August 5, 2008

Friendships in the military are as temporary as the housing

… harsh, it may sound, but hear me out. A friend and I had a conversation on this very topic a few days ago. Cynical we are not, realists … yes.

Life in the military can be compared to a revolving door. People are continually coming in your life, all at different stages, and leave as quickly as they come.
Bonds are made over common interest, shared occupations, spouses in the same unit or of the same rank, and volunteering projects or members of the same organizations. But things change … it’s the reality of life. New friends are made, life changing events such as marriages or children happen, co-workers move on. Sure it may sound as if I am giving up on friendships that haven’t even been made yet, but think about it.

As children we had friends who “no matter how far apart we were would always be best friends” but one moves away and contact lessens, eventually the connection is broken.

It’s not that these relationships are meaningless; they serve their purpose at the time that they were part of our life. The brief moment in time they made our lives better, brighter, giving us a sense of purpose and meaning … to need someone or to be needed.

I’m not saying that there are not a few relationships that can survive the separation, life changes or even the sporadic contact … those are few and far between, which is what makes them so special.

I try to welcome friendships those brief moments in time, a gift in the present, hopefully, happy memories that are cherished in the future, those some may end like bad break ups, the memories leaving you bitter or hurt. But even that pain and bitterness serve to impact you in some way, creating the person you are today, tomorrow, next year.

I don’t anguish over the loss of these relationships; I hope to learn from them. It is these times when I remember a quote we’ve all seen …

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.—Anonymous

Until our next cup of tea …

2 Tea Party Guest:

lime said...

it's good to be realistic. i'm not military but there were life circumstances a sa child that make me sort of identify with the transient nature of some friendships.

Joyce said...

I am sure it is very hard in that arena.
But I guess you get to meet so many diverse and interesting people that is a neat thing.
Hope all is going well with your husband. :--)
Hang in there....