Transferring to a new duty station can be a lot of things, it can be an exciting adventure and a chance to explore new things, but if we’re being honest here, it can also be really hard.
I don’t know about you but sometimes it feels like as soon as you hit your stride in a new duty station and the location finally starts to feel a little bit like home, suddenly it’s time to get ready to move again. (womp womp). That can feel downright frustrating! It can also make you feel a little bit, (or a lotta bit), down about the impending transfer. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately as we get ready to transfer in the next year. While it’s ok to feel sad about leaving your current duty station and transferring to a new one, it’s also important to stay positive. Here are the things that are helping me survive the transfer blues:
1. Give Yourself Permission to be Sad
This may seem counter intuitive, but it’s ok to feel stressed and sad, really! Don’t try to hide your feelings or pretend you don’t feel this way if you do, because bottling up your emotions isn’t going to help anything either. Acknowledge that you will miss your friends and your current duty station and that it’s ok to feel this way. Give yourself permission to accept your feelings and then once you’ve acknowledged your feelings, know that it’s time to try to move past them.
2. Think of it as a Chance to Try Somewhere New, Risk Free
How many people get the opportunity to try living somewhere new every few years, with zero commitment? Think of your upcoming transfer as the chance to try out a new location and opportunity to see places you may never have if not for the military. That’s pretty cool when you look at it that way!
3. Find Places to Explore
Something that helps me get excited for an upcoming transfer is by looking at all the new places that we will be able to explore once we move. Research landmarks in nearby cities and states to your new duty station and get excited that you will be able to just drive and see these places without having to take an expensive vacation!
4. New Friends
One of the most daunting things about transferring is the knowledge that you have to start all over with building friendships. Making friends as we get older can be hard! But I bet you’ve made friends over time at the duty station you’re currently at, so know that you will make new friends again at your new location. There’s a new best friend out there at your next location that you haven’t even met yet! Someday you will look back on this and be grateful to have friends all over the country, and maybe even the world!
5. Keep it in Perspective
Transferring can be a daunting thing, but ultimately home is where you make it and no one knows better than a military couple that home is about family, not location. As long as you have your spouse, your kids and/or your pets with you, then you have the most important part of your home, no matter where you go.
6. It’s All Temporary
This military life is not forever, so try to enjoy the new experiences and opportunities while you can. Someday you will look back on this time, the people you’ve met, and the memories in new places that you’ve been together and I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t change a thing.