We're In This Together

by Kristin Bentley

Like you, I had no idea exactly what this military life was going to be, and I certainly never meant for it to last over 15 years. But here I am, eleven combat deployments later.

As a milspo, some of our days are fairly normal, but others... not so much. And as well-intentioned as our family and civilian friends are, they really don't get understand sometimes.

But that's okay.

Some days the only thing that gets me through is my tribe of goddesses. And just like you, I have surrounded myself with those that inspire and challenge me to be my best self.

 

A few of these ladies have even become special enough to have become my spirit sisters.

Growing up with three brothers, I never really knew exactly what it was that I had been missing. That is, until I had my daughter.

 

 

We all have these friendships, and we hold them dear. We cling to them during times of crisis, when everything feels all wrong. 

She softened me, and molded me into a more gentle version of myself. But part of that personal growth I made was also from my life experiences that caused me to admit that I wasn't always strong enough to do everything on my own. The times I had to reach out to those women around me and ask for help. As I did this I found that my own inner strength grew, because I was allowing myself to become vulnerable. And what an uncomfortable thing that is, right?

The thought of opening ourselves and being vulnerable can be scary for many of us. Maybe we felt rejected in the past and are still feel a bit scarred. But it's in these moments of pure authenticity that we do our most personal growth. We learn the value of community and feel validated when others listen to the whisperings of our hearts.

 

We become inspired and motivated when we previously felt deflated and hopeless. And most importantly, we begin to understand that we don't always have to take ourselves so seriously all the time. It's okay to make mistakes and be our perfectly imperfect selves.   

I'm still working on this. It's a process, for sure. But trusting others during times of need strengthens those friendships. It bonds you in a way that only life can. 

The goddesses in my life who were there during frequent combat deployments, for multiple FRG red calls after one of our men had been injured or killed, and when we said goodbye to our PCSing friends who had become family, are those who will always have a place in my heart.

Now that we're all living in different parts of the world, we sometimes go months between calls and seeing each other. But we'll always be forever friends.

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