What Deployment Means to Me

I made this list while Jeremy was deployed last time (Nov 2010 – May 2011), adding things as they happened. Some are happy, some are sad, but that’s the way deployments go. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and compliments on this list, I think almost all military spouses can relate to it, even if you didn’t go through the same experiences as me during deployment (moving by yourself, graduating college, etc.).  So enjoy, and let me know what you think.

  • Deployment means spreading out over the entire couch and wishing you had less space
  • It means making dinner and having left overs, because your not used to cooking for one
  • It means holding your phone in your hands during a movie so you don’t miss a call and jumping every time it vibrates
  • Deployment means forgetting to check the mail for the first week he is gone because that used to be his responsibility
  • It means tearing up whenever a patriotic song comes on the radio, because even though you hate being away from your other half, you couldn’t be more proud of him and what he is doing to serve his country
  • It means getting to watch all the chick flicks you want because you don’t have to share the TV
  • Deployment means having a smile on your face the entire day, just because you got a 15-minute phone call
  • It means getting excited to wake up every morning because you know you have an email waiting for you
  • Deployment means taking multiple trips to bring in your groceries
  • It means maintaining two vehicles; oil changes, registration, etc.
  • It means having to pay all the bills
  • Deployment means waking up in the middle of the night to skype and not caring that you’re losing sleep
  • It means trying to look as cute as you can for that middle of the night skype dates
  • It means doing things you have no experience in because he isn’t there to take care of its, like changing a tire by yourself and setting up a TV
  • Deployment means not only talking to your cat, but having a full-blown conversation with him
  • It means watching every football game so you can report back the highlights to him
  • It means taking pictures of everything you do so that he can still feel involved in your life
  • Deployment means crying over a letter from Afghanistan because you can’t believe how lucky you are to be married to such an amazing man
  • It means figuring out how to ship strange objects….like golf clubs
  • It means becoming obsessed with crafts because it keeps you busy on those lonely nights
  • Deployment means being grateful everyday that he is alive and that you somebody so wonderful to miss, because not everyone who says goodbye to their husband for a deployment gets to welcome them home
  • It means spending the holidays alone, but not being sad, because you know that you have the rest of your lives together to celebrate birthdays and anniversaires
  • It means girls night, is every night!
  • Deployment means having the post office lady recognize you because you mail out so many care packages
  • It means stressing about picking out the right apartment because you don’t want your husband to hate it when he gets home
  • It means trying to pick out an apartment when you’re 7,000+ miles away from each other and all you have is one email a day = nearly impossible!
  • Deployment means feeling happy/jealous when someone else gets their homecoming, because even though you are so happy for them that their husband is home, it hurts inside that it’s not you
  • It means packing and unpacking the entire house on your own
  • It means being so thankful that you have such amazing friend to help you move
  • Deployment means coming to a point when you realize that living alone feels normal and you’ve forgotten what it feels like to live with your husband
  • It means having to be the man around the house: hanging up pictures, assembling furniture, and fixing the broken washing machine
  • Deployment means forgetting the sound of his voice, the smell of his skin and the feel of his touch
  • It means that while everyone else knows exactly how many days are left till graduation, the only day you are counting down to is homecoming
  • Deployment means welcoming your husband home after 7 months, because no matter how many ups and downs you go through during deployment, there is always an end: Homecoming! And holding him again makes it all worth it

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Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and since everybody else seems to be doing a “what I’m thankful for” post, I thought I would join the crowd. Although I think it would be easier (and shorter) to do a “what I am NOT thankful for” post lol.

I am naturally a very positive person, as you can see from the title of my blog. I chose to see the world as “glass half full” or, to put it more poetically:

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ― Abraham Lincoln

So here is my list (with some quotes added to make it more interesting lol):

I am thankful for my loving husband: even though he is deployed right now and I miss him like crazy, I am always thankful that I have such a wonderful spouse to miss. Everyday our marriage grows stronger and I truly feel more in love with him now that I did the day I married him almost four years ago. We continue to grow together as a couple and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him by my side.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”

Following up with that, I am thankful that this deployment is almost over: Although I think there are many positives in deployments (learning to be independent, gaining an appreciation of your spouse, more money, etc.) I will be a very happy wife when my husband steps off that plane and is back in my arms again.

“Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle, rather a beautiful reminder of how strong true love can be”

I am thankful for my education: To be able to get my masters is a privilege, one that I try very hard to appreciate as I cram for exams and write 20 page papers lol.

“Education is not preparation for life: Education is life itself.” – John Dewey

I am thankful for my family: The more I work with clients, the more I hear stories of unhappy  childhoods and cruel parents. It makes me appreciate even more the supportive and loving parents that raised me and still support me to this day.

