When my husband and I moved to Twentynine Palms in August, I won’t pretend I wasn’t nervous. Like, very nervous. I’m a relatively new military spouse, and here I was, all alone in the middle of the Mojave desert, in an area where unemployment was rife and I knew precisely no-one (well, aside from my cats.)

After weighing up our financial options, we decided to live off-base, with a roommate. It was a great decision, and one I’m still pleased with, save for one nagging feeling at the back of my mind: How the heck was I supposed to make friends?!

Fast forward a month, and I found a job — slinking in a far, deep corner of an obscure job website — at a health store on base. While I never imagined myself working in retail again, and I was pitifully unqualified for the job, I went for it, got it, and there I was! Hey, at least it was a paycheck, right?

A few months later, my on-base job has become much more than a paycheck. Like any 9-5 worker bee, there are days I find myself having to preen myself into some semblance of a human being for a day’s work. But most days, most days, I love working on-base.

So, in the immortal words of Mr. Shakespeare, let me count the ways!

1. I learned never to forget my ID.

Lost-My-ID-GIF-W

Okay, so maybe this is just me here. But seriously: I have a real problem. I always forget my ID. Always. And always at the most unfortunate moments. Trying to buy alcohol for a much-needed Friday beverage? Trying to get into a fancy bar with husband for our anniversary? Paying for groceries at the commissary? Yup, of course I find myself ID-free.

Well, in an environment where I literally cannot go to work without my ID, I’ve learned to check. Yes, okay, it took a note on the fridge for the first couple of weeks… but here I am, a capable adult, who has actually begun to function like one. Cheers to that!

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