Lioness' Literatim

Letter for letter, the thoughts in my head.

2011; Ready for Review

Well people, it’s that time of year again where I find myself sitting down and reviewing the past year. So much has changed this year. As with every year, 2011 had its ups and downs. There were periods that dragged on and periods that raced by, all culminating with a New Year’s Eve spent sitting in the office waiting/praying for the phone to ring. All things considered though, this holiday season was much less stressful than last year’s, despite my current settings.

So, without further ado, 2011 in a nutshell:

January

After the most stressful holiday season I’ve ever experienced, I made myself get back on a plane to the middle of Nowhere, AZ because I’d signed a contract that said if I didn’t, I’d be in big trouble. I spent most of January rethinking my reasons for joining the Army, debating every day about whether I wanted to quit or continue on. These debates were fueled by the new knowledge that my darling husband, the kid that convinced me to join the Army in the first place, didn’t want me in.

February

Started hanging out with this one guy in my class who would later become a lot more important to me than I ever thought was possible. In February, I got my second tattoo – an infinity cross with rosebuds and butterflies – and that guy I was hanging out with a lot, he was there. At some point during February, he earned himself the nickname Pikachu. I think it’s safe to say that in February I started being more comfortable in my own skin and more confident about who I am.

March

In March I got the second piece of my back tattoo – a half opened rose with a butterfly – and guess who was sitting right beside me, holding my hand. At this point there was no question that he was my best friend. There was hardly a time when we weren’t together. At the end of March I found myself wishing I could slow down time because, although I was anxious to get out of TRADOC and all the bullshit it brought, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the familiarity of Ft. Huachuca and face the real Army. Especially since in the real Army there were things to deal with like orders that placed me halfway across the country from my husband. In March I also had to face the fact that, despite missing my husband, Pikachu and I had a connection that scared me.

April

In April, Pikachu took me out to my favorite restaurant in Nowhere, AZ to celebrate my 20th birthday with delicious Greek food and Baklava. I graduated at the top of my class out of 120 new analysts and headed home, spending my first week of ‘freedom’ showing Pikachu some of my favorite things about Florida life. I was finally reunited with my husband and after sending Pikachu back to his faraway home I made my way to Ft. Bragg, had a very disappointing first night in my new apartment and began settling into the life of a wife.

May

In May I began my work at the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater). It didn’t take long to figure out that the 1st TSC doesn’t function quite like most other units. It’s a beast of a different color. In May I sat my husband down and told him that something had to change, because I didn’t feel he was treating me the way he should. Things changed, for a few hours. A few days later I sat him down again and told him that things really needed to change because I didn’t appreciate him walking all over me and taking advantage of me being there. I was his wife, not his maid. Again, things changed for a few hours, and this time I made up my mind. I deserved better than what he was giving me and if he couldn’t make an honest effort to treat me right, he didn’t deserve me. So I left. In my new Jeep. Which I love.

June

In June Pikachu came out to Ft. Bragg before he deployed to help me get settled into my new apartment. It was a bittersweet visit because neither of us knew what to expect with his deployment. We’d kept in touch pretty well since graduation, and he was the one that was keeping me sane during the initial stage of my separation. He was who I called when the hubby and I decided we wouldn’t be trying to work things out but would instead be filing for a divorce. But, Duty called and he left for that strange place we call Afghaniland. Luckily, we still able to talk fairly frequently, so my sanity didn’t suffer too terribly.

July

In July I drove from Ft. Bragg to PA to visit my sister that I hadn’t seen since my BCT graduation. My dad retired after 30 years in the Marine Corps and I was lucky enough to get time off of work to be there. In July I admitted that I’d fallen in love with Pikachu. In July, we decided to tackle this long-distance relationship thing that neither one of us really wanted to try. You’ve heard them say “long distance never works” I’m sure. We thought we knew what we were getting into. I got lonely and brought baby Kiwi into my life – silly kitten. In July I went through the Army’s Driver’s Training Course to get my license on the HMMWV. Events being what they were, insecurities and jealousies surfaced and we began to realize what makes long distance relationships so hard. But we fought through it.

August

I started going to the gym a couple times a week with some of the guys from work. I reconnected with God in a way that confused me, but I find this connection to still be strong and true. In August I fought with the depression that comes with the territory of being the girlfriend of a deployed soldier. Constant worrying, not enough sleep and increasing stress at work threatened to break me. The only thing that kept me going was knowing he was coming to see me at the end of the month and he’d be all mine for two whole weeks. That and the fresh pain from my fourth tattoo – a scorpion on my ankle.

September

Pikachu was home for the first part of the month, and putting him back on a plane to Afghaniland was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I had a bit of an emotional breakdown at PT the following morning, and as a direct result, gained a significant amount of respect for the G2’s new SGM. I learned, about three weeks out, that I’d be deploying to Kuwait the first weekend of October, and so the frenzy began. Packing things up and trying to get everything settled before it was time to leave was a new challenge, but I met it. Barely.

