Chelle's Mid-life musings

A journey of a middle aged woman...relearning to love life!


St. Charles, Illinois, USA
January 17
I am a career oriented woman, who just retired from 20 years of active duty service in the military. I now work in a civilian hospital, and recently completed my MBA in Healthcare management. I enjoy writing, cooking, running, and above all spending as much time possible with my family.


MichelleD's Links
FEBRUARY 12, 2012 1:39AM

Military friends, are family...I miss 'em...

Rate: 10 Flag

I see, hear and read posts and blogs of people who have handfuls of friends standing by them through their life.  These friends are there for celebrations, mourning of lives lost, and day to day events.  Most of these people have lived in the same place their entire life, or at least for many years. 

I personally have moved from place to place, and town to town for over 20 years.  My roots are withered and frayed in the fact my friends and family have always been spread across the world. 

Yet in the military, when you acquire a true friend, you now have a newly sanctioned member of your family.  Because these TRUE friends, are placed inside your heart, and become a part of your soul for a life time.  You can go weeks, months, even years without speaking…yet a simple phone call or text erases the time that has been placed in between the two people. 

I have struggled lately looking in the mirror, or at pictures of myself.  I was once a very bright, young, and beautiful (so they say) woman.  I had Oral surgeons take pictures of my “perfect symmetrical face” because they were in awe of my physique.  I never thought much of myself back then…I was just a typical partying 20-30 year old having fun…but others saw beauty I didn’t…My FRIENDS, saw me struggling for self-confidence, and self-worth.  These FRIENDS, were my life line, and even to this day I know those special people will hold a place in my heart for a life time. 

I look in the mirror now, and wonder what happened to the face that once was said to emit light and beauty and fire?   Someone once told me when I walked into the room, the sun seemed to shine a little brighter…I find myself hanging on to those words now…Because now my skin sags, my hair is dreary and my PHYSICAL being seems to have lost the light I used to encompass. Is it because my friends are so far away?  Gosh, I wish there was an explanation…because the years have not been good to my physical state. 

But I’d add a thousand wrinkles just to have those friends close again.  I was blessed to have my dear friend text me tonight, saying she didn’t picture me following through with my hopes and dreams all those years ago because I always lived in a world of self-doubt.  Yet she is amazed by me, and thankful for the memories we had together nearly 15 years ago. 

So I suppose, it’s time to look away from the mirrors I don’t want to face, and paint my own portrait of beauty…I have a timeless set of paints…my friends, and my family fill the colors of my life.   Be it near or far, they keep me grounded, and at peace that I am where I am meant to be…


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Every time has its beauty. The question is this: What is your residual self-image? Do you have the desires to match that beauty they say you have? Well, then, it is up to you, isn't it? Nice post. R
I'm working on it, Thoth! thanks...
I look at pictures and see someone way prettier than I believed at the time, which is why I believe the externals are just a wrapping. As long as you like what you see when you look yourself in the eye, that's what counts. That, and a good exfoliator. They give a glow.

You are lucky to have those friends.
I was from a military family, my father was a lifer, and we moved all the time, never really sitting down roots with life-long friends. When my dad died and we moved, again, my best friend killed himself because I wasn't there to take care of him. I will always have that guilt, although I was a thousand miles away.
Mirrors are over rated, sending only a one dimensional prospective. The image you reflect to others, is the one which counts.
I would make an effort to reconnect with them. They brought light into your life, as you did theirs. Beauty ouside or inside? I am sure you have both.
I only have a bathroom mirror now as I dont want to get depressed.
I see the same face in the mirror but I know reality says its not..
That beauty is still there, I see it in your words and how you express your feelings for those you love.
Phyllis, you are so right....

Scanner, I understand that type of guilt all too well, and am sorry you have to suffer.
Great perspective outonalimb...
Thank you for sharing an intimate side of your life. Several years ago, my wife (she still teaches in elementary school) taught 2 children whose father was a Navy Commander and test pilot. When he left Lockheed Martin we went to the Changing of Command ceremony which was simply magnificent. All these years later, we still get emails and updates on the kids and the family. What a joy to still be in the loop.

Also, we have our two closest friends who we've been BFF with. We knew each other when the women were young, slender and beautiful and us guys were...well, younger. LOL In any event, last week when we were all together, we did a group hug, pressed our bellies all together and laughed uncontrollably about how life and our bodies change. Seriously, isn't that great? Friendship is a treasure to hold dearly close to your heart.

Finally, while some of us are lucky enough to age, we should also be cognizant that true beauty is inside a person's heart and not worn on the outside.

Thanks again for sharing this article with the rest of us.
Thank you, Dennis for your lovely comments. I have been a part of many change of command ceremonies...they truly are timeless.
I have been part of those "friends" you speak of for over 10 years now...You are still the same fun loving and AMAZING person. Our looks evolve, Hell I was going through pictures today and I think what the hell happened to me? Haha! Yet I digress...We love you for YOU, the inner YOU. Hold on to who YOU really are always...
Thank you Sarah!!!!!!!!
I understand you, Michelle. I moved a lot and made and left friends behind too. In one way that taught me to be self-reliant, in another to appreciate friendship's value. None of these has anything to do with a mirror. It all comes from within. It's good to question yourself and seek answers.
Thanks, FusunA...that means so much...