We have official orders and my husband has his next year laid out, which will culminate in taking over as a squadron XO and then, after 15 months as the squadron XO, he will take command and become the squadron Commanding Officer. We will move in November, and I’m viewing these next few months as the end of our peace and quiet for a few years 😉
Not to be outdone, I will officially matriculate into the Nursing Science PhD program at a university in three weeks (it’s mostly online). My husband has about 5 years left in the Navy, and my PhD program is 5 years long, so if all goes to plan, we will both finish major milestones in our professional lives within a month of each other. Wild.
It’s a really exciting but stressful time for us. We are starting to talk about how we will partner to support the squadron through deployments, workups, and day-to-day stress. I will likely be the senior spouse for the full 3 years of his time in the front office, AND I will be pursuing my own career, goals, and aspirations. These next few years are going to be busy and consuming, with the PhD program depending all of my brain energy, and the squadron needing my whole heart.
I have a full ride + stipend for my PhD, which means that I will be teaching, mentoring, and researching in addition to working on my dissertation and classwork. It’s going to be a lot.
This is such a huge moment, and while it SEEMS like an insurmountable mountain, it’s not. In fact, we can already see the other side – it’s only 5 years away, and there is so much fun, joy, and happiness to be had along the way. I love this Navy life. We only experience it for a limited number of years, so it’s important to make the most of it. I love the opportunities it provides, the experiences we only have through living this Navy life, and the endless possibilities for change, growth, and becoming. I’m not what I would call “a company woman”, meaning that I’m not one to blindly support and cheer the Navy at every turn, but I make an effort to find and enjoy the benefits of this life as much as I can, which sometimes also means just stepping back and appreciating things for what they are, even through the difficult times.
My husband and I have worked diligently over our years together to build a lifestyle that accommodates our joint and independent goals, and it’s payoff time. He has the great honor of leading a jet squadron (during a time of war, no less), and I have the opportunity and joy of earning the highest educational honor in my profession, a PhD, and I will begin my career of helping aging veterans with chronic pain by creating a dissertation with a focus on chronic pain in former Navy SEALs.
We are lucky. I am lucky. #flynavy ✈️⚓️🇺🇸