Well we did it! We made the crazy move to Ramstein, Germany.
Ara, Riley, Newman and I arrived in Germany on July 26, almost two weeks ago now. There's been so many experiences and tasks we've covered in these past two weeks. We've looked at approximately 12 houses to potentially make into our future home. We've learned a few key phrases in German. We are navigating our way through culture shock and getting humbled on a daily basis. Many of our friends and family have asked us how we are doing, how everything is going and I've struggled with that answer. The first week it took a lot of work to know which end was up and at the end of the day I felt like I'd been through a wringer.
Part of my intent on starting this blog was to help me collect my thoughts and share my experiences with this new journey we have set foot on. I think with all the jet-lag and starting fresh in a new country, my head was spinning too much to even make sense of how to put it into words on this space. I'm typically the girl who likes to put my best foot forward, have a positive/realistic attitude and not let others see me down. This time in my life is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone and I'm not fully embracing it yet. I know deep in my heart that all the prior times where I've went outside of my comfort zone I've learned and grown so much from those experiences so I need to have faith. Faith that these hard tasks will soon be in our rear view mirror and we will be enjoying all things living in Germany soon. I've been reflecting and holding steadily onto two powerful words that were placed with me by two confident, amazing military spouse friends of mine.
A thoughtful co-worker/friend/spouse of a retired Army member, Jennifer, gave me a sweet gift during my going away party. I opened it up to find a beautiful bracelet with the word "brave" on it. She had tucked a card with the gift and I read what she had wrote, "This way of life doesn't get any easier, we just get more brave."
I never think of myself as brave. Sassy--yes; a little too direct sometimes--almost always; giggly at silly things--yes to all those things, but brave? I hadn't ever thought of myself as brave, but I've attached to that word ever since putting on that bracelet and am hanging onto it for dear life right now.
Those words she wrote, echoed in my heart. There's been so many times that people have said to me, "Oh, well you must be used to this by now," when it comes to the different situations we face with the military. I always answer with, "You never get used to it." But now I can answer with such a beautiful and bold statement that rings true--It doesn't get any easier, no matter how many things change or situations that we face, I just get more brave.
I've been thankful to be navigating through this overseas military move alongside one of my best friends, Melissa--a boss lady Marine spouse. She moved her family of three to Japan in early July. Almost daily, we check in with each other and talk about the bizarre feelings and nuances that we're experiencing with such a drastic military move. A couple days I ago I was venting to her, feeling like we weren't getting anywhere with any of our big tasks of securing a house and buying a car. All the tasks seem to have 47 hoops to jump through and they don't get done quickly. Everyone has told us to have patience and it will all happen in due time. Melissa responded to me, "Screw patience, I think the word is endurance. You are enduring." After reading her text to me, I immediately felt that "a-ha moment." Yes! This isn't patience, it's enduring. It's enduring the hell out of things. Out of all the things.
I'm striving daily to wake up and have brave endurance to push through this hard time. This time of so many unknowns and hard, quick decisions. I'm working on grace for myself, to have grace with Ara, to be present in these hard moments. I'm working day by day to not let fear of the unknown overtake my reality. I'm humbled on a daily basis here, working through culture shock of learning all things new. This isn't just a magical European destination that we've moved to. For us, it's starting over, a new culture and learning to do life all over and it's hard. Beautiful, but hard.
b r a v e e n d u r a n c e