October

We left the first of the month and spent more time sitting on the tarmac than we did in the air. We got stranded overnight in Germany and arrived in Kuwait a full day later than we were supposed to. Training was quick, frustrating and confusing, and then it was over and the old team was gone. It didn’t take too long to get settled into our daily routines. A couple weeks in, Pikachu and I managed a phone call, not knowing it’d be the last time we’d hear each others’ voices for a couple of months. I started working out regularly under the guidance of the boss, and when I wasn’t at work or the gym, I was glued to Yahoo, hoping he’d be able to continue answering my emails. Towards the end of the month there was a rather intense, eye-opening email conversation that spanned the length of several days and sleepless nights. But then we heard that he’d be going home early, and that was pushed to a backburner.

November

The beginning of November was tough, learning that rather than going home early he’d be relocating to someplace else in Afghanistan instead. In November I become addicted to working out – became a true endorphin addict. Now I can’t help but wonder if this would still have happened if Pikachu and I had more regular contact. I know I often found myself heading to the gym after being disappointed by an email that didn’t come or contained only a few short words. The gym became my ‘happy place.’ I had my second Thanksgiving surrounded by uniforms and found myself thanking God for all of the amazing men and women I’d had the honor of meeting and serving with so far. And then immediately following Thanksgiving I fell prey to the depression again, but it was worse this time.

December

The combination of being away from home for the holidays and the minimal amount of contact that Pikachu and I were able to maintain had me in a rapid downward spiral to depression that came within an inch of breaking me many different times. Endorphins or not, I was beginning to question the strength of our relationship and whether we’d actually be able to make it through the deployment. I did my best to make sure no one knew what I was going through. And then we talked – and I mean really talked – for the first time in a month and a half or more, and he made me remember why I love him and helped me rediscover the strength I had hidden away that would get me through the rest of the deployment. Christmas came and went, my first away from home, celebrated with an early morning 5k run.

And now, here it is, New Year’s Eve. Less than an hour until the New Year hits and I’ve spent my evening sitting in the office waiting/praying for the phone to ring (and finally getting to talk to Pikachu!) and writing this post. No plates of snack food, sparkling grape juice or champagne. No Times’ Square ball or movie marathons. No family, no New Year’s kiss since the only person I’m interested in kissing is a couple of countries away. In some ways, it’s kind of a bleak ending to a crazy year. In other ways, it’s kind of peaceful. But maybe that’s just my subconscious comparing the stress of last year’s holiday season with the slightly painful ease of this year’s. Either way, it’s been a crazy year with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us. It’ll be difficult, with Pikachu changing AOs on me and not knowing how much communication we’ll have during the next few months, but we’ll be home before we know it!

Happy New Year!

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31 December 2011 Posted by | Confessions, In the hands of God, Life's what we make it, Sleepless Night Ramblings, That thing called Love, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

Just keep breathing

It’s funny how one little – not very surprising – sentence can ruin your entire day.

“Well it doesn’t look like we’re going home early after all.”

In all honesty, there’s absolutely no reason that this should have upset me. For the past couple of months he’s been telling me of the possibilities his leadership was talking about for his unit. For the past couple of months it’s been a back and forth and back and forth three way tennis match between leaving early, moving AOs and sticking it out for the remainder of the deployment. I was preparing myself for the worst. It became apparent fairly quickly that they couldn’t just stick it out. There just isn’t enough room for that much testosterone in one AO. A few weeks ago he told me they finally made a decision: they were changing AOs. I can’t say I was particularly happy about this decision, especially when I heard where they would be moving to, but it wasn’t the worst that could’ve happened so I started trying to warm up to the idea. A week ago, he told me they’d changed their minds. He’d be home in January. The order was out; it was official.

Until today, when the General decided he didn’t want to send his troops home early, so they would be overwriting the order to go home and continuing on with the relocation mission.

It shouldn’t bother me as much as it does.

Either way, I won’t see him until April at the absolute earliest. That hasn’t changed, and if it does get pushed back, by God I swear heads will roll.

But, if I was already getting used to the idea of the relocation and coming to terms with where he’d be, why does it bother me so much that that plan is back on? I could understand if revoking the order to go home early resulted in yet another relocation. But it’s not – at least as far as I’m aware. And yet, this simple fact threw a shadow over my entire day, and I don’t have an explanation.

If anything, he’s the one that should be bothered. After all, it’s his head they’re messing with. His life and frustration. But, in the brief time that we were able to talk (via facebook, since there’s no telling when we’ll be able to coordinate a phone call) he didn’t seem phased by it one bit.

Now, maybe I’m just an easily upset, emotional girlfriend that isn’t cut out for the indecisiveness of the Army lifestyle. But then again, maybe I just worry too much. Either way, he asked me to try not to think about it too much – to focus on my own deployment and try not to worry about him too much. And I told him I’d try. So, this is me trying – recognizing that I shouldn’t be as upset about this as I am, because in reality, it’s exactly what was going to happen before anyway.

16 November 2011 Posted by | In the hands of God, Life's what we make it, Long distance love, Sleepless Night Ramblings, Surviving a deployment | Leave a comment

Only time will tell.

