Retired: Life After the Military - Who Am I???
(Ft Bragg, NC)
I'm 38 years old and recently retired from the military after 21 years of service. Sounds great huh? I thought so too at first.
But not long after my transition, I started wondering, Who Am I? My entire adult hood and majority of my life thus far, had been defined by the military. I was an exceptional Soldier and I enjoyed it.
But as a retiree, when I began to strip away the layers of camoflauge, I began to question my decision to exit the military. Before retirement, each morning i got out of bed was a blessing; I was alive and I had purpose, to serve my family, my country, and my brothers and sisters-in-arms.
Now I drink alone at night dreading the next day. How can being free to do whatever I want to do, be miserable. I struggle with trying to be fruitful. Is it enough that I'm home now? I toil everyday with the simple question, "Who Am I?" and it bothers me that I can't answer it.
Wendy: Jay, your question "who am I?" is so familiar to many of us who are newly retired. We all wonder why -- if we are "free", we can do whatever we choose to, suddenly, and yet - we aren't happy. How can that be?
YOU are way too young to "retire retire".. yes, you can stop being military, but you need to figure out your new direction in life. There are many doors, many adventures, open to you -- you simply need to start looking for them.
I hope others who retired from the military will respond here!