Last year I began volunteering as a mentor with a group of wonderful women called COMPASS Annapolis https://www.gocompass.org/annapolis.html. COMPASS is a group of military spouses who mentor new and seasoned spouses to be able to better understand the military life a little bit better than the average Joe (pun intended) or Joanna. A few things which are learned in the meetings are the Navy history, customs and traditions, rights and benefits, deployments, pay, moving, etc. Well, one of my favorite topics is Bloom Where You’re Planted. This topic covers all of the hot spots for military families to learn what’s going on in their community, the parks, playground, museums, etc. It’s an amazing group and if you’re affiliated with the military I truly suggest at least checking them out.

When you think about Spring, what do you think about? New beginnings, fresh starts, flowers, etc. We’ll stop here and talk about Spring flowers. I know it’s not Spring right now. It’s actually hot and muggy with a chance of torrential rainfall, but I digress. Let’s talk Spring! Winter is over, it’s a little warmer and all of the flower buds are beginning to sprout and maybe bloom. It’s a new beginning for these beauties! It’s the same concept with COMPASS’ topic, “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” It’s the same concept whenever your child is about to start a new grade, whenever you receive a promotion, start a new job, or if you’re like me and all of the military families around the world, you transfer to a new city, state, or country every 3-5 years. Get yourself situated and then start by sprouting some roots and grow!

One of the hardest things for me as a military spouse was putting my vulnerable self out there because I feared getting hurt. I didn’t want to get close to anybody because I knew one day I’d leave or they’d leave and my heart would hurt. But I’m a little bit wiser and I kick myself knowing that I could have made some amazing friends if I’d just “bloomed” a little bit. I came to Maryland scared as hell, but I said if I make at least 1 friend I would be so happy. So I dug up some dirt, planted a seed, and watered until thick hearty roots started showing. Let me tell you, I have met so many amazing people and have made so many lifelong friends! I cannot imagine what my life would have been life without each and every person’s impact in this chapter of my life.

So if you have something new and fresh about to happen in your life: new job, promotion, a move, kids starting school, kids going to a new grade, kids moving away, etc. Do me a favor and bloom. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  • Find a sunny spot and get situated first. Learn your surroundings and everything that you NEED to know first before you venture out.
  • Dig up some dirt. You’ve gotten situated now you need to find some people that you think you may enjoy being around or a place where you may like to hang out at. Those with kids: parks, museums, family friendly events, local MOPS group (amazing group of women), or for military families, COMPASS (another amazing choice).
  • Water and allow your roots to grow. Be a little vulnerable, you may get hurt but you also may find the beginning of great friendships.
  • Bloom! This is important. You should always allow yourself to grow in any situation. Don’t just be a wallflower, but be the flower that butterflies attract. I promise you won’t regret it.

Know that your situation can always change and even if you bloom where you are you can always bloom anywhere you go. We’ll be moving soon because of the Navy and it makes me sad to think about, but I learned to bloom here. It’s a lifelong lesson which I am teaching my girls who make friends instantly (they have no issue blooming). Life is so short and you never know who you may meet or whose life you’ll alter. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods or you’re in mine contact me and we can bloom together!

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