenue?
Not me.
Leaving my beautiful San Diego hometown for college was enough of a change for me. I had a cushiony 5 hour drive between me and my family, friends, and the surf, and that’s exactly how I liked it.
Well I didn’t exactly set my 19 year old self up to keep that “no military vow” when I started dating Andrew, the “Soon to be Commissioned Naval Officer”  in October, 2011.
After so many late nights studying, pizza boxes, hikes, trips to the lake, adventures, and maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears… we are..

HERE.

Married.

33 months later in Corpus Christi, Texas. New place, new house, new friends, new church…new, new, new.
While I understand that everyone in life goes through changes, and we all must adapt to that change to grow and hopefully become better people…blah, blah, blah..

There’s one thing that has really been difficult for me.
Not only did I get married, but I took on an entirely new role as a “Navy Wife”. I don’t know why, but initially this term left such a bad taste in my mouth. You know what, scratch that. I DO know why. Why? Because every time that idea has been presented to me, the “Navy Wife” it meant, give up your career, start having babies, and say goodbye to your freedom, because your new role in life is to: stay at home, clean the house, take care of the kids, and make sure there is a hot meal ready for your husband when he gets home.
YUCK! (Except for the hot meal part, I do love to cook. Lucky Andy).
The day I turned 16 I applied for 14 jobs, and started working for the first place that offered me a position. I love to work, I love to make money, and I love having a sense of purpose. Period. This “Navy Wife” idea did not seem contingent with the way I saw my life going, so I detested it.
When a man gets married to a woman in the general workforce, he isn’t a “Civilian Working Woman’s Husband”. So why do I have to get this title as “Navy Wife”? I absolutely detested it. I corrected people who called me such by saying, “Oh, you must have me confused with a “Navy Wife”, that’s not me. I am however a woman who happens to be married to an Officer in the Navy!” What a brat I must have sounded like.

There’s this term that some of the Naval Officers I’ve met like to throw around: “Dependopotamus”. Aka Dependant meets Hippopotamus meets succubus. Basically what it means to them is, a military dependant wife  who is an unmotivated, money-spending fatty who does absolutely nothing. Great. So not only do I have to defend myself from being a Navy wife, but I have to now also prove to everyone that I’m not a Dependopotamus.
A gym membership, a job, my own new car,  and a separate bank account would be the perfect concoction to prove to myself and everybody else I was no Dependopotamus-Navy Wife! Right?
WRONG.
The thing is, no matter what I do with my job, or as a spouse, or as a friend, or as a daughter, I’m not going to find blissful fulfillment in that. No matter how much money I make, I won’t be able to buy enough to not feel an emptiness linger. No matter what I do, where I go, and what I accomplish, nothing will compare to knowing that I belong to Jesus.
HOLY SMOKES.
Yeah, I said Jesus. Feel free to argue with me, tell me I’m an ignorant bigot and get political, but you won’t change my mind, probably like I won’t change yours.

And you know what? That’s okay.
I am a daughter of the Living God and that is more important, and more valuable than any paycheck, bonus, accomplishment, or title I could ever hold.

So call me a “Navy Wife”, or a “Dependopotamus”. Call me whatever you’d like. I’m happy, very proud of my husband and all he is accomplishing as an aspiring Naval Aviator, and I’m even more proud to be a part of His family.

One thought on “I need a manual

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