More Than My Sponsor’s Social
I have a secret.
Many of my friends work as teachers, nurses or in the business field. They take pride in their jobs and happily discuss their work with anyone who asks. I sit quietly, hoping no one will ask me what I do. I’m not currently employed but maybe I’ll go back someday. I spent way too many hours chopping tomatoes in the hospital cafeteria and shadowing Novartis sales reps during my internship after college to let my credentials lapse.
Yes, I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. And no, I’m not judging the contents of your grocery cart.
I don’t want you to know how many times I’ve taken my kids to In-N-Out or Menchie’s in the past year. I also don’t want to brag, but I finished the Whole30 in 23 days. It’s not that I don’t want to make colorful salads to feed my family, I do, I also just really love food, especially pizza. With Pinot Grigio. And not like a Dietitian portion: 1 slice veggie pizza, the rest of the plate filled with greens. Heck no. I will eat half a supreme pizza.
In fact, I fell into this profession while perusing the course book at college and stumbled on the Food and Nutritional Sciences major. HELLO! I can major in food??? Sold.
My roommates used to ask if I wanted to join them for dinner and then remember, “Oh, that’s right, you have class.” Sure enough, we cooked and ate all sorts of food in my nutrition classes: jambalaya, steak with chimichurri, angel food cake, chocolate ice cream. It was glorious!
And my roommates weren’t fooled. They knew I was studying nutrition but would come home and lick the cookie dough batter clean off the mixer.
A few years ago, my husband’s elderly grandmother who suffered from diabetes found out that I was a dietitian and at a family birthday party, hesitated as she cut into the cake. Giving me a quick glance, she said, “I’ll only have a small piece.”
She thought I was the Food Police! If my presence as a dietitian shamed a ninety-year-old woman into eating a smaller piece of cake, I wanted no part. “For crying out loud, eat the cake!” I wanted to scream. But instead, I just silently vowed to keep my professional life in hiding so others could eat in peace.
The Food Pyramid doesn’t define me. I’m almost forty and I’ll eat what I want, which, yes, does include blueberries and lettuce, just don’t get between me and a plate of nachos.
Here’s the thing, I started this blog because I need to tell the truth and hope it helps others to not feel so alone. It starts with truth-telling and will lead to freedom.
If you are a military wife, you know the first and most valuable piece of information you had to memorize the minute you were married? Of course you do, we all do. Our sponsor’s social. I’ve repeated it so many times to Tricare and United Concordia that once I was asked for my own social and it caught me so off guard I had to actually think for a minute. I’d almost forgotten I had my own identity.
Besides Navy wife, a sampling of my other descriptions include: daughter, mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, Christian, awkward introvert, Billy Currington fan, The Middle re-run watcher (What up Sue Heck!), menu planner, cookbook reader, hypochondriac, trail runner and lover of all things salt water.
Yes, I am a complete package and so are you. Not one of us the same. Military wife, while it’s a rockin’ title, doesn’t tell your whole truth. You are more than your sponsor’s social even though it seems like that’s all anyone sees at times. Your particular gifts are exactly what the world needs.
I’m going to add one more title to my list: truth-teller
On this blog, I’ll be unpacking all the ways living with the military as a constant backdrop shapes us physically, messes with us emotionally and grows our faith because IT DOES. Oh, how it does. Even if we want to pretend it doesn’t.
Just as I’ve professed to you that a real life dietitian wolfs down pizza every Friday with her family, I’m here to tell the truth about my surprising journey as a Navy wife. And I hope it gives you courage to tell the truth about yours, even as you’re bursting with pride for your husband. Trust me, I am too.
Because this life is not a USAA commercial. It’s demanding and exhausting. And it’s unexpectedly beautiful. And can be achingly lonely. And downright absurd. And while it’s easier to stay quiet, that doesn’t help anybody. And I’m here for it all.