By D’AntreseMcNeil, PCSgrades Blogger Affiliate
I like to believe I am a pretty open person. I mean, you have to be as a military family, because you essentially never REALLY know where the military is going to place you every few years. With that said, I approach every new duty station with a positive outlook, but always with a little reserve sprinkled in there (you never know what you’re going run into right?) Well, nothing prepared me for our current duty station. I am a bright lights, Big City girl (cue Jimmy Reeds song of the same title) I am Houston, TX born and bred and I just love the hustle and bustle of it all, so to come to NAS Patuxent River located at the southern tip of Maryland was a shock.
Let’s start with the area itself. The entire town is one 7-mile road. ONE 7 MILE ROAD. The closest mall is an hour away and there is literally nothing to do besides karaoke and eat out. To have a dose of fun, you must travel an hour away, which we often do. On the upside, D.C., as in Washington D.C. is just an hour and a half away on a good day. So we are either there or in Baltimore quite often.
This base is also majorly civilian. My husband estimates its 70% civilian and 30% military, mainly because it’s mostly contractors or air based crew that come here. So, the actual military community is relatively small. Events and activities are few and far between, and mostly cater to the single service member. A lot of times we learn of an event AFTER it has passed or they’ve canceled it due to not enough interest.….Sigh.
So, what do you do when you hate your new duty station and can’t wait to get out of there? You make THE MOST of it.
Here are some ways:
Find “Your Person”
I made it a purpose to find my person, that one person I could connect with. This hasn’t happened at every place we’ve been. As a matter of fact, it’s technically only happened at the last two. I met my bestie, Amber, in Korea. You don’t need a large group to help you manage and pass the time there, but one good friend makes a world of difference (hey Ashley!)
Join a club, group, anything!
Look, I am NOT a group type girl. Outside of FRG’s and my College debate team, I pretty much steer clear of them. But being here has forced me to be more open to the idea of joining in to meet new people and learn more about not only them, and the area, but myself too. I’ve found that I enjoy being a part of a group, and it’s a bonus when I get the opportunity to help another military spouse in any capacity.
If you keep the mindset that you hate the place you’re at, and that’s your mantra every day you are there, you WILL be miserable. There was no way on this good green earth that I was going to self-inflict misery on myself for three years. NOPE. Although this place for me is the duds, I forced myself to bloom where I was planted. My photography business has thrived here. I’ve become very active in the community, and I was voted MSOY of the year for our base. Go Figure!
Realize it’s temporary
Being at a duty station you hoped to love but just couldn’t is hard. Trust me. I know. Hampton Roads almost made me HATE all things military. But you must remember that it’s temporary. One thing that is guaranteed is that the military WILL move you in 2-3 years and you’ll start the process all over again. So, you’ll have a chance to try again.
What I can say is this, I won’t miss this area but I will at the same time. I’ve met some amazing people here and formed lasting relationships that I will take with me. The military is big, but small all at once and I know we will run into each other again soon. I am going to miss my person. She will be here another year when I leave. I’m going to miss the friends I have made, the clubs I’ve joined and being so close to our nation’s capital and all its rich history. And just like when we left Korea, I am sure a tear will be shed. So yes, while I still cannot stand this current duty station, it holds a special place in my heart, and I will miss it.
Author: D’Antrese McNeil, PCSgrades Blogger Affiliate is a proud Mil Spouse. She is a stay at home mom, as well as a photographer and vlogger/blogger. She is also the Pax River Military Spouse of the Year 2017! Her Facebook followers are often entertained with her tales from military life to life in general. D’Antrese is a proud Houston, Texas Native. She enjoys Hip Hop, R and B and country music and is a big Foodie! Check her out on YouTube: D’Antrese Le’Chelle and FaceBook: D’Antrese Le’Chelle.