Saturday, March 18, 2017

Depend On Yourself


I read a story a few years ago involving a stay-at-home military wife with three children whose husband carried a dark secret involving the sexual exploitation of children. Once his secret was discovered, criminal proceedings began, and his career with the military ended abruptly. This woman, who had dedicated her life to her husband and his career, was suddenly left without any financial recourse as the life she had known was destroyed before her eyes. It hit home for me. 

While my story isn't nearly as devastating as hers, my life was uprooted in a similar fashion at the ripe old age of 25. My then-husband, who was serving as a military recruiter, was discovered having a sexual relationship with a female high school student whom he had recruited. Following an investigation by the military, he was punished via docking of pay, a reduction in pay grade, and an immediate transfer. Although he was able to finish his military contract and earn an honorable discharge (yes, the military is well known for sweeping bad behavior under the rug), his career took a hit that he was never able to recover from. And I learned my first all-important life lesson: NEVER put responsibility for your livelihood in the hands of anyone but your own.

At that time, I was slowly taking entry-level college courses while working various jobs in banking, earning chump change for full-time work. I placed my marriage on the front burner and was 100% invested in my role as a military wife, instead of prioritizing my own career and fulfillment. I relied heavily on my ex's income to afford our very modest lifestyle, never thinking or planning for a time when his income would not be a factor. 

Janes, that time came... and I wasn't prepared for it in the slightest. When my ex and I split, I had a decent amount of debt with no substantial way of earning income. I left the marriage with nothing more than the clothes on my back and a small amount of worn household goods. Swallowing my pride and accepting my mistake of making my ex-husband the center of my life, I began picking up the pieces of my life. I resisted the urge to stay in my crappy one-bedroom apartment (where my new boyfriend, Mr. ZJ, had taken up residence as well) and enrolled in a full-time undergraduate nursing program that required me to relocate and move into my parent's basement. I struggled to support myself on student loans and grants as the program was too intense to attempt any sort of job while enrolled. I cried many tears in that basement as I worked my ass off for 2+ years to complete my goal and become self-sufficient. 

And I survived. Lesson learned. Through the struggle emerged a forever-changed Jane... one who can maintain her own lifestyle no matter what curveballs life throws at her. While I understand the desire of women to place a high priority on their romantic relationships, women are doing themselves no favors by not making sure they are self-sufficient no matter the relationship's outcome. Partners die, partners leave, partners make life-altering decisions, and partners skip out on alimony/child support every day. Please don't make the mistake of not preparing for that day. Your survival depends on it.

How do you feel about our current political climate? Check out Calamity Jane's thoughts here!

Who are our heroes this week? Find out here!!

Can you relate? Let us know in the comments!

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