It is absolutely crazy to think that we are residents of a Pacific region country. Never in my life would I think that I would be living in Japan, but that is just another reason why you cannot ever fully plan things out (especially in the military). How we managed to get from the US to Japan is nothing short of a comical miracle of mishaps.
It all started in the summer of 2017. Our time in Tennessee was coming to a close and options for our next duty station were starting to populate. We were faced with the choices of Korea – with me accompanying him, Korea – by himself for a year, a middle eastern country – by himself for a year, or a nine-month deployment. Those options were quite dismal. Over half of them basically involved him leaving me and he wasn’t even back a year yet from his previous deployment (life of a military spouse).
Flash forward a couple of months to the beginning of fall. Towards the end of September we were weighing our next duty station options when one more was added to our list – Japan. It was completely out of the blue but seemed to be the best of our options presented. In early October we found out that if we were going to chose Japan, we had to move quickly because 1) It was a highly desired place to go and 2) our report date would be DECEMBER of the same year.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a habitual planner. I am a list-lover, route mapper, and do not like to be rushed. The idea that in two months we would have to move our entire lives to an entirely different country about put me in a stress-induced panic attack. So many things would change for us as a family including the fact that we would no longer be close to family! Personally I knew that this would mean I would no longer be able to work for the company I had worked for since graduating college. The company (co-workers) who have seen me grow and change into an actual adult and that stood by my side through all the changes professionally and personally I dealt with. Did I mention that this all stressed me out?
So why did we choose Japan? When we made a list of pros and cons, there was one pro that could outweigh any con for any situation: We would be TOGETHER as a family. As simple as that sounds, it was something we were always fighting for since Robbie joined the military. 2014 he joined with the Army which required basic training and his advanced training that took him away from me for almost 8 months. 2016 he went on a 9-month deployment. In all of this he also did trainings and classes that would send him places for weeks or a couple of months as well. We only got married in 2014 which meant that we he was away just as much as he was with me during his career so far. You can see how important time together meant to us which made the decision easy to choose. Japan was the only solution.
Always chase your tales,