So, tonight is one of those nights where I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about quitting. Tonight, when it’s barely 2030 and I’m ready to go to bed. In all honesty, I’ve been ready to go to bed for hours. But I can’t. First I couldn’t because I had a two-hour CQ shift right after class ended today. That’s Charge of Quarters, and involves sitting at the CQ desk downstairs, answering the phone if it rings, and calling “At ease!” if an NCO walks in, or “Attention!” if an officer walks in. Boring as all hell, by the way. So that was two hours that I could have either spent sleeping or at study hall working on my paper and brief that are due on Monday. But I couldn’t, because the Army says someone has to be sitting at that desk at all hours of the day. And now, after my shift is over, it’s so close to bed check that if I even try to get some sleep right now, I know I won’t be able to get up in an hour (less actually). That’s how tired I am. My room mate is already asleep, so it’s not like I can ask her to wake me up. I’ve been fighting to keep my eyes open all day, and now, when all I want to do is go lay on my bed and close my eyes, I can’t, because missing an accountability formation is cause for an article 15 or worse. Oh, and did I mention that I have a PT test in the morning? Yeah, I do. And I’m not going to get enough sleep tonight because I have to wait up for fucking bed check, and then our first formation in the morning is earlier than normal because of the PT test. So, double fucked there. But it’s not just those two things. There are SO many things that are contributing to these thoughts. Things that are out of my control. I hate the bullshit that I’m forced to put up with just because someone in my platoon doesn’t know how to behave. And I hate some of the people that I have to put up with. I hate the drama that’s forming here. As much as I want to finish, if for no other reason that to say that I did it, I’m seriously wondering if it’s worth it, and why I signed myself up for this shit. As much as I love the desert, I’d much rather be in the same time zone as my husband so that we have the option of talking for more than a half hour a week. And don’t get me wrong, I like the classes. I’m one of the few people that doesn’t find them dreadfully boring. But I can’t stand most of the people that I’m around every day. And there are parts of the day’s schedule that I don’t particularly mind (though I’d definitely love to be able to sleep past 0400 everyday), but having someone come by and say “ok, you can go to bed now,” is complete bull shit. Yes, I understand that they’re just doing it for accountability. But couldn’t they at least do it earlier, or on time? Or let you be in bed, so long as you had your ID card next to you and your room mate was awake to open the door and show you to them? I mean honestly, when you have to get up at 0400, every minute of sleep you can get is precious. And I understand that they don’t want to have males and females in the same barracks, but did they have to put the females a mile away? I don’t mind the walk – I really don’t – but having to get up that much earlier than the males, and having to add in that travel time to everything that we do, it’s frustrating, inconvenient, and actually rather dangerous for us to be walking all that way multiple times a day, especially in the dark.

Now, maybe I’m just tired as fuck. Maybe I’m just annoyed from CQ. Maybe I’m scared about the PT test tomorrow. Or, maybe I’m just PMSing. I don’t know. All I know is that right now, I have a list of about ten different things to say to the plt sgt next time I see him. All of them related to getting me out of here. Will I act on these thoughts? Only time will tell.

18 January 2011 Posted by | Sleepless Night Ramblings, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

Sleep schedules

You know, it’s times like these – when I have no choice but to be awake in the middle of the night – that I find myself thinking about and almost wishing for the days, or nights rather, when I stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning because I wanted to. Granted, sometimes it was because I was talking to a certain sister who needed me at the wee hours of the morning, and I’m more than happy to be there for her when she needs me, because everyone should have a shoulder that they know is available to lean upon at any hour of the day. And sometimes it was because I was too caught up in my thoughts to even think about trying to sleep. Sometimes those thoughts were good, more often, if they were keeping me awake, they were bad, dangerous and insecure thoughts. Sometimes I was up so late because I got sucked into a movie or TV show and didn’t realize how late it was until it ended and I glanced at the clock. And other times, most times really, it was because I just wanted to stay awake and revel in the fact that he was sleeping next to me, to take it all in – looking at him, listening to him mumble in his sleep, smile at the stupid things he would say. I used to love staying up late for no reason except that. Now, anything past 2200 is too late for me, and even that is pushing it. It makes me wonder, how long would it take me to fall back into that old routine if I had the chance? Not purposely doing it – I could do that too easily – but just letting things take their natural course. How long before I would be back into the schedule that I now only have in memory?

17 January 2011 Posted by | Sleepless Night Ramblings, This Army life is crazy | Leave a comment

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26 December 2010 Posted by | Life's what we make it, Sleepless Night Ramblings, That thing called Love | Enter your password to view comments.

