SOON, I’ll have to change my Insta bio from Army wife to just wife I guess. That extra title, that over the last six years I’ve felt quite indifferent about, now feels like something as I’m released back ‘into the wild’ – aka civvy life, writes Kimberley.
It’s strange being unsure about leaving a lifestyle you were never particularly desperate to join in the first place. For my husband, thoughts of leaving the Army grew exponentially after the arrival of our first daughter.
My initial worries were for him and his job satisfaction. I knew from my own experience that his grievances were often part-and-parcel of working life, whatever your job or employer.
I never took on any external concerns from some family and friends who, in their naivety, didn’t understand how his skill set would transfer (you’d be shocked at how many people would question this). Then there was the common misconception that he was being ‘pushed’ into this decision by me. In fact, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I had fallen in love with my lifestyle after realising that all I needed to do was drop my guard a little and trust people a bit more. My husband made his mind up after many lengthy discussions and then spent a year planning his exit, exploring various avenues and building a huge network.
Although he wasn’t 100 per cent sure on which direction to take, I had no concerns for him ‘finding something to do’; my only reserve was him finding something he ‘loves’ like he had loved the Army. It was also time for me to acknowledge (the now obvious) gaping hole I would feel not living ‘patch life’ anymore.
What a unique and wonderful thing it is to be part of a community that is always ready to welcome and embrace, pull together and stand as one. It’s what makes it special, just popping next door for a coffee and all the children playing together. These are memories I will always hold dear.
So, I’m taking this with me into our next chapter and although I haven’t quite convinced everyone down my road to sign up to a weekly coffee morning yet, with every day there’s fresh hope!