Nov 27, 2007

A Bone to Pick...

Had an interesting conversation with Well-Meaning Person the other day. And ironically enough, the only reason I'm posting here is that I know WMP doesn't read my blog (so see, it's not you--by reading this post you're automatically disqualified from being WMP). Does anyone else do that, or am I the only wuss not brave enough to say what I'm really thinking and risk hurting someone's feelings? I know WMP desperately just wants everything to be OK, so the basis really is good intentions. But a nerve has been struck and I must address it.

Wait, wait, wait...background info...word on the street is that we'll be moving in the April timeframe. Heading to California for the Cat Daddy to do some training, and then off to the frozen tundra for the next 3-4 years to implement said training. I knew we'd be moving in 2008, but I wasn't expecting so soon. And while we are STOKED to spend the summer in California (couple hours north of L.A.), first we have to do the painful business of leaving here. Lots of things about the military have grown on me, but the leaving is ALWAYS the pits.

But California!! Aaah! So fun!

SO, back to my conversation...WMP said something to the effect of hoping that the military life is always "easy" on me. And proceeded to point out several good things about each of our duty stations thus far. And let me be clear--these are all very, very good things and I have enjoyed them immensely. But I need to make a distinction that I'm pretty sure most people will relate to, regardless of their plight in life, and that is this [you may enter your own specifics in the bracketed areas]:

I may deliberately avoid the standard "look at the bright side" approaches in my public ruminations, but I'm just as likely as the next guy to look for the silver lining. And I can look at my life and see a lot of good. A lot. The [military] life has lots of good things, and I've been blessed beyond all get-out in my adventures as a [military spouse]. In many areas I'm quite comfortable, and as far as creature comforts go I have no complaints. My general reaction to my life is pure gratitude. Honest.

But let's get something clear. The good things about the [military] life make some things easy, and other things difficult, and other things nearly unbearable. My life is abundant, and full, and a spectacular
adventure...but it is NOT "easy."

And I'm really quite content with that, as long as I'm allowed to live in that reality without trying to make it something it's not. Let me remain in the emotional tension and more-than-occasional ambivalence. Let me choose to be excited on my own terms. Let me experience pain and the occasional rant without trying to resolve it or make it "better." Wanna make sure I'm happy and OK all the time? Sorry, that's just not me.

There, I feel better. Hopefully soon I'll post a bit I'm working on about defensiveness. Probably a good thing...


Anonymous said...

Not posting this quote as a point of instruction "to" you, but rather sharing something that I was reflecting on a few days ago that runs in parallel. It is by C.S. Lewis: "If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction and it's not so bad."

Anonymous said...

As a military wife who is also getting ready to move to a frozen tundra, I can relate with what you are saying. We are getting ready to pull-up stake after nearly 6 yrs in one place and my heart is heavy every time I think about it. So much for this easy military life. Hang in there.
AJ in TX.

Skerrib said...

Ah...I love CS Lewis.

AJ--rock on. Thanks!

ElleBee said...

While not a military wife, I did spend the first sixteen years of my life as an Air Force Brat, which most certainly shaped a great deal of who I am. My mom always told me "don't marry military, if you can avoid it". Not because she didn't love my dad dearly, or appreciate what she had as a military wife, but more because it IS difficult. Hang in there!