Potential be damned

“I come from a family of military service, but I saw a different future for myself. I planned to go to law school after getting my undergraduate degree. I worked at the state Capitol for a senator and later, a governor. Then September 11th happened and it changed everything for my generation. A lot of us shifted our goals to military service or knew someone who did. On the verge of going into the Marine Corps as a pilot, I met my husband, who was training to be a Navy pilot. I realized that although I wouldn’t be serving in the capacity I first imagined, I could still set out to serve my country. My professors told me I was wasting my potential by becoming a military spouse, while my husband’s told him he was noble. The disparity stung. 

“My husband has an incredible love for his country and desire to serve it. He loves what it stands for. He would lay down his life for it, or one of his brothers or sisters in arms, or you, in a heartbeat. He’s always been the type of person who does the right thing because he has a good heart. It’s what drew me to him to begin with. I still worry about him every day; I know our lives can change in an instant. I’ve imagined every scenario I can of how I could lose him. It’s morbid I’m sure, but it’s how I cope with the unknown. It’s not as scary if it’s not unimaginable, though devastating in both thought and form. I hope I never get that knock on my door with uniformed men breaking my heart as theirs breaks for me. I know the women and men who have gotten those knocks — they are my friends. Their spouses were my friends, or my husband’s, too.  

“At times I worry about what my future holds. I wonder if I will ever be a desirable candidate to hire with the kind of resume gap I have. So I’ve set out to do incredible (to me) things — I’ve inserted myself into the military spouse community around me and made lifelong friends, I’ve traveled the world with my kids, lived overseas, been an entrepreneur, run marathons, jumped out of planes, and most rewarding and closest to my heart, fostered children for the state — so that I could say, you know what, I lived a life worth living.  If my life experience doesn’t make me hirable, it’s okay. I got to live life to the fullest and make a tangible difference in the world around me. I’m privileged to live this life, to have the full spectrum of this experience. Potential be damned, I’m really happy.”

One thought on “Potential be damned

  1. Tessa…this story resonated with me deeply! So many of your stories do, but THIS one, especially! Wow. Think I could be soulmates with this special military wife! LOL!<3

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