Maintaining YOU in a World of Change

by | Jun 13, 2020 | Articles, Blog, Personal Growth

When you look in the mirror and you barely recognize the person staring back at you, it’s time to find your true self again.

Have you ever lost sight of who you are and needed to find your true self again? I know I have, and so have many other military spouses I know. We all go through periods of disconnect from ourselves, our dreams, and our purpose at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s because of life being busy with kids, work, responsibilities, and commitments. Maybe it’s because you get caught up in all the roles and many hats you feel you should wear. Maybe it’s because life steered you in a direction that you didn’t intend to go because of a PCS or deployment. Or maybe it’s because you’re in the aftermath of a transition, big life challenge, or defining moment. Regardless of the why, when you look in the mirror and you barely recognize the person staring back at you, it’s time to find your true self again.

So how do you maintain your true self when everything around you is changing? First off, make sure you show yourself some grace and understanding. There is nothing wrong with you! Many people experience these same feelings, frustrations, and emotions. No matter your situation as a military spouse, whether you are in the middle of a PCS, dealing with a deployment, or dealing with a global crisis, you CAN find yourself. Here are four ideas to help you get started:


A great first step toward finding your true self is to make a list of all the defining moments of your life up to this point. List any achievements, regrets, and momentous events, including positives and negatives. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Highlight or circle the moments, events, or experiences that brought you the most joy. Write down what felt good about those times. Ask yourself if there’s something about those past positives that you’d like to add to your life now. After that first journal exercise, continue to write in your journal. Journaling is a great tool for increasing your self-awareness and self-acceptance about who you really are.


Due to our increasingly busy lives, there is usually so much going on that we tend to go on autopilot and easily lose sight of what is most valuable and meaningful to us. It is important to take some time to reflect on what is most important to you. Think about your values, dreams, desires, and visions for your life. Identify what’s important and figure out how to weave it into your day. Ask yourself these questions to get started:

  • What did you want before you got lost in the busyness, challenges, and responsibilities of your life?
  • What would you like to achieve?
  • What do you need to feel a sense of purpose?
  • What does success or happiness mean to you?
  • What would thriving in life look like to you?


Think of the last time you had fun and things felt good and full of purpose. Most likely, you were doing something you were passionate about. Am I right? As a military family, it is so easy to forget what we as individuals love to do because we’re burdened by responsibilities, life challenges, and Uncle Sam dictating a lot of our large life decisions. That’s why it’s important to reconnect with what you love and act to make these things a part of your routine and life. Make a list of your top three passions and commit to taking one small step toward bringing them into your life this week. No more excuses about not having the time, money, babysitter, etc. Find the time to do whatever makes you excited. This is a major stepping-stone to finding your true self again.


As military families, we have plenty of opportunities to get out of our comfort zones. Use this time wisely and to your advantage! Challenge yourself to try one new and uncomfortable thing each week. Stretch yourself just enough to grow and evolve. Think of this as an experiment. Trying new and different things helps you redefine yourself and reinvigorate your interests. It can be as simple as visiting a place you’ve never been, taking a class for a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or striking up a conversation with someone you’ve never met before.

Losing yourself doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I am of the school of thought that everything can be turned into an opportunity. Take some time to re-evaluate who you want to be and what is important to you. Explore new possibilities and remember what is most important in your life. It can be an exciting journey with new possibilities! Everything is going to be okay. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.


Noralee Jones is a MILSO of twelve years, mom of four, and STRONG advocate for self-care. Having experiences with seven deployments, four solo PCS moves, and the author of the “Self-Care Guide for MILSOs,” she is an expert on the importance of taking time to focus on filling your body, mind, and soul with your individual needs in order to make the most out of your life. Because, as we all know, you can’t pour from an empty cup.


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