I’ll never forget, even after over two years have passed, the moment that I realized my entire life was about to change. It wasn’t when Justin picked orders for Gaeta, it wasn’t when when said “I do” or even when he proposed. The moment my world started shifting was during a phone call with him. I was standing in the side dining room at 12 West, just minutes away from clocking in for the dinner shift, when Justin called to tell me that he was put up for a transfer to the USS Donald Cook. The Cook, he told me, was set to move ports from Norfolk to Rota, Spain. Spain! I’m not sure if in that moment I fully accepted that he was handing me an invitation of sorts, but I knew that I loved him and that whether I went or stayed, I wasn’t going to be the same person anymore.
Fast forward, and the first scenarios played out. Justin proposed weeks later with a travel guide to Spain in hand, asking me to see the world with him. Sometime soon after our marriage, he picked his next orders to Gaeta, Italy, where we’re currently residing. Nothing about myself seems to be the same as it was that moment before I picked up my phone at the restaurant—and trust me, I’ve had a lot of time to think about who I am and where I’m headed and who I used to be. That’s what I’m choosing to take away from 2015…that no matter what happened or didn’t pan out, I’m different, my life is different, my marriage is different. I choose to see that despite any disappointments this year, change is good, because it means I’m moving forward.