By Natsumi Covey
Before marrying my husband, I never questioned my ambitions for my professional career. I was going to go to law school and become a lawyer. It was my lifelong dream, and it was something that I was confident in. Surprisingly, after marrying my husband, the military made me question those very ambitions. I didn’t question them because of my lack of passion or willingness, I started to question it because of how difficult it became once I became a military spouse.
Generally, once you go to law school, you study both federal and state laws, and you take the BAR exam to become a licensed attorney. Ask any attorney, but the BAR exam is not a test that you would be willing to take over and over again. Not only is the test difficult in itself, but it can cost anywhere from $600 to $10,000 dollars each time you bar in a new state.
I was in the process of studying for the law school admissions test when professionals in this field started to tell me how difficult this would really be for me. They tried to discourage me from going to law school. They told me that I was better off staying a paralegal.
I have encountered more “You can’t do it”, “You shouldn’t do it”, “Don’t do it” comments than any sort of positive encouragement during my journey. I have been silently thinking about these circumstances for about two years now because there are not many military spouses around me who are pursuing the same profession.
I have come to the conclusion that regardless of all the odds stacked against me, I have no plans of giving up. My husband’s career, like all military spouses, calls for sacrifices, but I don’t believe that this is an instance where sacrifice is necessary.
I see my husband put on his flight suit every day, and go to his job like it is his hobby. He absolutely, unequivocally loves it. I, too, am entitled to work for and to fight for a career that I love. It may be more work than everyone else, and I may be at a clear disadvantage but what better advocate could I have for my own rights than myself?
I wrote this to encourage other spouses who are constantly discouraged from the people around them. If there is anything being a military spouse teaches you, it is to be resilient in the grimmest of circumstances. We are fighters, we are strong and we are capable of accomplishing anything.