Interesting dream: precognition or born from discussion

I had an interesting dream the other night. Now, in order to fully understand what’s going on, I will explain a few things to those of you that don’t know me and my story:

My husband and I are both nineteen. We married early because we’re both going into the Army and waiting until next summer to get married would make it difficult for us to be stationed together. He’s currently in boot camp and I leave in a few weeks. While he is planning on making the Army a career and staying in for twenty years, I’m unsure of how long I want to stay in. For now, my contract says three years. My thoughts for now are that if I don’t like being in the Army, I will get out after those three years, however if I decide I want to stay in, I will apply for OCS (Officer Candidate School) and continue my career as an officer rather than an enlisted soldier. By that time I will be twenty-two, going on twenty-three, which is still early enough in my life that if I don’t want to stay in, I have plenty of time to pick a new direction for my life. My husband and I do want to start a family, but not until after I’ve decided if I’m going to stay in the Army or not, so, at least three years, probably more like five. Ok, so onto the dream:

This takes place sometime in the year before my contract is over, so, about two – two and a half years from now. It’s about the time that I’m looking over the OCS application. I’m going to tell this in story format.

Characters’ names: Laura (me) and Logan (my husband).

I pulled the box out of the brown paper bag from the pharmacy. ‘Home pregnancy test,’ it said. I can’t believe I’m doing this. There’s no way I’m pregnant, I thought, shaking my head softly as I opened the box.

Fast-forward a few minutes.

My hands were trembling as I held the small object in front of me. I hadn’t heard the front door open, but there was Logan, standing in the doorway. “What’s wrong babe? You look like you just saw a ghost,” his face mirrored the concern in his voice, and as I glanced into the mirror across from me, I saw that I was indeed quite pale.  I sighed as I took one last look at the object in my hands and then handed it to him. Warily, he took it from me and as he looked at it, confusion crossed his face. “Does this mean…are you…are we…” he stammered. “We’re going to have a baby,” I whispered. His eyes went wide as he fell against the doorframe and his jaw dropped slightly, showing the shock that we were both feeling. “I know it’s earlier than we had talked about, but it’s happening,” I said softly as the first tear slid down my cheek. “Why are you crying? I know it’s a shock, but it’s nothing to be upset about. We’re going to have a baby!” His shock was quickly changing to excitement and he placed the pregnancy test on the counter before wrapping his arms around me. “I know. I know. I’m not upset per se. I’m…shocked, yes. But worried. Scared. I mean, we had a plan. I was going to apply to OCS this year. I can’t do that now…what are we going to do?” I whispered the question, burying my face in his shoulder. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll make it work. We just have to rework our plan a little,” he assured me. I nodded into his shoulder, still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that there was a tiny person growing inside of me. “I’ll call the doctor tomorrow and set up an appointment,” I told him. “Would you like me to come with you?” he asked, gently pushing my hair back behind my ear. Again, I nodded into his shoulder. I didn’t want to go to my first pregnancy appointment without him. “Call me after you’ve made the appointment and I’ll make sure I can get off work.”

Morning of the appointment:

“Good morning Mr. and Mrs. L. Go right on in. The doctor will be with you in a moment.”

I took my place sitting on the end of the examining table while Logan paced the room. “Would you stop that? You’re making me nervous,” I requested softly, reaching my hand out to him. He smiled, took my hand, and came to stand next to me, stroking my hair softly as we waited the last few moments for the doctor.

One urine test and a handful of questions later, we were ready for my first sonogram. ‘Just to make sure everything is going well in the beginning,’ the doctor assured me. “There we go. Not much to see right now, but it looks like you’re about four to five weeks along,” he said with a smile, pointing to a small area on the screen. I heard Logan’s deep exhale over my shoulder and wondered how long he’d been holding his breath. “That’s our baby,” he whispered to me, his warm breath on my neck. I turned my head to look at him and saw the amazement in his eyes as he watched the sonogram screen. Then the doctor started talking again and I slowly turned back to him. “It’s too early to say for sure, but just from my past experiences I’d say it looks like there’s a pretty good chance for twins here.” “Tw-twins,” I stuttered, looking back at the sonogram with wide eyes. “It’s a possibility. I figured it would better to warn you now rather than shock you with it later.” “Twins,” Logan whispered, still sounding just as delighted as before. “Twins Laura!” he was definitely excited. I was too, don’t get me wrong. But twins would definitely delay OCS. Maybe keep me from going all together. Leaving one child at home would be difficult enough, but two…I wasn’t sure I could do that.

Later that night I expressed my concerns to Logan and he pulled me into a bear hug. “You worry too much. If you decide that you want to stay in the Army after you have these babies, and you still want to go to OCS, we’ll make it work. Even if it means that you wait for a few years until you’re more comfortable with leaving them at daycare. Yes, it’s going to put a delay in our immediate plans, but we’ll make it work. I promise. And if you decide that you’d rather be a stay-at-home mom, or go back to school and pursue a different kind of career, that’s fine too. It’ll be completely up to you, but whatever it is, we will make it work. Don’t worry so much. We’re having a baby. Maybe two. Be happy! This was already part of our plans, it’s just a little sooner than we had expected.”

