I was born in Germany (no wonder it feels like home!) then we moved to Japan, California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, D.C., Maryland, Germany again and with my hubby we moved to England and in a little over a month we’ll be moving to Alaska! In fact I divide up my memories based on where we were living rather than what age I was or what grade I was in or what job I had. Some of the people I talk to that weren’t military brats worry about the effects that uprooting a child can have but I turned out alright…for the most part! 😛
So here are some of the positives and negatives I’ve experienced growing up as a military brat…
Positive: Developing Perspective
By moving around, seeing new places, doing new things and meeting new people you naturally build up a deeper sense of perspective. This has really come in handy when I am trying to understand myself and the world around me.
Negative: Relationship Building
While I’ve definitely met a ton of people in all of my years of moving around, I don’t feel like I’ve built very many lasting relationships. After all when you move every two years there’s hardly a point in getting attached to people that you know you will have to say goodbye to. I have made some very good friends while I have been stationed in a few places but these relationships typically fade once they or I move away.
You get used to all of the change and it makes you stronger! Once I got to middle school the moves didn’t really bother me as much as they did when I was in elementary school. I’ve learned to take change in stride. Life happens and change is inevitable and that is one lesson the military life teaches you that is invaluable. Being able to process and accept the change around me has been a wonderful gift!
School can be kind of a pain in the butt when you’re moving all of the time. I’ve moved in the middle of the school year and it’s always fun being the new kid…NOT! I also went to 4 different high schools and they all had different credit requirements so sometimes I had to retake classes in order to fulfill the requirements at the new school. So annoying!
What makes it all worth it is the traveling, which I never really appreciated until we moved to Germany my senior year. Being able visit new places is something I now crave and I even get the itch to move at the 2 year mark of our assignments. I have been to some amazing places that I doubt I ever would have visited if it weren’t for my parents and my hubby being in the military so I thank them a million times for providing all of the wonderful opportunities I‘ve had!
I wouldn’t trade an easy, stable childhood for the messy, sometimes lonely childhood that I had!