Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lonely World

Disclaimer: I realize that the next few posts won't be in chronological order. But I started writing a couple detailing our trip, but I want to get the stuff that's on my mind out of the way first. Thanks.

Despite the good time I had on R&R in Atlanta, I kind of missed being in Germany. I mean, I missed my house, I missed Taz and I felt like I was missing out on a lot of the business I usually tend to. But leaving Woodstock this time was different. The night before, we were in bed talking and I could sense that we were both thinking about how much fun we'd had and how our time together was coming to a close. When we hugged goodbye at the terminal for me to catch my flight, it was almost overwhelming for me. I'm glad I got on the plane first. To wait with him at the gate, the loved ones of other soldiers saying goodbye, I think would have been too much for me. Once I got on the plane, I couldn't think about him, I had to think about other things. What was going on in the new Cosmo, what I had to do in Germany, whatever.

When I got to Baltimore, the waiting for my space A flight began. A little of my anxiety subsided when I realized another person from Schweinfurt that I know was on the flight. So, I had a ride home. Woodstock and I got a chance to chat online before his flight boarded and it felt like old times, like normal, like we weren't even apart. Talking to the other Schweinfurt resident and the lesbian who had a crush on her (sorry, thats for another post) passed the time quickly. The flight started boarding at 915 and for technical reasons we didn't take off until after midnight. I fell asleep waiting, and by the time we left, I was ready to be home. But on the ride home from Ramstein, I felt like, what am I rushing home TO. I went by RR#2 house to get Taz so I wouldn't be home alone, but even so, it's like this loneliness enveloped me when I walked into the house. The crazy part is I LIKE being by myself. Or else I think I do. Maybe I've just grown accustomed to it, and have mistaken that for liking it. Whatever the case, I didn't like it. So I started calling people. Of course, no one was home. I chatted online with Cindy ( I haven't come up with a psuedonym for her yet) and then fell asleep.

So you know what happened next, right? Woodstock called. Before I left, I'd set the answering machine to pick up at 2 rings instead of 6, so I awoke to hear him on the machine. He said he'd call the cell. So, when the cell phone rang, I ran to it, picked it up, and .... nothing. I know we just left each other, but for some reason, just to hear his voice on the machine made me feel better though, I wish, and am still wishing and waiting at 1 a.m., that he will get a chance to call back. That he gets the chance to know that I miss him already and although we were in this house (apt?) only a month before he had to leave, it just doesn't feel the same without him. I know that in a few days I'll be back to what I now consider normal life. I'll be busy, I'll have things to do, and I will be begging for days when I can just come home and hope that I can watch TV in peace or go 2 hours without getting a telephone call or having something to do. But right now, all I can do is watch TV and think how funny Woodstock would find this Lt. Dangle and Deputy Junior interview on this late night TV show. All I can think of is, how very alone I feel in this house.

And I want him to know that no matter my moods or my silent periods or the times I don't really want to hear another person talk, I wish he was here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

When I think of Home

You know how sometimes you like something, I don’t know what, just anything. And it’s like the best thing you’ve ever had, because you have nothing else. You have nothing to compare it to. But then you try something else and then it makes you question the thing you had before; makes you wonder if it was as great as you thought it was.

Being in the states, being around family has made me do that. I wondered aloud on many occasions why people would return to the states jus because of a deployment. The duty station was their new home now, the home they shared with their husband and kids, if they have any. Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends in Germany. I have plans, I have things to do. But being here, it makes me wonder what’s the point? The majority of my friends in Germany, I will never talk to again. Being there sometimes is like being in a play. Except the stage is my life. And I have to be this person, and do these things, because it’s what’s expected. But is that really me? It’s very easy to blur the lines between doing what I like, doing what’s right, and just doing what’s expected of me.

Being here also reminds of what it’s like to have a family. I haven’t lived in the same vicinity as my family for many, many years. And even though they get on my nerves, I like it. I like having people around me that I know have my back no matter what, no matter what stupid thing I may say or do. I can just be myself, whether that be good or bad. Whether I’m feeling charitable or bitchy, they will ignore me, or possibly get mad, but regardless, they will love me after I’m out of my funk. Here, there’s always something. There’s always some kind of drama or a situation that needs smoothing over or someone’s hurt feelings or ego that needs to be stroked. And I’m tired. I’m tired of having to be so strong all the time, I’m tired of not being able to let my guard down, and of having to tread softly, always holding back a piece of myself in order not to offend someone.

I just want to go back to a time where I was free to just be myself, free to be sad sometimes. Free to want to be by myself sometimes, free to do things I want to do and when there is something I don’t want to do but have to, free to say that. I’m hoping that when I get back to the states for good, it will be a place of freedom for me. The freedom that I now long for.

I just hope I’m not disappointed.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Coming Home

This week, I've come to the states for a vacation after a year of being gone. The main reason for the trip is because Woodstock wanted to go to Atlanta for his R&R. So I decided to get here a little early and visit my fam in Mississippi. As I cleaned, packed and otherwise got ready for my trip, I had mixed feelings. I was excited about seeing Jamil and getting a break from all of my, um, volunteering, but at the same time it didn't feel like I was going home, it felt like I was leaving home. Since I've been on my own, I've never been away from my new home more than 2 weeks. And that 2 weeks only happened last year for Christmas. I was leaving my new "family" behind, my friends, my "work", my commitments, and Taz (I couldnt' bring him on a space A flight).
But since I’ve been here, it’s like everything I’ve missed in the past year has been experienced in the past 4 days. So what have I learned?

1) How to have a dad: I flew into Baltimore and to make sure I didn’t miss my flight, I scheduled my connection for the following day. RR #2 arranged for me to be able to stay with her parents for a couple of nights. For a day and a half, it was like having a “real’ family, one with a mom and a dad. We talked; about the weather, crime in the city, just normal stuff. Her dad dropped me off at the mall. We watched “judge” shows together – you know, Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, People’s Court – and laughed at how stupid people could be and what we thought the verdicts would be. I asked for a slice of cake, and like dads do, he offered extras; ice cream, strawberries and chocolate syrup. When it was time for my early morning flight, her dad gave me a ride to the airport. But what he also gave me was some adult memories of a father.

2) How to be a big sister: I haven’t really lived in the house with my little sister since she’s been old enough to understand who was who. When I went to undergrad, she was only 5 years old. So, to get here and find a teenager on the verge of adulthood blew my mind. We went shopping together (she helped me pick out Woodstock’s anniversary gift) and we cooked together. We made Super Bowl snacks and mocktails, and I even taught her how to make shrimp curry. Though I doubt she will remember how to make any of it, I hope she will remember the fun we had doing it.

3) How to have a family: Since Woodstock has been gone, I’ve gone back to my old ways. I am used to be alone. I’m used to following my own schedule, and doing things when I want to. I prefer to have a couple of hours of silence after I wake up. I like to read books and newspapers and surf the ‘net without being disturbed. I like to watch TV in silence. Since I’ve been here, none of that has happened. I wake up at 6 a.m. because that’s what time the rest of the house wakes up. I go pick up my grandma when she needs a ride when I borrow mom’s car. I am constantly interrupted while doing things that I’d rather do silently. I cook and wash dishes without complaining. I laugh at grandma’s jokes, and hold back my laughter when she says something I find hilarious. And even though some things may get on my nerves, I’ve had a good time here, and I feel like part of a family again.

I’ll be leaving Gulfport Friday morning to meet up with Woodstock to start his 2 weeks of R&R. So my last lesson to remember will be how to be a good wife. Wish me luck.