military life: a season of ends and beginnings

cherry blossoms camp humphreys

I have so many other posts yet to come about our trip to Vietnam, but I’ve made a point lately about posting when and if I feel impressed to share something that’s on my heart. This blog has evolved from its modest roots back in 2013. I had no idea about military life, but in our nine years of marriage(!!!), I’ve learned so much about myself not only as a wife and mother, but as a military spouse. We’re in that period of waiting right now. Military life is always a series of ends and beginnings, but we’re in a sort of limbo; something that’s not uncommon for military, and it’s such a strange place to be.

A Season of Ends and Beginnings

Since finding out we are PCSing to Alaska, there’s been this undercurrent of excitement for us. Change, while scary, is exciting, and I’ve actually always enjoyed the prospect of starting anew. But, in the midst of the process, there’s this difficult chapter in which you almost have one foot in the door and one foot outside. We’re planted in Korea, but we’re eager to spread our wings in Alaska. We’re doing our best to soak up the time we have left here – less than three months, I might add – but we’re also tackling all the logistics that come with moving across the world. Literally.

military life in korea

a series of ends and beginnings

cherry blossom season pyeongtaek

So, why are there a billion photos of cherry blossoms in this post, and how do they relate even remotely to this post, you ask? Well, much like the cherry blossom season in Korea, I know that this season is short. Both cherry blossom season and the pre-PCS season are rife with anticipation and excitement and, yes, nervousness, as you wait for everything to actually happen. And it’s hard. Then, all of a sudden, it’s here! Boom! And just like that, it’s done.

In this season of ends and beginnings, I find it’s so hard to remain fully present in the here and now. I made the conscious decision to close the books on my photography business in May in order to really enjoy our final months in South Korea, and even thinking that – “final months” – I get choked up. Am I excited about moving to Alaska? Yes! Am I simultaneously heartbroken about closing this chapter in Korea? One hundred percent, yes.

cherry blossom season korea

cherry blossoms camp humphreys

The cherry blossoms bloomed late last week locally in Pyeongtaek, leaving our little area awash in pink-white blooms; a magical springtime wonderland. Then, just as quickly as they burst forth, they’ve washed away with the rain of the past few days, sweeping away those first signs of spring as we inch toward summer. Likewise, I know that each passing day, though it seems like nothing is happening with this PCS (literally – we still don’t have physical orders and can’t plan a darn thing), we inch a little bit closer to closing this chapter.

I know that the emotions I feel very much affect the kids, too. April is the Month of the Military Child, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the challenges they face, too. Mieke will leave behind the Korean school she’s come to know and love. She’ll leave a culture in which she’s become fully integrated. The boys, too, though homeschooled, are simultaneously excited for new adventures, but they’re sad to leave the Land of the Morning Calm, which they’ve come to know and love.

This season of life is hard. Ends are hard, and beginnings are hard. Yet, through challenges, I know we become stronger, and we grow, and we learn to love new places, people, and things. We love a good adventure and, for better or worse, this is the adventure!