the real military wives of blogland

I don't participate in very many link-ups, but this one I found to be of special interest given the subject. So often military wives have a negative stereotype surrounding them, and this link-up is to shed some light on the issue.

Mal Smiles

Hi, I'm Kym. I'm a wife to a US Marine currently living in Indiana. I work full-time in the corporate world while attending school to pursue my MBA in Human Resource Management. My husband also works outside of the military and is also attending school for his Bachelors Degree in Business. We will both be done with our respective degrees within the next few months and are thrilled. 

My husband and I met a few years ago through a mutual friend, and just months later we were engaged to be married. We will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary this next month, and the time feels as though it has just flown by. He was deployed last year, and many of our "firsts" are just now occurring, so we are playing a little bit of a catch-up on life :) As an Engineer of the Marine Corps, he loves his current position, and will be promoted to Staff Sergeant in the next few months (I'm pretty sure I'm more excited than he is). Outside of the military, we enjoy traveling, spending time at the lake with family, running, and of course our fur babies. 

If I could tell people one thing about the military lifestyle, it would be that we are no different than other wives. Sure, we endure long periods of separation, but we are nothing like the Lifetime series "Army Wives." So often, there are negative stereotypes associated with being a military wife, but it's all perception. I consider myself like any of my other friends. Sure, I have a lot of military girlfriends I've met online (and never in person), but that doesn't mean anything. The military has given us opportunities we may not otherwise have, and I'm sure some day we will want to step away from it, but for now we are content with what it has provided us with. 

Perfection is an illusion

I saw a post the other day about how our perception of others online is at times far-fetched, and thought the same thing about bloggers. It appears so many have everything they dreamed of, live a perfect life, and don't have a care in the world. Many have also thought this about myself. I get comments and emails asking how I afford all the nice things I picture on my blog and instagram, and how it appears that I live a perfect life with the perfect marriage. This my friends is what most call an illusion- not everything is as it appears. I know I certainly don't believe everything I read online. We make our little space on the web our own, and how we do that is entirely up to us. What you do and don't share is only something you know. Sure others judge, but that's the risk you take when posting anything online- some people are just plain rude.

The hardest, most complicated, and most painful events in life occur with those I love most. I do not divulge all of my problems and issues because quite frankly it's no one's business. Who wants to read about someone complaining all the time? I know I certainty don't. Heck, at times I unfollow people for doing exactly that. Real life is so very different from the edited ones we read online. 

I'm not perfect and I don't strive to be. 

I have flaws. Marriage is one of the hardest feats I've ever encountered. I'm quick to anger, I have a poor self-image, I've been more unhappy than happy in the past few years, the list just goes on and on. That's just life.

If you walk in our house, you see dirty dishes in the sink, dog hair on the counter, carpets that need cleaned, laundry that's piled on the bathroom floor, clothes hanging on doorknobs, etc. But that's okay because I have a life.

Life is what you make of it. Tread lightly and be slow to react. You never know the depths of hurt someone can be going through. At times it's nice to receive comments or emails that are encouraging rather than belittling the life portrayed online. I've chosen to blog to connect with others and to build friendships. Yes, I've made some really great friends that I've never met, and I've encounters some really obnoxiously rude people. No matter the size of your blog readership, treat others as people. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Just because you have a large readership does not mean you treat the small guy poorly. I see this all the time! I've reached out to some bigger bloggers and have been either ignored or ridiculed because I was using their valuable time. Well news flash- your human too and you were once a little fish in a big pond. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I do know that as people and especially women, we should be an encouragement to others.