When You’ve Bloomed

The Army decided to plant me in Mississippi back in November 2015. Plant? Why, yes. As military spouses, you may have been offered the sage advice to “bloom where you’re planted” at least once or twice before.

How do you measure how much you’re blooming, or if you’re even budding?

It’s probably not in a plant’s nature to pass judgment on its own growth. I can hardly imagine a tree considering how tall, straight, or strong it has grown. The flowers don’t wonder if they’re pretty, and the fruits and vegetables don’t care if they’re ripe. But, at the same time, these plants keep on blooming and growing.

Military spouses are obviously not plants, and if I had to guess, judge their own growth on occasion. It seems to be part of human nature.

What if we all just went along our way like the plants though?

They’re blooming and are doing just fine. Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about and analyze your own growth, but to have others shower you with their evidence of your progress?

I happen to feel lucky, as I prepare to leave Mississippi these three years and four months later.

I’m lucky because I was given that external proof of my growth.

Yes, the Army planted me here. Yes, I believe things happen for a reason and therefore believe there is a reason I ended up with the job I held while here.

Maybe the reason was the people who would wind up being willing to watch, help, and celebrate me as I bloomed.

Holding my job for just over three full years is a huge feat in my milspouse playbook. It’s more than that little statistic that I’m going to remember about my work in Mississippi though. I’m moving forward to our next adventure remembering that I was truly appreciated here. I wasn’t just passing through, or passing time. And I know this, because people cared enough to tell me.

With sincere gratitude, I have exemplary tokens of my growth to take with me and encourage me as I prepare to uproot and bloom somewhere new. Beautiful smiling faces of my co-workers in photographs, recommendation letters, a PowerPoint memento built by my boss, a journal with heartfelt and handwritten goodbye notes, and spiritual encouragement gifts—I’m being sent on my way with the knowledge that yes, I bloomed while planted here.

That’s not all, though.

I’m being sent on my way with the honest belief that I can do it all over again (probably more than once in this Army wife life).

To my fellow milspouses, you are blooming too, and someday, I hope you are blessed with the recognition of your growth. That appreciation will carry you a long way.

To my wonderful friends at William Carey University, thank you for showing me how I bloomed and encouraging me to bloom on. Working with you all was just the best garden I could have landed in.



About Angie Andrews

Angie Andrews is a lucky lady. Lucky, and blessed to be a wife and an Army Wife to boot. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and two cats, Hunter and Matthews. Angie and her husband were married in 2013 and he began his military career in 2008. They met in Florida and Angie hopes they will live off the Gulf Coast within walking distance to the beach one day. Along with the beach, Angie loves to have a good laugh, a good friend, and a good read or write. She has some serious favorites: food – macaroni and cheese, music - Tom Petty, workout - elliptical miles. Angie graduated from UCF with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for seven years, five of those years as a first grade teacher, and the last two as a reading coach. She has a collection of other jobs before and after teaching as well. Presently, she works at a local university. Angie is thrilled to be a part of the Army Wife Network blog contributors and invites your thoughts and responses. You can reach out to her on Twitter @wifeitupwife.

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