Today I went for a quick run and did some weight circuits with a good friend/ co-worker I’ve met down here who is also in my department at school. She is an awesome girl who just had her boyfriend commission into the Navy and leave for training this past weekend. It was so interesting hearing her perspective on military life and dating someone in the military. She is already slightly frustrated with the constantly changing schedules and the inability to plan more than 3 months out. Then to top it all off, the poor girl is also adjusting to a long distance relationship on top of it all.
She kept saying she didn’t know how I’ve done it this long, but at the same time I cannot fathom making the change from being together to being long distance. I’ve been long distance with my boyfriend since high school, so we haven’t really known anything different at this point in our lives. She is having a very difficult time with the transition so we are going to cure that a little bit with some booze and pool time this weekend :)
Hearing about her excitement with commissioning and the wonder of moving bases took me back to my feelings as well during that phase. I also remember the discovering of bases with my soldier and learning all about the new and “exciting” areas he was in training at.
What struck me the most however, was the frustration with potential job-hunting around the military. She and I are both getting advanced degrees and she is terrified of being unable to find a job in her chosen field. Granted, she may have better luck than I will, due to her specialty but it is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. The plethora of blog posts about job hunting haven’t been helping either, haha. While I could work as an Audiologist for the military and could make a pretty decent living at it, I am beyond terrified they won’t hire me, or if I were to follow boyfriend through a PCS and not be hired at the new base. Then I worry about working my butt off for 8 years to get the career I dream of, only to not be able to be employed. I also want to work with kids and do more than fit hearing aids every day of my life. I am lucky that boyfriend does not want to do more than his contract (as of right now, but that could always change) so while I may sacrifice dream pediatric jobs or owning a private practice for awhile, there may come a time that is possible.
I guess I’m just frustrated as well with the Army right now. I want to start looking for my clinical externship (kind of like residency for med students, but only for one year) next year and have it in place by next December, but who am I kidding with the Army ;)
Just a lot on my mind I guess. It is interesting to see a close friend in the exact same place I found myself 2 years ago and how much I’ve grown from that point, but it still hurts to see someone struggling with her "new normal". I just hope she meets some Navy gals that have been through that whole transition and she gets the answers she has been looking for. The least I can do is distract her with some booze and girl time until that point :)