It’s compounding physical on top of mental now. Which is supposed to happen. I just feel this constant looming dread of going to my duty station and being so far away from my family. No, it’s not a deployment. But by the time I finally get back to them, it will have been over 2 years since we’ve lived together as a family.
I don’t know how to describe the way I feel except dark. Just dark. I’ll graduate, I’ll make it. But for what? I don’t give 2 cents about experiencing another country if I can’t do it with the people I love. I guess that’s the wrong attitude but I really just don’t. Someone asked me the other day what I’m going to do while I’m there if I don’t go out and party and have fun. I told them I’d probably work as much as I can and just stay in my barracks room the rest of the time. I guess I need to pull my head out of my fourth point of contact but at this point I don’t even know how.
My paratrooper other half says you have to learn to turn the feelings off. That you have to know that you miss the ones you love, without feeling it. I guess I can see the wisdom in that, but I don’t know how to not feel something. It hurts. I miss him, I miss all of them. I don’t understand why things fell out this way and I desperately want to change it but there’s not a damn thing I can do.
7 more weeks. Just 7.
Excuse me a little moping right now. Because frankly, I’m tired of everyone (with the exception of a handful of people I can tolerate) here. The immaturity level is through the roof. I swear it’s like being back in high school. Even the few people I do go places with – oh the woes of the necessary “battle buddy” for everything except taking a shower – are at least 6-8 years my junior, and it shows. Not to insult them in any way. It’s ok to be 18, 19, 20 and going through that part of life. I’m just over it. So even the mature 20 year olds…have a perspective so far removed from mine that a lot of times I end up just shaking my head and listening to them. I miss being around people that I can relate to. There are a few of us “older” folks here (which, by the way, means 25-30), but most of them are a lot like me – nose to the grindstone through the week, to hell with any chance of getting disqualified or recycled. Free time spent on the phone with family, trying to make sure nothing falls apart. Even then, they’re not on my team so we see each other in passing. Kind of hard to get to know two or three people out of 90. Yep, my platoon has – or had – almost 90 people.
We were “phased up” recently, which means on the weekend we’re pretty much on our own except for first and last formations. Yay for civilian clothes. Yay for free time. And…no one to hang out. No one I really feel comfortable with. A couple girls on my team I go eat with, even went out into San Antonio with…but in the end, I felt tired. Trying too hard. Wearing too much of a mask. I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. But the gap – dare I say generation gap? – is almost too big to breach.
Another kind of gap I keep seeing is the difference in mentality between those of us that are active duty, and the National Guard or Reserve (no disrespect meant to them). Because, like it or not, they’re weekend warriors and a lot of them enlisted because their recruiters sold them on that idea. Over half of my company is Guard or Reserve. They want to train and go back home to party. Go back to school. Go back to their lives. This army stuff doesn’t mean jack to some of them. It’s an extra paycheck. Something to get through for a few extra thousand a year. Ok, that’s fine. But most of them – especially the younger ones – give no thought at all to what it means to dedicate the next few years of your life to the military. Most of them don’t care if they get in trouble here, because their units at home will never see those papers or if they do, won’t care much.
Maybe if I didn’t have a family too, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Maybe if my focus wasn’t on getting back with them and making a home for us again, wherever it is.
Maybe I’m just old. 😛
I seriously feel like I must be the happiest person on the planet right now.
I’m so happy to be home, happy to be waking up next to my love this morning, so happy to have my kitty following me around meowing like an idiot…just. So. Happy.
I’m a real believer in the saying that sometimes you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Being away from everyone and everything I love is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, but it truly makes the homecoming that much sweeter. Sometimes you have to feel the cold before you can enjoy being warm.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my family lately. Not just my “real” family but the people who support and love me like family, too. A lot of times I take them all for granted. In the past few years I haven’t been in their lives as much as I should have been – partly my fault, partly difficult circumstances I was dealing with that I couldn’t control. Family is very important to me. In the past few months my family has expanded, as people I didn’t know have welcomed me into their hearts and homes and basically adopted me as part of their own family.
I feel like a part of me has come alive again, not only because of that but because through listening to my heart (making myself happy, someone told me), I’m free to love and care about people again. It’s kind of scary…a lot of these emotions are new and yes, it’d be a lot easier to leave in a few days if I didn’t care so much. But I think caring is worth it. And I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate the people that have been so supportive and loving as I’ve made some huge changes and decisions in my life in the last 7 months. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, even though a lot of people think I’ve totally lost my marbles. 😛
I’m really, really happy to have my family back, and to have some new additions. I love you guys. 🙂 This post took me 4 days to write because I couldn’t figure out how to say this…and I still feel like it doesn’t express how much I really feel but it’ll have to do.