Military life is filled with transitions. We transition from one duty station to another, from deployment to reintegration, from one circle of friends to the next. And with each transition, we’re presented a new beginning, a new chapter in the book that is our military lives.
New beginnings have always scared me. You might compare me to my 5-year-old daughter who throws down some world-record level tantrums when faced with transitions even as simple as turning off the television and starting on homework. The thought of a new beginning makes me want to stomp my feet and scream, “You can’t make me!” I’m more than content to hunker down in my cozy comfort zone and live out the rest of my days with no more new beginnings.
Not exactly a reality for a military spouse.
But as challenging as it is to think about yet another new beginning, like an overseas PCS or enrolling the kids in another school or day #1 of deployment, we have to remember that beginnings aren’t beginnings for long. Before you know it, those beginnings are ending, and you’re approaching another transition.
I’m reminded of that every time I hear the Semisonic song “Closing Time” as they sing, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The lyrics remind me that at some point, there was a beginning to whatever stage I’m currently in. At some point I was scared. At some point, probably without even realizing it, I got over my fear of the unknown. And every new beginning I’ve encountered has made me more confident in my ability to handle the next one.
With the ending of every chapter in that book of our military life comes the start of a new one. Sometimes those endings are bittersweet, like saying good-bye to a dear friend. Sometimes, like when we can’t fathom another day at the worst duty station in the world, we’re so ready for an ending to come that we welcome any new beginning we can get. But each chapter builds upon the next. A farewell to one friend opens the door for a different friend to enter. Leaving one duty station paves the path of adventure for another.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
And the best part is the journey in between.