My PCS Identity Crisis

In 2010, my husband, daughter, and I left the busy, traffic-carved streets of a bustling duty station and made a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move to a sleepy western community where the only traffic sounds were the clops of dusty horses that ambled past our home. It was a necessary move, but it was not an easy one.

For months prior, however, I had been aching for change, for excitement, for a “somewhere-out-there” kind of journey. Our friends from units past and present and from our community were moving to their new duty stations, to jet off to European countries, to hula in tropical isles, or to climb the Pacific Northwest, and I was antsy to join them.

Instead, I found myself trapped in a devilish heat, allergic to the sagebrush that filled our sandy yard. I felt alone, trepidatious, aware of every one of my quirks and idiosyncrasies in front of a crowd of staring strangers.

These feelings of loneliness and insecurity were difficult to reconcile. My usually outgoing (I like to call it “genially awkward”) personality hadn’t made a dent in this new culture, and I often felt like I was continually rapping on the glass door of opportunity and friendship– I knew others could see me, but why wouldn’t they let me in?