So many of us find ourselves at a point in life where life just has to change. Changing careers, moving away or returning home, ending a bad relationship, quitting a job, or changing the way we behave or the way we live are just a few of the changes we may be faced with in life. As soon as we decide that change must take place in our lives, we quickly realize it won’t be an easy task. It will take patience and time, as we take a new path in life that will hopefully bring us some good we so desperately have been seeking.
Coming home after serving in the military or even from war, we will be faced with many challenges. A soldier may return home battling the affects of PTSD, TBI or the loss of a body part. Some soldiers will return home unchanged, only to later feel the real affects of serving in combat. When faced with having to make a change, the soldier may find himself or herself at a breaking point. Change doesn’t come easy and nor does it happen quickly, but having determination and support can allow for a smoother transition.
After separating from the military back in 2003 and sitting around collecting my unemployment money, I realized I had to change again as a person. I knew it was yet another moment in my life where I had to decide to pick things up where I had left off, earning a living. Though this time I knew I had to do something differently, so at age 23 when I returned home, I knew it was time to open the books and become a student once again.
The thought of going or even looking into college at the young age of 17 never crossed my mind, but then at age 24 there I was visiting the counselor at my local community college. Fast forward to 2008, when I was ready to give up and walk away with just my bachelors degree, I decided to take a semester off to see what jobs I could land knowing that by not having completed an internship, it will only make it harder. March 2011, and here I am in my last semester going for a Masters degree in Guidance Counseling, a field that I know fits me perfectly.
We are always faced with times of wanting to quit or times of fearing what change will bring. I knew I was going to have to change, not only as a person, but also as a student. The times of putting off studying and school work was not going to cut it anymore, because now as an adult I realize what life expects of me. I had to change my way of thinking and tell myself that what I was about to go through (6yrs of college) will be tough at times, as I juggle both school and work and watch my friends settle in to their careers, get married and start a family. However I knew this would be a huge accomplishment in my life and hopefully reward me in so many ways, and in the end I will be able to tell others “change was for the better”.
I learned you can’t fear change if it truly is what you want in life. Be prepared for the possible long road to change and the tough times that you will face, but understand what rewards lie ahead. I have been in school for about 6 yrs, and as those years go by, my age goes by as well. Time that I cannot get back, but time that has added more chapters to my life.
Check out Army Warrant Officer Johnathan Holsey’s story about what he went through after losing his leg in war, but how it motivated him to accomplish over 50 marathons and also to become the first Officer amputee in the Army.
He is just one of so many who adapt to change and accomplish the unthinkable.