Over the next few days my thoughts were focused on my pregnancy and nothing more. Over dinner one night I brought up an idea to Logan. “Now, this may just be a passing phase I’m going through, and it may have come about when my cousin was having her twins and my mom and sisters and I got to talking about the fact that she didn’t want to know their genders. But I was thinking about it, and it could be kind of fun to keep the genders a surprise until these kids are actually born. I mean, if we are having twins, then knowing the genders would make it way too easy to go all matchy-matchy with everything. But if we don’t know the genders, then we could go with a neutral theme or color scheme for the nursery and get outfits for them that may match, but at least be in different colors, whereas if we knew we were having two girls, we might be tempted to get them exactly the same things. What do you think?” He thought for a moment before answering, “that could be fun actually. But what if we’re only having one?” “Maybe we find out the gender if we’re only having one, because with one, we’re not in danger of matching them to anyone else.” “Sounds good. So if we’re having one, we’ll find out the gender. If we’re having two, we’ll keep it a surprise,” he clarified, and I could see him thinking over the idea and becoming more accepting of it. “We can go ahead and start brainstorming nursery ideas. You know, boy themes, girl themes, neutral themes, color schemes,” I suggested, suddenly remembering that the guest bedroom was going to be turned into the nursery; A new project that would hopefully take my mind off of the delayed OCS application. “How about we work on that this weekend after we call everyone?”

Fast-forward a few weeks.

“Good morning. Ready for your second sonogram?”

“Yes I am,” I said with a smile, lightly squeezing Logan’s hand. “Alright, well then let’s see what we’ve got here,” the doctor said, turning the sonogram screen so that Logan and I could see it better. “There are definitely two babies in there. Congratulations, you’re having twins, and everything looks to be in order,” he smiled. “Twins!” Logan and I exclaimed together. Now we were both excited. “Doctor, we’ve decided that we don’t want to know the genders. We’ll keep that a surprise,” Logan informed the doctor. “That’s fine. We’ll just call them babies A and B then.”

So now I can’t help but wonder if this dream was born of the discussion at my sister’s house over the weekend (because my cousin is just about ready to have her twins and we actually DID talk about whether we would want to know the genders of our children before they were born), or if it’s a glimpse of the future. As much as I don’t believe in precognition and that sort of thing, it was just one of those dreams where I can’t help but wonder. There are a few things that I will say if this WAS a glimpse of the future:

  1. In a couple of years, I look pretty damn good. The Army is good to me, at least as far as my appearance goes.
  2. Our marriage is still going strong. The distance and difficulty of Army life has indeed strengthened our bond.
  3. Fort Bragg (I’m pretty sure I saw a Bragg sign in the dream) seems pretty nice.

8 September 2010 Posted by | In the hands of God, Life's what we make it, Notable Dreams, That thing called Love | Leave a comment

Conned heart, Take 2

I can’t even guess what brought it on this time.

Honestly.

I have no clue.

For the second time in my life, I woke up crying.

You may remember a post about a certain dream that I had right around Thanksgiving of last year. Well, it’s safe to say that this was nearly an exact replay of that dream, plus a little extra.

For those of you that don’t remember and are too lazy to look it up (The post is called “Allow me to Explain,” if you’re interested), that dream went something like this:

Real life segue into the dream, merging it with reality so that I couldn’t tell what was real and what was dream -> Series of events of my boyfriend and I doing things together -> blank part where I can’t remember what happened -> him telling me that it was all a lie, that he didn’t actually love me or even like me for that matter, that he thought I was a pathetic excuse of a person, too clingy, too needy, too sarcastic, etc and that pretending to pick up the pieces left behind by my ex was a game to him.

So, what was tonight’s dream that made it almost an exact replay of that?

Let’s start with the segue.

I was watching Mythbusters before I went to bed, just ’cause I kinda love Mythbusters and it was an episode I hadn’t seen before. When the episode was over, I changed to a music channel, like I do every night, because it’s easier for me to get to sleep to music than to a TV show. So, I fall asleep. Cue dream:

I’m watching Mythbusters. He’s asleep next to me. Nothing weird about that, he just about always falls asleep before I do. A commercial break comes on, so I get up to get a bottle of water. Next scene. We’re playing pool, like we do most Thursdays before darts, just the two of us. Then, we’re playing darts. We’re partners, and we’re doing pretty well. Next scene: we’re running around the park behind the house, then we’re at PT at the recruiter’s office. Just like in the other dream, none of these were exact memories, but scenes created from memories. And then, again, there’s a fuzzy area where I can’t remember what happened, and the next scene is bad. In this scene, he tells me that when we first met, as broken down as I was, he made it his goal to see how far he could get me to go. To see if he could make me fall for him. To see if he could get me feeling so happy and secure that when he ripped it all away I’d be in worse shape then when he found me. And then he said that he had never loved me. It was a game for him. He made me fall in love, quicker than I’d thought possible. He’d gained my trust (in itself an admirable feat), gotten me to move in with him and his family against the better judgment of my friends and family. He’d proposed, just to see how deeply in love I really was, and when I accepted, he knew he had won, but he wanted to see how much farther he could push it. So he talked me into joining the Army. In just over six months, he’d won my heart and body for himself, and gotten me to sign my life away to the Army. He’d entered my life, taken it over without me realizing. He’d given me more happiness than I thought was possible in a lifetime (it just kept growing every day), and then he ripped it away just so he could watch me crumble.

