Military Life: Are You A Survivor?
“Tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide will bring”
– Tom Hanks in Castaway
The other day we were sitting watching the movie Castaway. I have always liked the movie, and Tom Hanks is incredible, but this time it really hit home. It was like an AHA moment for me, and it made me think about my life. Castaway was a story about one man’s life journey.
It was a story about a character that grows and becomes a survivor, and I wondered if I would fare so well given the same circumstances. What would happen if I suddenly found myself lost in an environment that I knew nothing about. Would my instincts take over? Would I push through the pain and not only learn to survive, but learn to thrive & remain optimistic?
And then it dawned on me that while it wasn’t a deserted island, becoming a military spouse had similar challenges that I had to overcome. And like Tom I have never lost sight of my ultimate goal of embracing and making the most out of my experience.
Now his goal was very different and getting off the island and surviving was a bigger task than I’m faced with but we both had to develops skills, knowledge and the courage to take a risk. We both set out for the unknown in the hopes of finding a better life, using the tools we have around us. He didn’t wait for the perfect boat, or someone else to do it for him, but rather became self-reliant and created his own reality. And I for the most part do much of the same.
How about you? Have you begun to adapt and learn to use the tools you have to create your reality? Have you ever dreamt of a better life, but talked yourself out of it, before you even “felt the water”? Can you think of a time when you wanted something more, but stopped yourself because you feared the unknown. I know I have, especially when it comes to my life as a military spouse, and I sometimes find myself taking the safer course, and then wondering why things aren’t moving forward.
To often, we all opt for safety and familiar rather than the unknown, and sometimes that is ok. We learn to depend on others to find our happiness, and then wonder why people interfere. But what if we didn’t have a choice, what if we were forced to move beyond our fears and learn to survive in a new environment, where would we be today? Would you still be on the island, or would you be risking it all for the life you dream of? Would you become a survivor?
I think we all would be closer to our ideal life, if we “went for it”, and made the decision to move forward no matter what obstacle was in our way. If we all learned to do more than just get by, I think that military life would take on a whole new meaning.
So the next time you are at a crossroads and are thinking of taking the “easy” route, or want someone else to make your life meaningful, think of the movie Castaway. Know that no matter what happens, the sun will always rise, and tomorrow will bring a new opportunity. Have the courage to take a chance, and challenge yourself. You will never know what you can endure, unless you try, and you might just surprise yourself!
About the Author
Judy Davis, also known as The Direction Diva, is a motivational speaker, blogger, and author of Right Side Up: Find Your Way When Military Life Turns You Upside Down. She is an expert when it comes to helping Military Spouses move Beyond Logistics toward a better life.
The thoughts and opinions posted here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of AAFMAA.