Other things may change us, but we start and end with family. – by Brandt, Anthony

I am thankful for my friends: Especially with deployments, I have come to realize what an important role my friends play, and I cherish every one.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are”

I am thankful for my health and my economic status: While these may seem like superficial things to be thankful for, I have learned through my work with homeless and low income families, how much it means to have a roof over your head and money to buy groceries. I have a new appreciation for my modest income, while it may not be much, it’s enough to pay the rent and meet all of my basic needs.

“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.” – Wallace Stegner

I am thankful for my freedom and the life I have had the chance to live here in America: For school I am doing a project on Women in Afghanistan, and the more stories I read and the more I learn about their culture, I appreciate the wonderful life I have been allowed to live and the freedom that I take for granted everyday.

“There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream.  They are right.  It is the American dream.”  ~Archibald MacLeish

I am sure there are other things that I am not thinking of at the moment, perhaps I will add on to this later. But for tonight, that is what I have.

So Happy Thanksgiving,

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Finding Love

Does finding the person to spend the rest of your life with have to be so complicated and hard?

I watched the 1930’s version of Imitation of Life tonight. The main character meets a man at a party and makes plans to see him again. On their second or third date she confesses that she loves him and he responds, “let’s get married as soon as we can”.

That’s it. Declaration of love = proposal.

Then after watching that movie I was flipping through the channels and He’s Just Not That Into You was on. Let’s talk about a movie with an opposite love story lol. How many crazy signs people make up, what they do on dates, when to call back, when not to call. All these modern games that people seem to play on their quest to find a life partner.

It reminded me of all the conversations I have with my single friends as they navigate the crazy world of dating. Everything is so complicated.

Is life really that much different than it was in the 1930’s?

I understand that society is different. But is love any different? And how much do the changes in society affect the basic search for love?

I wonder if people make things harder than they have to be.

If you like somebody, tell them. If somebody likes you, they should tell you.

Jeremy waited a whole hour to text me after we met. He called me that night and asked me out on another date. After we went on our first date I told him that I liked him and wanted to see him exclusively, he agreed. We were boyfriend and girlfriend from that moment on.

No games. No waiting 3 days to call. No dating other people. No wondering about if we were exclusive or not.

Was I just naive to lay my feelings on the line? Was it because we were so young that it was so simple to fall in love and start a relationship? Are people scared of getting hurt? Why is finding love so much more complicated now than it used to be?

90% Done with Deployment!

Homecoming is slowly but surely sneaking up on me.

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I have been trying not to get too excited or get my hopes up, because I think that would just make time slow down even more lol. But I went to the movies with a friend last night (Breaking Dawn, of course lol) and she was asking me how long till Jeremy get’s home. So I actually stopped and counted the days and it sounded so close when I said it out loud. It could be as soon as (OPSEC) weeks!

But, as all military spouses know, the military likes to change dates and times whenever they feel like it. We don’t even have a date yet, just a 10 day window that is approaching quickly.

There is a Return & Reunion Brief in 2 weeks though, so hopefully I will get a date and time then 🙂

And let’s not forget the fact that Jeremy got suck on the ship and is now in the middle of the ocean nowhere near the rest of his unit. And this awesome secret mission the ship is on currently has no return date so he might not get to come home with the rest of his unit and would have to wait till some other unit was returning to CA.

The military is so awesome some times (<— can you feel the sarcasm? lol)

So I’m still not getting my hopes up, but I am going to start preparing. Jeremy is due home right in the middle of my finals for school, so I don’t want to be caught unprepared and not have time to get his truck washed, clean the house, go grocery shopping and make sure I look like a million bucks 😉

So I made my hair and wax appointments and finally (almost) settled on a homecoming outfit. I haven’t officially settled yet because it depends on how cold San Diego decides to be in December. Sometimes it’s raining and freezing (aka 60*), and sometimes it’s sunny and warm. But I have concluded that I am going to wear my American Flag scarf, because it’s awesome and homecoming and 4th of July are pretty much the only times I could get away with looking over the top patriotic 🙂

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Marine Corps Ball

It’s that time of year again, the Marine Corps Birthday! Which means it’s also time for the best part of being a Marine wife, the birthday ball! Unfortunately, with Jeremy deployed we will be missing it again this year, just like we did in 2010 when he was deployed in Afghanistan and 2009 when he was in school in Pensacola, FL. 5 years we’ve been together for ball season, and we’ve made it to 2 lol. But we have 3 more chances before his contract is up, so I’m hoping for at least 1 more!

Seeing all my fellow military wives dressed up for the ball made me reminisce about our first ball, 2008. We had been dating for 6 months and I was excited but also terrified to be going to such an important social function. Thankfully he told me what to wear and I wasn’t “that girlfriend” who shows up in an inappropriate dress lol.