And then I woke up. My pillow was already wet with salty tears, and in the few moments that it’s taken me to write this, they haven’t stopped flowing. But sitting here, watching him sleep, listening to his slow, even breathing, I don’t know where this dream comes from. I have no reason to even suspect that he doesn’t love me. I have no reason to feel like he’s just playing with me and my feelings. We’re getting married, and no one with any kind of humanity or feelings would do to someone what I dreamed he did to me.

8 June 2010 Posted by | Notable Dreams, Sleepless Night Ramblings, That thing called Love | 2 Comments

2:30, we have to stop meeting like this. I'd rather sleep with you.

What do you do when you have to choose between spending time with your new family and your birth family?

My fiancé and his family have this place where they love to go camping. Ever since he decided to join the military, they’ve been talking about going camping one last time before he leaves for boot camp. I’m fine with that. In fact, I think it’s awesome. I’ve seen pictures of this place and heard stories, and I want to go even though I’m really not a big fan of camping. I mean, it’s fun and all, but it’s definitely not my favorite thing in the world to do. Even so, I would go. I want to go, and not just because he wants me to see the place.

The problem is that my mom is going up to North Carolina to visit with my sisters, and I was invited to go. She’s going the same weekend that the camping trip is planned for. I really want to see my sisters. I haven’t seen them since New Years and a lot of things have happened since then. Not to mention that I don’t know when the next time I’ll get to spend some good quality time with them. Granted, I will see them in about a month at my cousin’s wedding, but how much quality time can you get in at a wedding?

I thought I had made a decision before, to go camping and then catch a greyhound up to my sisters’ later in the summer, but now I don’t know how I would do that. I don’t have any money and I can’t get a job because no one is hiring for just a few months and I leave for boot camp at the end of September. Logan told me that I could do whatever I want – that he would love for me to go camping but he understood that I wanted to see my sisters too. Then tonight, he said that it shouldn’t be a difficult decision because I’ve never been camping with them before and I saw my sisters a few months ago and it’s not like I’m never going to see them again and I get to see my family a lot.

Actually, I don’t get to see them all that often. Holidays and maybe once during the summer if I’m lucky. I love my sisters, more than I admit most of the time. Even though they live a few states away, they’re an important part of my life and I wish I could see them more often. And yeah, I may not have been camping with Logan and his family before, but I’ve been camping with mine, and I’ve been camping with ROTC, and it’s still just camping. Not to mention the fact that I live with him and his family so I see them everyday. If it was a matter of skipping a once a month visit to my sisters’, it wouldn’t be an issue.

And then he drops the big bomb on me. He says, “well if you don’t go camping with us, I’m definitely not going to be happy.” That right there kind of seals the deal. I don’t want him to be unhappy, and certainly not because of something I’ve done! He made me feel so guilty tonight for even considering going to see my sisters. Said that one of the main reasons they were going was so that I could go and see the springs. That I would be backing out on the plans they’d already made. That it wasn’t fair to his mom, to his sister, and definitely wasn’t fair to him because this is the last chance he’s going to get to go camping with his family before he leaves. I can’t very well say no after that, can I?

But then there’s the matter of cost. I don’t have any money, and I can’t keep making him pay my way for things all summer. It isn’t fair to him. If I could pay my own way, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it, but I just don’t have any way to do that. He told me the other day that he didn’t even know if he was going to be able to afford it, because he doesn’t get paid until Friday and we’d be leaving on Thursday. That’s when I changed my mind about definitely going camping and started thinking about going to see my sisters instead. I figured I’d make it easier on him – he’d only have to pay for himself.

But now I just really don’t know what to do. I can’t very well go see my sisters if I know that my absence is going to make him unhappy, but at the same time, I’m not sure that I really want to go camping. Either way, I’m not going be happy. Not at this point. If I go camping, I’m going to miss seeing my sisters and hanging out with them and my mom, and if I go to North Carolina, I’m going to miss him and know that I’ve caused him to be unhappy. I’m seriously considering just staying home. Not choosing one family over the other. Just sitting at home on my laptop all weekend, curled up on the couch or the bed with movies that’ll take my mind off of things and running down to publix for some ice cream and sushi, though that $20 has to last me the entire summer…

If it wasn’t 2:30 in the morning I’d go for a run right now. I finally got my iPod working again, so I’d have some music to run to. If I had a big dog, I’d take it for a walk right now. I just want to be outside, moving in the fresh air. I think better when I’m running or walking and it’s just being one of those nights where I need to think. Or at least organize the thoughts that I already have.

If I had the ingredients, tomorrow would SO be a baking day…I need something sweet. No…on the other hand, this stress-eating has got to stop. I don’t need to gain anymore weight before boot camp, my BMI is already bordering on overweight.

6 May 2010 Posted by | Sleepless Night Ramblings | Leave a comment

Prospective Army Couple

If you had told me nine months ago that I’d be dating an Army soldier and planning on marrying him, I would have laughed in your face.

