Today I feel very far away from some of my friends. It is hard to watch them achieve greatness through Facebook. We talk, and we text daily and while I still feel involved, I don’t always feel like I am a part of their lives the way I used to be. Because I’m not. Living in different time zones can put quite a strain on a friendship and sometimes they crumble, and sometimes they get stronger. The military world is fantastic in that it introduces you to all kinds of people that you would never meet otherwise. And then it rips you apart a few years later. At the same time, though, many of these friendships are forged through hellfire, aka deployments, and can undergo just about anything. I mentioned my mentor earlier who I know I can always call up even if we haven’t spoken in months. There are other friends who I consider incredibly close and know that if they called up and needed me I would jump on a plane for them, but I don’t necessarily talk to them on a regular basis. But they still have my heart.
I used the term soul sister to describe these friends for many years, but then realized we are in fact soul mates. A soul mate does not have to be a romantic partner. For me, it is someone I would drop my life for in an instant. Someone I will always answer the phone for, no matter what time it is. Someone I always want in my life in one way or another. And it can be incredibly difficult to be separated from them, especially after being used to seeing them on a regular basis.
I encourage other wives to find these soul mates. Sometimes they come unexpectedly. When you first arrive at a duty station you may click with someone immediately, or it may come gradually until one day you look at her and think, ‘dang, I don’t know what I would do without you.’ Both have happened to me at different times and both are incredible. It can make a difficult duty station bearable, or make going through a difficult time a little bit easier. I have several friends who have saved me on more than one occasion. Whether it was picking up the phone when I was crying at 3 am, or making sure I got out of the house when things were tough, or encouraging the crazy fun ideas that pop into my head. These are the women I want in my life. These are the woman I look at and think, ‘I want to be like you when I grow up.’ Each of them represents something totally different to me. I feel like they are all puzzle pieces in my life that when put together, make me whole. Without them I would be lost. And I am grateful every day to the universe for bringing them to me. Whether a fellow military spouse, or my college rooommate who is still one of my absolute best friends, they are my light in the dark.
That is why I always encourage younger wives to meet as many of the other wives as they can. Yes, officers and enlisted aren’t supposed to fraternize outside of work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with the wives. Just no double dates. So meet them. Get to know them. You never know which one may surprise you and end up being an integral part of your corner of the sky.