Today was a great conversation day spent with my friend Bethany, whose husband is getting out of the Army in a few months and moving to Edinburgh, Scotland where he will be attending graduate school. We conversed about traveling, saving money, children, careers, decorating homes, holding out for quality versus short shortsightedly buying quantity, books, and of course, the Army.
From todays conversations I have gained a little bit of clarity. First let me iterate, I stand by whatever decision Martin makes about continuing his career with the Army or "getting out" and becoming a civilian. But at the present time I feel that my future is suffocated, naturally so, the Army will determine where we move and how much money we make, Megan and Martin won't. And I have already come to the realization that when I go to graduate school I might have to go on my own, without Martin by my side. Anywhoo, I'm getting off subject. The thing I realized is that we have options based on what we value.
Let's say Martin retires at 20 years of service, we now are set with a steady income for the rest of our lives and we will have the guarantee of health insurance for the rest of our lives. We could live simply and spend the rest of our lives traveling the world. Or we could relocate to New York, get big fancy jobs with big fancy paychecks and retire again (or for me a first time!)
Or, Martin could get out of the Army in 2012, we go to graduate school and get jobs post graduation. Martin becomes a successful lawyer/businessman/contractor/entrepreneur/military historian and I an architect. We work hard, save our pennies, invest wisely and then sail the world as we dream of doing.
Heck, or maybe after getting out of the Army we are sailing the world poor as beans and then apply to graduate school. How can Harvard NOT accept someone who just sailed the world alone with her husband in a 32 foot sailboat? All the culture....all the sketching....all the ancient architecture.....seriously! Then we work hard in school, work hard at careers, and decide what is next.
As Bethany pointed out, it is kind of cool that we are at this stage in our lives where we still can change and do and dream about our futures. I imagine as you get older, have kids in school, start investing in a 401k with a company, build a house, find a favorite Friday night bar, your life settles down a little bit.
In my opinion we should do what makes us happier and call it a day!
(Also, I have a study partner now!! Whoop! When the guys are off at NTC in March we'll be gearing up to kick some GRE butt!)