Thursday, December 6, 2012

How an Old Song has New Meaning

A few days ago while watching television, I heard a clip from the Cheers theme song. It had been a while since I heard that song and was happy to hear such a familiar tune. With joy, I began singing along to the words I remembered so well: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came...”  But before I could go on, I was struck with surprise by the truth in what those words said. What used to be mere words to me suddenly turned into an exact description of how I often feel as a military wife. Sometimes all I want to do is just go to a place where I know I belong.

It is no secret that military families move often. Each time, military wives must rebuild their social lives with the people who surround them. This has always been a challenge for me. Though I enjoy making new friends, I always miss my old friends. Many times I find myself thinking about friends from college or the ones from previous duty stations and how much I love their company. They are the ones who already know me. They are the ones who I can be myself around. They are the ones who are happy to see me. When I must leave them behind, I lose the comfort of their presence, the ease of knowing that I am already liked, and their understanding when I make a mistake or say the wrong thing.

When I watched the show Cheers growing up, I just thought it was about a bunch of people who liked to hang out in a bar. But now, I see that the reason those people kept coming back (other than the fact that the script told them to!) was because that’s where they felt like somebody. That’s where they felt like they belonged. They could complain about their troubles and there was always someone who cared enough to listen.
Because military wives move so frequently, it is often difficult for them to develop the same sense of belonging. Building great friendships is something which takes time. When we do finally find those friendships, chances are it won’t be long before someone has to leave and the process starts all over again.
Fortunately, military wives are amazing. When I moved here in late July I had no close friends. But a friend from North Carolina told me about another wife she knew who was also moving to this area. That was my first friend here. And through her, I met many other wonderful ladies who introduced me to even more wives, and now there are people coming up to me at functions to say hello. One great thing about military life is that there is always somebody who knows somebody. A military wife is never truly without friends.  
Someday, I hope that I will have settled down somewhere long enough to have many great friends all in one area. And when that happens, you can be sure to find me at the place where everybody knows my name.   

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