Getting Back Into the Game

When I left the Navy back in August 2014, I wasn’t sure where I was going to go from there.  Since my husband was also leaving the service and had more of an idea of what he wanted to do, I took a step back and told him I’d follow him where he ended up job-wise.  Since I was seriously struggling with my depression and eating disorder, we both knew I needed to get some stability first then tackle the job scene later.  With all this in mind, we agreed that I would stay home for the time being, take care of our daughter, and take time to research job opportunities while I established care with psychiatry out here in MD.  I only meant to take a year off then jump back into a job.  I even lined to apply for the police academy this past year.  However, I had to put that application on hold when I found out I was pregnant with my son.  Now we’re past the 1 year mark and I’m facing the job market again.  What has pushed me towards entering the working world again so soon after my son’s birth?  Education, really.

My daughter is approaching her 4th birthday and, with that, the need to start some sort of Pre-K program.  All attempts of getting into more affordable pre-school programs for 3 -year-olds failed since they were quite popular and filled to capacity as soon as we applied.  Public pre-schools aren’t a guarantee around here so we started looking at schools that offered the options of continuing educations in the private system.  We found a wonderful school not too far from here that carried its educational system up to the 12th grade.  It is top notch and everything I want for my children.  With such a great school, though, comes a hefty price tag.  It’s affordable now but once she progresses to the next grades that bill continues to climb.  That’s where I need to step up and make sure we can continue sending her to the school in the future.

Approaching the civilian job sector has been quite intimidating to me.  After all, I’ve only ever held one job in my life and that was my Navy job.  How the heck was I going to make anything else work for me at 28 (soon to be 29) without having to go back to school again?  I knew a job like what I husband took was not for me.  It translates well with my experience on the ship but I absolutely loathed my job on the ship.  The police academy seemed like a good fit because I’d automatically start with a stable salary and get the training I needed as long as I qualified for the job.  However, since putting my application on hold there haven’t been any more openings for police academy entrance so I can’t rely on that option anymore.  Then, one day in conversation with my husband I realized that there was one job I never really thought about: instructor duty.  More specifically, I was thinking about NJROTC.  I realized that NJROTC instructors are typically retired military.  I am retired, though that’s still weird to say at my age, so the certification is an option for me.  I looked more and more into the process and realized that this is definitely the job for me.

NJROTC really changed my life back in high school.  Honestly, it’s the only reason I was able to get out of my hometown and make something of myself after high school.  It was the reason I was able to go to college, get my BS, and get a well-paying job immediately after graduating.  Without it, I don’t think I would be where I am today.  Because of the impact it had in my life, I want to go back and essentially give back to the program that means so much to me.  I have great pride in my time in the Navy (though it wasn’t always the best, but what job is?) and the thought that I could continue to serve as a retiree makes me so incredibly happy.  It’s actually kind of scary how happy it makes me just thinking about it.  I’d be back in my element =).

The application process is quite easy.  I have a form to fill out with all my military information, I have to get a physical, and I have to interview with the area manager for NJROTC.  I’ve actually gotten most of this done and am now waiting for my interview.  The board convenes in May so I lucked out as to when I started the application process.  Hopefully I’ll have an answer in June and I’ll be able to apply to the 2 instructor openings here in the MD-DC area.

I am a bit sad to say goodbye to staying home with my children.  Izzy will be in school but Jake will still be so young.  I loathe the thought of him in daycare but I’m glad for the time I have had with him at home.  I’ve seen so many of his first and done so many parenting things that I wasn’t able to do with Izzy.  At least I’ll have his first year in the books as time he was with me 24/7.

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