I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Oh boy…I just signed the next 4 years of my life away, starting in 3 weeks. I’m crazy excited, but my stomach keeps tying itself in knots when I think about trying to put everything on hold…or leaving someone else in charge of my personal affairs, or leaving things on auto. Um. No??? But yes. Such an insane mix of feelings, it’s so weird. I really don’t want to say goodbye to my friends, my coworkers, my family…and yet at the same time I do. The sooner I get started, the sooner Basic is over and the sooner I’ll be back in touch. Long distance isn’t anything new to me…not having ANY communication – no phone, no text, no e-mail, no Facebook – is. I can receive and send letters and hopefully get a few phone calls, but that’s it. Apparently we can take our cell phones, but only get to use them at the drill sergeant’s discretion. Not quite sure what I think of that, but ok.
My last day at the Red Cross is January 7. Then I have to get packed/finished/settled/legal, to ship out on January 20.
Apparently staring at my phone and wishing hard did some good, because late Monday evening I got a phone call from my recruiter.
All the paperwork is sorted, and I go back to MEPS this coming Monday to sign the final contract. Finally. But there was one little catch.
“Yeah, they want to change your ship date,” he said.
Oh no. More delays. Sigh.
“To January instead of February.”
Uhh, what? Holy cow. I nearly fell over. Everything I’d been planning involved leaving at the end of February. Time to pack, arrange for bills, sell my truck, say goodbye…and now they want to knock a month off my preparation time.
Really not sure I’m ready for that. On one hand, a month isn’t really that big of a deal. I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Now it just feels like I’m being a sissy. But on the other hand…I was counting on a few more weeks to spend with my family and friends. This also means turning in notice at my job next week. Which also makes this feel a whole lot closer and a whole lot more permanent. Of course I already knew it was permanent…just quitting my job makes me feel really nervous. But, it has to be done regardless, so…
Still in limbo with the paperwork snafu, and I’m about to go nuts. Talked to my recruiter yesterday and now he says I should know something by the end of this coming week, but he doesn’t know if the delay will affect when I get to leave or if the 68W will still be open. And if it’s not…that’s definitely going to mean a big delay. I am so NOT a patient person.
Trying not to borrow trouble here, but I’m already beyond irritated, frustrated, and just a little angry at myself for waiting this long in the first place. I just want the papers officially signed and done.
Well, MEPS was overall a very frustrating experience. After tons of paperwork, hours waiting, I passed only to find out they needed more documentation/needed to file some paperwork differently, and there’s nothing else I can do about it but wait. So everyone in my group except me and one other guy got to swear in yesterday, but I got sent home with a pat on the back and a “Just be patient, it’ll all work out fine.”
Yeah. Fine. Whatever. I realize this is just a bump in the road and the military is famous for red tape and stalling on everything, but I just want my contract signed so bad I can hardly stand it. I want something binding so I can make definite plans for the next few months.
I want to just do this so badly. If it turns out this is permanently screwed up, I don’t even know what I’m going to do. This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. To have that dream destroyed will be beyond painful, as emo as that sounds.
When you want something really badly, the thought of failure turns your stomach even more than usual.
After months of doing paperwork, I finally have a date for MEPS. And a date for everything else, if all goes well there. In less than 12 weeks, I could be on my way to basic training. I have a 68w airborne slot. I don’t think for a second it’s going to be easy. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to take everything I’ve got and then some. It’s going to scare the living daylights out of me.
I love that feeling. The slightly queasy, heart-racing, time slowing down feeling. I could live just chasing that feeling, because it’s in moments like that I feel most alive and I know that this, right here right now, is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve been told that’s a classic adrenaline junkie attitude, but I don’t think I’m that crazy or that brave. I just want to live every second of life to the fullest. I want to help people. I want to have adventures. I want to be 80 years old looking back at all the things I did, not wondering what might have happened if I’d been a little less careful.
All that sounds really simple and idealistic, I know. In all honesty I really don’t care. I know reality, whatever it actually is, will slap me in the face soon enough. I know that I really don’t know what I’m getting into. I’m ok with that. I’ve spent years wishing I’d done this sooner. Years wondering what would happen if I tried. No matter what comes out of MEPS, or basic, or any of the training after that, having that question answered will be worth it. No one said chasing dreams was easy.
All that aside, I really wish tomorrow would get here already. I just want to know for sure if I’m going to get to go or not. There’s no reason I know of that I shouldn’t. If I’m turned down, it’ll be for something well outside my control. But my stomach is still in knots. Fingers crossed for an actual contract signed by the end of this week.