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
MAY 16, 2012 11:12PM

One year post retirement from the Air Force

Rate: 7 Flag

I spent the first few months trying to rest up after years of heart ache, turmoil, disappointment, and simple lack of sleep…

Yet I always found myself reaching for my ‘cover’ when I went outside…where was my cap?

I had to stand, and stare at a closet full of worn, old clothes trying to figure out what to put on each day, and felt so-damn-lost.  Is it true your shoes have to match your outfit?  Wow…for 20 years I wore the same combat boots, without a thought or a care…They were ‘me’…

So who was I now, without the uniform, title, and stripes on my sleeve that dictated who I was every single day?  I sadly, had no idea…I spent days crying, staying up late drinking, and fighting sleep for I knew the dreams would only haunt me the next day. 

Yet now, I am trying to pave my own path…albeit tough, I lay stone by stone the dreams I hope to achieve. 

Let the nay Sayers say what they will…I will find my way…eventually…

But I miss those times; sometimes…I miss the respect, the purpose, the pride that was held up for my country…

For now I am a bit of a fish out of water…but I will, keep, swimming…

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respect, military, retirement

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Yes you will keep swimming my friend! You are doing awesome. It is very hard to have something so engrained and a part of you changed and have to learn a whole different way of life. It is a process for sure. I know you will find your way, and are doing a wonderful job thus far. Keep it up! I am proud of you. xoxo
thanks, Jess...just been a rough few days.
Of course you will miss it. Just remember that there is so much beauty, honor and respect that you can add to the world. R
thanks so much, Thoth...been a long road.
How about writing a book for young women about your experiences in the Air Force? It will be a good way for you to recall your service days while giving you a another outlet for your thoughts. I think there might be a market for a series about life in the service for women. Also might suggest a retirement job where you can throw on a not so uniform. When I retired from my desk job, I worked in a garden shop/nursery. Wore chinos and a standard jersey, issued by the owner. Met lots of friendly people there and it was a very healthy environment. People usually are in a good mood around flowers. Inspired me to do a lot of work in my own yard as well. Keep writing.
don't sweat it... ur gonna do fine...from one G.I. to another...congrats on retirement and all my gratitude for your service to us.
Welcome back to The Real World...Strangely, as a military brat having grown up on posts for most of 18 years, I too feel strange away from military life: it's why I settled in the Military Triangle of two Air Force bases (and Air Force Academy) and an army post. I positively am weirded out by not seeing uniforms and experiencing fly-overs. Not the same, I know. But I get it. Not that you want or need to, but here's a suggestion: consider taking a university-level class. I have met so many awesome vets in my school...and best of all they bond with each other and form support groups. Check into it, or ask your last post command if they can recommend groups for support...It might make all the difference since us civilians only ever get part of the picture! And thanks for your service, by the way... the female soldiers I have met are positively was your post!
I have a recommendation for footwear- flip flops. They come in all kinds of colors and styles and go with everything. Inexpensive, too, and you can keep changing them with new ones as they wear out. For working in the hospital- those funny rubber clogs they wear now are cute and come in a variety of colors to match whichever scrubs you wear for the day. Or if you only wear white scrubs and a lab coat, then they could add a splash of fun color.

And your feet will thank you; after having been inside of steel toed combat boots for twenty plus years they deserve to breathe!
That's all you can do is keep swimming and keep breathing. You will be okay.
Thanks for all the encouragement...and KC, I just finished my Graduate degree in March-have no plans on taking anymore classes for a while!
Congratulations on the completion of your graduate degree! I believe that things happen fora reason. Your retirement from the military is to open other doors in your path, and open they will.
Best wishes.
Thanks Fus, I truly believe that too, even on hard days like today!