I was at my apartment all dolled up and waiting for him to pick me up (we didn’t live together). When I opened the door he had a bouquet of red roses and I saw him in his dress blues for the first time. Wow. I’m pretty sure I was speechless for a few seconds.

I honestly think the Marines have the best dress uniform, and I’m not just saying that because my husband looks damn sexy in them 😉

I was incredibly nervous at the ball, seeing everyone in their uniforms was intimidating, I had no real idea what all the ranks were or what the medals meant. I probably didn’t appreciate the ball as much that first time. We were so young and I was inexperienced with the military lifestyle. I was excited to be with Jeremy, but all the ceremony and tradition was a little lost on me I think.

Now when I go to the ball, I feel a sense of pride. Pride in the tradition of the Marine Corps, Pride in my husband for his service, Pride in myself for supporting him through two deployments, Pride in my country and Pride for all those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

I love getting all dressed up, but the ball is about so much more than that. It’s not just Prom for adults. It’s about honoring the Marine Corps and all those who serve in it. It’s an honor to attend, and I feel honored to be on my husband arm when he wears those dress blues.

Marine Corps Ball 2011

Election Day and Politics

So incredibly happy that the election is over. I think this e-card pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.

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I thought when I got on FB this morning it would all be over, but I was very wrong. Here is a taste of some of the rude/ignorant/’piss me off’ posts that I got to read this morning: 

“America, it’s looking like you’ve fucked yourself for another 4 years”

“Canada, here I come”

and my favorite:

“I assume Obama supporters will be partying all night since they don’t have a job to be at tomorrow morning.”

These are of couse all from my Republican friends because Obama won and now they are pissed off.

I won’t get into politics too much, I won’t say who I supported or what my political ideology is, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I certainly don’t think my political views are the “right” opinions.  I don’t want to agrue with anybody about politics, you can believe what you believe, and I will do the same, it’s the joy of living in a fee country. But I did want to talk about my experineces yesterday, election day.

I work at a social service agency, the kind Republican’s seem to hate where we give people money and help them when they are unemployed and going through a hard time. I used to work with homeless individuals and families at my last job, and now I mostly work with women going through domestic violence. I’m not a case manager (the people who provide the money, cell phones, food, bus passes, etc), but that’s still a big part of what we do here.

Needless to say, pretty much everybody who works here is a Democrat. The girls in the cubicle next to me were going on and on yesterday about how they don’t undersand how anybody could vote for Romny.

Then after I got off work I went over to a friends house to hang out with some of my military wife friends, who not surprisingly are all Republicans. They pretty much echoed the Democrats I work with, but in the opposite direction; “How could anybody vote for Obama!?”

Yet we had a very close election, and the Senate and House are still controlled by separate parties.

What I don’t understand is how people can not understand the other side. We are a Democracy, that mean’s more than one political party, clearly if we all agreed there would be one party, not two. How can people be so wrapped up in their own ideas that they can’t see that maybe not everybody agrees with them?

And to go back to the lovely comments my friends posted on FB (mostly the Republicans, I didn’t do that on purpose, they seem to just be the more outspoken of the two parties), what happened to patriotism? You know, being ONE NATION, proud to be an American? Or does that only apply when the political leader you want is in power? If so, then maybe you should move to one of those one-party countries where you won’t have conditions on your patriotism.

America has spoken, we voted, we made a choice. As long as the choice was made be a fair and representative election, I’m not going to complain.

Perfectionist

I am a perfectionist.

I’ve never really noticed it much before because it has always been something that improved my life, instead of hindering it.

I did well in High School, graduated in the top 3% of my class and got accepted to variety of universities. I graduated with my BA Summa Cum Laude and went right on to get my Masters. I’ve never been fired from a job, I am a good employee who follows through with all tasks, is punctual and hard working.

But yesterday I realized that sometimes it can be a hindrance.

For the first time I working in a field that it outside my comfort zone. No matter how many classes I take in graduate school, it takes experience to learn how to be a good therapist. Talking about working with clients and watching videos of therapy is a completely different experience than actually sitting with a person.

So I make mistakes. And I HATE it. I am so hard myself, like I should somehow know exactly what to say and exactly what to do. Because for most of my life, I have. College isn’t that complicated, you go to class, do your homework and you’ll pass the class. Take the right amount of classes and you’ll get a degree. It’s not rocket science!. But therapy, that’s rocket science lol.

I’m trying to take it in stride though and not be as hard on myself now that I’m aware that I am such a perfectionist. Even though I would like to be perfect at my job (or as close to it as I can) some things can only be learned through experience. So every choice I make and every session I have teaches me what to do or what not to do in the future. And someday I will be an awesome therapist 🙂