Those four words stuck to me more in the past week, than any other saying has in the past six months. Spoken from a sarcastic doctor in a tiny emergency department room, it was the enlightenment I truly needed to realize what I had been through. It also was the clarity I needed to say, “it’s not you, it’s me.”
Truly, if I could fully comprehend what my last six months compounded, it would sound more like Days of Our Lives, and less like a sane person’s recollection of their memories.
And frankly, some of it is more private than should be shared online, in print, for the entire world to consume. So sadly, many of the weird, zany, crazy details that would make a daytime TV actress blush will not be shared here. But the more sane side of it will help you catch up with why I’ve been absent for 6 months, and hopefully get me back to posting regularly. Because frankly, it’s all: “just bad luck.”
Growing up, each summer I would visit the library weekly and walk out with a huge stack of books taller than my head. I would curl up on my window seat and read hours upon hours each day taking myself to far off fantasy worlds that only existed in the books I read.
My daughter, now 13, is a mirror image of me. She begs me to take her to the library weekly because the 12 books she checked out last week have all been read through at a speed record pace. It’s incredible to see her enthusiasm for reading is stronger than mine ever was.
As I got older, though, those fantasies were substituted for the real world, and my time for reading books was given up for dishes, laundry and all of the other “real fun” things that keep a family in working order. I began to live Cinderella’s lifestyle, without the glass slipper.
But I still enjoy picking up a book or two each summer, though I now carefully select them, instead of grabbing stacks off the shelves like my former youthful self once did.
I was extremely excited to read 15 Years of War, not because I have a penchant for military novels, but because Kristine Schellhaas‘ life mirrored mine, but in a parallel dimension sort of way. Kristine and her husband Ross, are a military family, as are we, but they are Marine (unlike our alternate universe of being an Air Force family). They, like us, were married in 2003 (see the similarities). Another interesting quirk about our two families was I spent 5 years of my childhood in Boise, Idaho, as did Kristine. That window seat where I found my love of reading was in the same town that Kristine and Ross fell in love.
There is a saying that the military is a small world, and I truly believe that. There are 318 million people in the United States, yet, at one point in my life, Kristine and I may have actually been at the same grocery store when I was nine years old. And nearly 25 years later, here I am reading the story of how two people endured two wars, countless moves, training exercises, loss and love. It was an incredible story, but that’s not the half of it.
I’m one of those people who views the new year as an opportunity to create goals and opportunities to try new things. It’s a new year so a new beginning. But this January, I realized, I didn’t quite do that. Instead, over the winter, I was in a funk. I’ve been in a strange place for about 9-12 months, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered this low point.
That’s when I discovered that I needed to create a new beginning for myself.
After a few weeks of self inflection, I realized I had a bit of atonement to do.
So, I realized that I haven’t been active on this blog for a month. And while I would love to say I took a months’ long vacation in Cabo or Fiji, instead, I was just taking some time off to “deal” with life. Because, well, Adulting is freaking HARD!!