The Insecure Military Brat (That’s Me)
I started a wonderful book over Spring Breaktitled ‘The Artist’s Daughter’, a memoir by Alexandra Kuykendall. MOPS International gave it to me and I have a hard time putting it down each time I pick it up.
If you ask me about my identity (a key question in this memoir) I struggle to answer. I have grown a lot through the years. Especially now, as a mom, wife, a resident of the same city for the last 12 years. But years before that? I was (and still remain) a Military Brat. I was always a little awkward. I had a SUPER hard time making new friends. The shy introvert who just wanted a few close friends each place I lived didn’t always find the right fit. I’d finally find them and BOOM we’d move again.
But the things I have seen… Born in the desert of Nevada, started kindergarten in the Panama Canal Zone, started to form my true identity as child of the 80s in Texas. In Illinois we lived a mere 6 hours from my dad’s family and visited often forming bonds that have lasted. In Florida when adolescents really started to hit I learned what cliques really were and I just really didn’t ‘fit’ anywhere, at all. But the ocean! I swam in it on Christmas and every other month of the year. In New York I was accepted fast and we moved again… just as fast. In Iceland I saw the country; I saw Europe; I experienced things most high school kids would think only rich kids, gallivanting the world, get to see… yet, I struggled. I struggled to define who I was beyond the confines of daughter, sister, friend, child of God.
So when the author writes:
“The downside to adventure is insecurity”it hits hard.
As a Brat riddled with insecurity it affects me to this day. I don’t know exactly where the insecurity comes from but it was there, and remains. My parents supported me. My brothers loved me. I had best friends all around the country. But I had never thought too deeply about where the insecurity had stemmed from or led to.
There are a lot more quotes that resonate in that same chapter and chapters surrounding it about the strength of the author’s mom that immediately made me think of my own mom. My mom would tell me to walk looking up, not down at the floor. She would push me to meet new friends through Youth Group & encourage me to join school clubs. She would try to help me in any way to just get to know new people, have a little bounce in my step when I wasn’t feeling particularly sure of myself.
“Every daughter looks to her mother to see what a woman is supposed to be.” – Alexandra Kuykendall
My mom was my rock growing up. I know as parents we aren’t supposed to just be our children’s friend, and she wasn’t. She was SO much more then a friend. I looked up to her as a role-model, the person I was supposed to be as I grew up
This brings me to the age old question: If you had your life to live over and you had a choice in the matter would you be a Military Brat? I’d give you a resounding, “Yes!” Simply because insecurity isn’t the end of the world. It creates empathy, kindheartedness, awareness, a listening ear. And through all of that I’ve seen the world (well, a whole lot of it anyway!)
Keep encouraging, helping, loving, being there for your military-children. They will grow up, too quickly, but they will know who had their backs through it all, even through their own insecurities!
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com
PS: In many ways I can say, “Yes through the years, especially as I have come to be able to define my own lack of confidence, I have become secure in my insecurities.” What a thought!
Leanne is the mother of four boys from 2 years old to 19 years old. The wife of a soldier. The daughter of an airman. A believer in Grace, Hope and Love and leans deeply on her Christian Faith. She writes for MilitaryAvenue as a reminder that we’ve all ‘been there, done that’ in one way or another. You can read additional blogs by her by clicking here: LeannebyLeanne KocsisonTuesday, April 09, 2013Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestMilitary Life:Leanne,military brat,Month of the Military Child,MOPS