“So what do you do?…”
That dreaded question… Cocktail parties… Dinner out with new people… it always comes up. Everybody asks it… How does a person define oneself when they don’t have a pat answer?
I was recently at a luncheon for an International Women’s Club and that question came up. As soon as I mentioned I was a military spouse the lady assumed that I had nothing relevant to offer and moved on to her next victim.
I am a Military Spouse. Defining yourself in relation to your spouse’s occupation is something that is never done in today’s society. It feels like something out of A Mad Men Episode. I could tell you that many years ago I was an RN working in palliative care, but as soon as I tell you that I would have to follow with the fact that I haven’t nursed in 20 years. So if I am not an occupation. What am I?
I am fierce advocate that has moved every two years for as long as I can remember. I am able to adapt at the last minute and manage projects as we move to yet a different province, or a different country with different health care and a different school system. I help my family start over each time we relocate. I am a champion for my children and the vastly different school systems that exist within multiple provinces and one state. I am a researcher; I buy, renovate and sell homes, frequently. I am an event planner and team player; I find venues for large groups of spouses so they can connect. I manage a single household income (because who will hire somebody that is going to leave soon). I hold my family together through difficult deployments to conflict areas around the world. I often watch the news very carefully because decisions made in Parliament today can affect my dinner plans tomorrow. I re-invent myself every two years, and because of this I am a master networker. I have lived in 4 Canadian provinces and one American State. I volunteer, and I am about to be a single parent again as my husband continues to serve as a soldier.
What do I do? I am a Military Spouse.
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