Sometimes it’s a match and sometimes you’re just not that into it. If you think I’m talking about relationships, well, in a way, I am. I’m talking about your relationships with military bases from your past, present and future. It’s funny just how connected (or disconnected) you can feel with where you get stationed. I decided to compare these associations to romantic relationships, so have a little fun with me.
Your First — We all start somewhere and in this place you will learn who you are as an individual and as a military spouse. You will have fond memories, some hiccups, some tears and laughter. The good news is that you’ll come out stronger and wiser from the experience, knowing a bit more about what to expect next time around.
The Setup — Everyone told you how much you would love this base, how perfect it would be for you, and like most others in your time as a military spouse, you didn’t have a choice. Whether it’s awkward, doesn’t get you, or maybe makes you cringe a little, you’ll be glad when this “date” ends and you get orders elsewhere. Check, please!
The Bad Boy — When you first arrived, it possessed qualities that you were instantly attracted to. Maybe it was new housing, a PX with a huge movie theater or excellent swimming pools. Superficially it looked like it was going to have everything you wanted, but once you got to know it better, your perspective shifted. It was fun while it lasted, but when it was time to leave, you didn’t look back.
The Friend Zone — This place is fine, just fine. It’s pretty nice. It has what you need, you feel safe, and you can easily enjoy your time here, but you just don’t love it. You can’t put your finger on what is missing, but something is. You find yourself thinking of other bases that you once lived on, while simultaneously trying to enjoy this one. You’ll look back on it fondly, but know that it can never be more than just a nice place to temporarily live.
The Crush — You can’t stop thinking about this base and keep hoping you get orders there. Perhaps it’s Hawaii, Japan, Germany or Italy. Wherever it is, it is the one that you keep your fingers crossed for, feel jealous when others get to move there, and it’s the one you will continue to love from afar.
The True Love — This one was your ideal match. The one that if you had the opportunity, you would stay there for the rest of your life, and you dream of ways you can make it work. Perhaps you can get an extension? Perhaps you can return to it one day in the future? This base will set the bar for all others and nowhere else — no matter how nice — can compete. It has a permanent place in your heart.
Which base do you associate with these types? Do you find that some of these overlap for a particular base? Are there others you would add to this list?
A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops is a mother of two and enjoys writing, travel, art, languages, slow cooking and peaceful parenting. She studied Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. She is a contributing author for Wall Street International Magazine and has discussed her articles on-air with AFN Wiesbaden. She’s usually seen adventuring with her Canon, a coffee and two small children. Follow her on Twitter.
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