However, if you had told me that, a year after not receiving the Marine Corps scholarship, I’d be seriously thinking about joining the Army myself, I think I would have died laughing.

After Josh, I swore I was done with the military. It wasn’t for me in any way at all. I didn’t want to date a soldier/sailor/air man, and I certainly had no intention of ever being one myself.

I’m finishing up my first year of college and I’ve discovered exactly what it is that I want to major in. Journalism. It’s as simple as that. I love writing, so why not make a career out of it? And I’d be lying if I said that I found my own way here. Actually, I’d have to say that I owe this discovery to Logan. Last semester we were having a heart-to-heart one night about what we wanted to do with our lives, and I revealed that I had abso-freaking-lutely no idea what I wanted to do. So he asked what I like to do. I like to write, I said. Have you looked into journalism, he asked. So I did. And I love it. Like, I would be excited to go to work everyday if I was a journalist.

Tonight, Logan threw an idea at me. Actually, he had mentioned it when he first decided to join the Army, and just brought it up again tonight. The idea? “Why don’t you come with me?” And by that, he meant to boot camp. Yes, he proposed that I join the Army with him. And so, to humor him, I pulled up a list of Army jobs to see if there was anything that I’d even be interested in. Who’d have thought that the Army has a journalist position?

Because Logan is already sworn in, I know the benefits the Army offers.

I also know that I’ve taken the ASVAB three times already in high school, scoring high 90s each time. Meaning that I could get just about any job that I want, assuming there are openings in it.

I already know how to drill, and having to know Navy knowledge for four years has definitely prepared me well enough for learning Army knowledge.

If I join, Logan will go in as a rank higher because he got me to join. For those of you that don’t know, that means a higher pay rate.

Having a job in the military makes it easier to get a job in the civilian work force after you get out. It just gives you that extra umph that other people don’t have.

I told Logan that I’m not cut out for the military. He told me that that was a load of bullshit. He said I can do whatever I want to, if I put my mind to it. I said that I wouldn’t survive boot camp. He said that I’m stronger than I think and that I don’t give myself enough credit.

I mentioned my new belly button ring and the fact that leaving it out for two and a half months would cause it to close up. “So get it done again later,” he says.

“But what would my parents say?” I asked. “Who cares. Do you think I cared about what my parents thought when I made my decision? It’s your choice and yours alone,” he says.

And when I think about it, I was all ready to become a Marine, just for a scholarship. I could join the Army for the minimum amount of time, see how I like it, and go from there. If nothing else, it would give me experience that I’m going to need in the workforce. However, it would also mean that I’d be putting my college education on hold.

I told him I’d think about it. And I am. Which is why I’m up at 2 a.m. writing this instead of trying to get to sleep. Part of me wants to do this, simply because Logan thinks it would be a good idea. I mean, he was right about the journalism thing, so why not this, right? But on the other hand, I know that I can’t let that be the deciding factor. That would be entirely the wrong reason to join. Whatever I decide on, I need to make the decision based on what I want and what I need to do for myself. And I can just hear my mom now, when I tell her what I’m thinking: “You’re just doing this because Logan is, aren’t you.” Not a question. There would be no doubt in her mind that I was simply following him, as closely as I could. But I won’t make this decision based on what he thinks or she thinks. I’m going to do some serious thinking for myself, talk to his recruiter, and probably not even tell anyone else about it until I’ve done so.

What he doesn’t get, I think, is my thoughts about boot camp. I know that I’d be ok physically. Going to PT with other future soldiers for a while before actually shipping out would get me in good enough shape that I’d be alright physically. It’s the mental aspect that I don’t think I can handle. I don’t do well with people yelling at me. Hell, I don’t do well with people yelling around me. I depend on my friends and family to get me through the day. Granted, I love a schedule. It makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something by sticking to it, so having a strict schedule at boot camp would be fine by me. Minus the early mornings. Though, I might actually learn to fall asleep quickly.

Really, it boils down to this:

How much do I rely on the constant contact with my friends? Am I willing to leave school to pursue this? Am I mentally and emotionally capable of dealing with this? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Really, what’s stopping me?

God, you already know how confused I am. A sign would be nice. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, flashing lights with an arrow. Something simple will do, so long as I can recognize it for what it is. Is this the path you’ve chosen for me, or is it just a fleeting thought? I need to know. I’ll go insane trying to figure this out on my own.

Maybe this is exactly what I need to pull me out of the monotony that has become my life.

7 April 2010 Posted by | In the hands of God, Life's what we make it, Sleepless Night Ramblings | Leave a comment

Right Oblique, MARCH. Forward, MARCH. A new outlook on a familiar visitor.

I had an interesting dream last night.

It’s not the first time I’ve had it.

Actually, I’ve had it every year starting my sophomore year of high school.

It starts up at the end of March, runs for a few weeks, and then pops up randomly throughout the remainder of the year.

But I think I finally understand what it’s meant these past few years.

