I’m not going to lie....the first full day of retirement was rough. Some may say they couldn’t wait or they were relieved...not me. I felt lost, like I lost a piece of myself, my identify. I didn’t know how to live a “normal” life.
This article hurt my heart but I absolutely resonated with it.
As the days got closer to the inevitable retirement date, I started to feel so lost, useless, worthless and like a complete failure. I know that those feelings may seem extreme but they were real. I just spent the last 17 years of my life belonging to a certain tribe, a certain type of family. I was someone’s leader, peer, mentor or mentee. What was I supposed to do now? The job that I had thought I wanted no longer made me happy. I had so many plans in my head. Nothing was going the way I had hoped. It was a lonely place to be and in my mind, no one understood.
I should have been as excited as everyone else was for me. I was “retiring“ and it should have been an exciting time. For me, it was one of the scariest times and I absolutely dreaded what was to come.
No more waking up early. i should have been excited for that. No more meetings. I should have been relieved. No more rushing to pick up the kids. I should have been able to breathe a little bit better ....but I couldn’t.
3 years later, I still miss it. I still have a tribe. I still have my identity. I am no longer as lost as I was. I am in a better place because I found my passion. It is to help others who feel like they are alone and I thank God for opening up my eyes to that It won’t be easy but it can be done. You are your own person. A piece of paper can not define you.
Even though I still have that military mindset, I am proud of the way I was “raised”. I am tougher and stronger for it and am able to teach my kids the same.
There is a place in the world for us. We just need to keep going to find it.
if you need someone to help you get to that place, then please do not hesitate to reach out. I would rather talk to you for hours on end than to read about you in the paper.
Stay Strong. You’ve got this.