Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Identity Crisis

Maybe you saw it coming.  I sort of saw it coming, but I did what I am best at -- I swept it under the rug.  I ignored what I knew was going to happen.

I'm having a major identity crisis.

It's been seven months since we left the LEO life and moved into a completely new and foreign land -- literally and figuratively.  I'm still at a loss for what to do, and most shockingly, who I am.

It really struck me this morning, as I was trying to 'introduce' myself in the online world.  The first things to say were "LEO wife, mom of four..." and then I stopped short.  What?  I'm not a LEO wife anymore, and while I may be a mom of four since when do I only define myself by other people?  Everyone jokes about that -- once you are a mom you completely lose your "own" identity.  But why?  Why is that funny?  IT'S NOT FUNNY.

When I think of who we are as a family, I think "LEO family on sabbatical."  But my husband is pretty darn sure he's not going back into law enforcement.  So where does that leave me?  A dear LEO wife friend was lamenting some LEO-family-specific issues and she felt so bad.  "Can you even relate to me any more? Do you want to change the subject?" Wow. Shockingly, I still define myself by that LEO family title.  And Wife.  And....

Really.  Who Am I?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It is finished.

This post has been in "draft" mode for quite a while.  I kept thinking I needed -- wanted -- to keep writing but I couldn't decide what to say.  There is so much, and yet so little, to say.  I think this entire post could be summed up in one phrase:

I didn't know I had stopped breathing until I finally took a breath.

The day after my husband worked his last patrol shift, that phrase popped in my head, and it won't go away.  I didn't realize I was holding my breath and preoccupied and waiting and worrying and wondering for every minute of every shift.  And when he had finally worked his last shift, I took a breath.  I started breathing again.  My shoulders dropped down a teeny bit from their tense-tight-worry shrug.  And I had no idea what that would feel like until it happened.

My husband resigned from his agency, and we moved to a new state with nothing but some money in our bank account, a bunch of hopes and dreams, and a rental home in which to lay our heads.  Oh, and lots of boxes.  Boxes and boxes and boxes.

Our new city is recruiting laterals like mad.  We keep going around and around and back and forth -- they work a weird, crazy, pull-out-your-hair schedule.  Will this job -- once again -- cloud our vision from the hopes and dreams we dragged along with us from our previous home?  Would we like some health insurance?  (that's a no brainer!)  Our children have only ever known daddy as a police officer.  While I thought kicking the job would get rid of some of the worse parts of "the police life," there are some things that are still hard to deal with.  I'm not sure if they'll be there forever and The Job changed my husband forever, or if they will slowly and quietly melt away over the months and years ahead. 

What I do know is that it's fun to have a husband.  An awake, available, nearby husband.  And for now, I'm counting my blessings until the next chapter of our life unfolds with our hopes, dreams, and boxes open and free.