Each March, my dream journal has had the exact same description. This year, it’s slightly different, but only because I know something now that I didn’t know last March. This is the description from last year’s dream book (and, consequently, the two years prior):

I’m alone in a house that I don’t recognize. I’m baking something – cookies, maybe? I hear a tap on the front window, and walk to the living room to see what it is. It’s fall, the leaves are full of color, which can only mean that I’m not in Florida. Outside the window is a Marine in full desert camo. I don’t recognize him. He is tall and thin, and what I can see of his hair looks to be brown under his cover. I go to open to the door to see what he wants. When I open the door, I walk into Dad’s house. Everyone is there: Grandma and Joe, Uncle Chad, Uncle Doug and Aunt Carla, Sara and Steve, Uncle Bill, Uncle Greg and Aunt Becky, Greg, Rachelle, Heather, Grace, Uncle Paul and his family, Grammy and Pop-pop, Uncle Doug and Aunt Cherie, Ryan and Caroline, Uncle Dave and Aunt Patty, Denise and Terry and their kids, Stephanie and her fiancé, Taye and Catherine, Dad and Laurie and the boys, Mom, Katy, Amy, Curtis, Brian, Amanda, Aunt Karen and Uncle Dave, Laura, Jessica, Amy, and many other close friends. There are also many people that I don’t know. Another whole family, it seems. Katy walks up to me and asks me why I’m not ready. Ready for what? I ask. The wedding, of course! She replies. I look down and I’m wearing a white gown. I look back up and I’m in the back room of a church, Dad at the door, telling me to hurry or we’ll miss our cue. I follow him out and take his arm, and he leads me down the aisle of the church. As we approach the altar, I see the groom. I don’t recognize him by name, but by face, he could be the same Marine that tapped on my window earlier. Indeed, he is in full dress blues. In this dream, I do not note the name on his uniform. I look back to my dad, and suddenly I am back in that house. Not Dad’s, but the one that I don’t recognize. Now, I see pictures of my family and of myself and the unknown Marine. I see objects of mine that I recognize, so this must be my house, but there are objects that must belong to him, so I assume we’ve been living together for at least a little while. There is a letter on the table, addressed from him, though I still can’t place a name. He’s been restationed and is getting his work situation settled before he has me follow him. There are freshly baked cookies in a box on the table. I’m sending them to him, overnight, because it makes me feel like I’m doing something useful. I close the box, and suddenly I’m standing in a different kitchen, a toddler at my feet and a baby on my hip, phone cradled between my ear and my shoulder, cleaning up a mess and making dinner at the same time. He walks through the door in full camo, just home from work, kisses my cheek, takes the baby, and lures the tot away from my feet with a toy.

There is a little more to the dream, but the rest is irrelevant.

Now, do something for me. Google: Marine Corps Desert Camo, and Army Desert Camo. Now tell me something. To someone that doesn’t see these two uniforms on a regular basis, they could be easily confused, correct? And did you know that in 2008, the Army began replacing it’s “Greens” with “Blues” for the dress uniform? I didn’t either, until I had that dream last night and recognized the “Unknown Marine.” Now, call me crazy if you must, but I believe that this dream may have been God’s way of telling me, right from the start, that my previous relationship wasn’t meant to be. I don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner. Ok, yes I do. I haven’t had that dream since last March. It didn’t come up throughout the year like it did in previous years. The last time I had it, I was still under the impression that my previous relationship was going to last forever. I read somewhere, a month ago maybe, that your dreams only consist of faces that you’ve seen before. Aka, your mind doesn’t make up faces to stick in your dreams. I can’t say if the Soldier from last year had the same face as he did last night, but I know that he was tall and thin with brown hair. I know without a doubt who was in my dream last night. I recognize a lot of the other family that was at my dad’s house. Again, I can’t say if they had the same faces last year, but I know who they were last night, and I like it.

I think, when you have a dream about your wedding and you don’t recognize the groom (especially if you’re in a relationship at the time), it could be a sign that you haven’t found the right guy yet.

So, that’s my dream. Maybe, now that I recognize the guy, I’ll stop having it. Maybe it’s served its purpose now. I don’t know. Guess we’ll find out.

Oh, and Amanda dear, don’t ask me what my dress looked like, because this is what I can tell you: It was long and white.

And to those of you that don’t get the title of this post: A Right Oblique makes you march at a 45 degree angle from where you were marching before, and a Forward March called in the Oblique makes you march 45 degrees in the opposite direction,  essentially causing you to march in the original direction again. And I fail at explaining it, so here’s a rough diagram.

And then you go back to marching in the “old direction.”

The reason that this is my title is because it basically means that you’re on the same path, just a few steps over. And things can look so much different from just a few steps over. That’s kind of how I feel about how my life is going. I feel like I’m kind of on the same path that I was on in high school, but it’s not quite the same. I’ve taken a few steps to the right, changed a few things, and gotten an entirely different view on things, and I like the way they look from here.

25 March 2010 Posted by | Notable Dreams, That thing called Love | Leave a comment