How Do I Answer the Question of “What Will You Do After the Military?”
Word of my upcoming separation from active duty naval service is making its way through my friends and family. Inevitably, the next question I get is something along the lines of, “What will you do next?”
I’m not sure I can answer this question myself yet. From moment to moment, I daydream about myself as the following:
a) A stay-at-home wonder mom and homemaker, taking care of my 11-year-old stepson and new baby’s (disclaimer: I would need to get pregant first!) every need, reading stories, preparing delicious vegan gluten-free meals, and doing all of the “home stuff,” like cleaning and doing laundry. Images of me and my family smiling at each other. A lot. And doing homemade crafts and bicycling outside.
b) An ueber peaceful, meditative yoga teacher. A lot of zen. And enlightenment. And cool yoga clothes. And midday meetups with fellow yoga teachers and students at my favorite vegan restaurants in the Washington DC area (Hello, Busboys n’ Poets and The Loving Hut!). (Disclaimer: I teach one yoga class per week now, which at the end of May, will increase to three classes per week, so this could totally happen. Yeah.)
c) Building this blog so much that I could actually call it my profession. In public. At the very least, I would need to figure out how to add a Facebook and Twitter buttons to my blog postings. And finish signing up for a Twitter account. Would definitely need better graphics too. And a cleaner layout. And more material. Note to self: look up more YouTube videos on how to make my blog prettier.
d) Finally writing that book about my late dad. Long, peaceful afternoons typing away on my Mac, pausing to call my mom every once in a while to let her know how much progress I’m making and how great the book is going. Fame and success once the book gets published. Instant New York Times bestseller. People recognizing me in the streets as “that awesome writer.” Yeah, that could happen.
e) Going back to school with the goal of becoming a psychologist. School appears in my head the way I see it on tv nowadays: perfect weather, hip clothes and shoes, engaging discussions with cool fellow students and teachers, and homework that always gets itself done without too much trouble. In the future, I become like Dr. Phil, but without the tv show. Yeah, that would be awesome. I could do that.
In all seriousness, I don’t think the list above is necessarily mutually exclusive. Could I look forward to a dream that incorporates several (or maybe all?) of the items listed above? In what order do I go about trying to achieve them? How do I accomplish these things, and still be an awesome wife to my incredible husband?
In Jeff Goins’ the “Art of Work,” he talks about the “portfolio life.” This concept applies when your life is not made up of merely one vocation, but several. Goins is not just a writer, just a public speaker, or just a blogger. He’s a combination of all of these things. Maybe that could be in the cards for me in my future?