It is just about the time of year when Army people find out where their next posting will be. The speculation started more than a month ago – where the conversations start with asking how long you are in your current job, where do you want to go, where are you likely to go are you planning on hanging around locally etc, etc. Everyone has the same conversations. It is a the natural progression of the year for military types.
My family are fortunate in the sense that we will be here for at least another year. Prior to this we were in a location for 5 years, my longest ever, the five years prior to that we had a move every year! So location is already resolved, but for me, my current position is only for this calendar year. So people at the same rank as me have been getting a ‘feel’ for what my next move will be – if I go my position may be available for them. That is ok, except, when the questions started to be asked I was still getting settled in the job! My next position just hadn’t crossed my mind.
Honestly, I am still struggling to make the decision about whether to stay in uniform or not. The more I think about it, the more I know it is time to move on, but it is such a MAJOR life decision. This is why:
- being in the military (well Army at least) is absolutely a lifestyle not a job;
- I have been in uniform for 20 years, pretty much my whole adult life this has been me;
- I do feel my uniform is an integral part of who I am and is significant in how I identify myself;
- there is security, you know where you fit;
- despite the impression that you get from the media, I am part of the ‘team’ and have respect from my peers;
- once you go, everything changes, when you are no longer sharing the day to day aspects of life, you don’t have the same witty, fun exchanges I look forward to now;
- I am going from a reasonable level of management to nothing; and
- what the hell am I going to do next?
That is all the emotional stuff, I didn’t put up there the financial security.
“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ― Michelle Obama
I am feeling the weight of my age (not in a bad way!), after turning 40 earlier this year, I don’t want to be in this position in five years waiting to be brave enough to make the hard decision to depart the service. I also don’t want to wait too long and to work in a field I really love. I am looking at going to study psychology – should I want to be clinical the study time is something like 6 years! So if I don’t start soon (given I am not likely to have a full study load in the beginning) I will be due for retirement!
So I keep having thoughts run about in my head. It is a little exhausting and I know once I do make the call, I will feel lighter for it…….