Monday, April 30, 2012

Ordinary and Weird.

What does it take to be who you are? I let a lifestyle define me, but not to a fault. I was a military spouse. Surely, still myself but at the end of the day I wrote here as an Army EOD wife. I wrote about training, deployment- living in the barracks together for the first four months of our marriage. I had my own passions (TSA horror stories, annoyances, alternative lifestyles, being socially liberal), but  it was fantastically ordinary, for the most part. I felt the appropriate level of one percent-ness: that "only so few of our citizens go and do this for everyone else" explanation for why I was special. But for the military, it wasn't special. Spouses go train and come home, they deploy, it sucks. We argued about money. We missed each other and wrote sweet emails. All the usual stuff. I thought it was special, but I have emphasize that it wasn't. I took for granted how "business as usual" our life together truly was going, until September 7th, 2011.

I guess we're special now, right? Not as unique as we should be, because there are far too many service members here. It doesn't even make sense how all this sacrifice makes our country a better or safer place, because I don't think it does at all. But that's not the point of all this (do I have a point?). I just wish I knew how much of a blessing ordinary was when we had it.

It's resonating with me right now that I had a pretty ordinary day. I did a mountain of laundry, pretended to do schoolwork, cleaned up, cooked. Aaron had his stitches pulled out so I went with him to do that. I knew it would be a little rough so I wanted to be able to push him back. Grateful for how ordinary it all was, but still a touch of our new life. Everyday, folks.

Obviously, I'm going through a lot emotionally. I'm not as okay as I was, but I'm not doing too poorly, either. I am actually revisiting an old familiar place that has gotten me through some other tough times in my life. It's not that I feel that I am going through some crazy and moody identity crisis but I'm just allowing some other attributions of my personality to shine through for a bit. It's nice to have these familiar bits back in the game, even if it does complicate me a bit. I've having to let go of my "active duty wife life" and find whatever is going to be the next defining thing. Warrior wife? Hopefully I don't need to be her all the time for too much longer. I don't really know who I am most days, outside of being the same weird kid I've always been. I mean, what this takes to do everyday- I don't know who does it all. I don't feel like it's me because I freak out a lot. Maybe I'm the same person, just now a 30-year-old punk kid with unconventional ideas and a curious mind. What is adulthood? Was I ever a young professional? Me and my friends from Roswell- the last place I was before I got married- were more like the young unprofessionals. None of us were working jobs that exercised our talents, or realizing our full potential, or even making enough money to get by. And to be honest, those people are the smartest people I've ever known. We were just so unaffected by everything else, everyone else. We couldn't really afford cable so we missed out on what everyone else was doing. We were pretty happy, too. And drunk.

Who I was there might have been more raw than who I've been now. I can get through these rough times by expressing my raw self. I feel more anti-social these days, less inclined to make small talk. Definitely not wearing a lot of pink and skipping about. I'm not saying I'll actually pierce my eyebrow- but these days, I feel like my exterior should match my interior a little bit.

It's not an existential crisis at 30. I'm not confused about who I am. We all have personality complexities because we're all unique human beings. My path to individualism just began a lot sooner than most people's because my home life was a little interesting when I was young (that's an understatement but I don't feel the need to elaborate). I learned to layer myself, to be a little more presentable, to edit myself a bit more (which honestly, isn't such a bad thing for me). But occasionally, I feel like I just need to express myself inside and out. I'm pretty comfortable being a weird little woman because I was a weird little kid. Maybe a new tattoo and a summer of this and I'll feel a bit more like my grown-up version. The one who minds a bit more. And wears pink.

I never had a lot of ordinary in my life and I relished it when it was present. I just wish I knew... you know?


  1. We can only be who we are at a given moment and we can never ask more of ourselves than to be whoever that is. You aren't the clothes, makeup, tattoos, etc you wear, the car or scooter you drive, or what you do or don't do for a living. You're deeper than that. If those outward things help you connect with what you feel and help you express who you are, so be it. But they don't define your extent.
    Whoever you are at any given moment raw or polished, rich or poor, happy, angry, or anything in between, I love you. Through your friendship I have better come to know myself and that is more valuable than words.
    When terrible things happen, we only have two choices, crumble or reach in and find a depth we didn't know we possessed. And it's okay if you didn't know you had it before that moment or if you're angry because you wish people appreciated more how blessed their lives are. That is normal.
    I am never going to fully understand all you are going through and all the dark places you have had to walk, but I am awed by your grace and courage in walking the path. Please know I am always here in any way you need me to be and that you are never alone.

  2. sr said it extremely well. six months in, you should be going through something right? i wish you smooth passage. as a military wife i heard this a lot, "embrace the suck", and i did, but i also knew there was something pretty awesome and special about being part of that 1%. nowadays i tell myself, embrace the muck, sifting through the excrement of daily life, all the good and not so fun, but living life, embracing. i guess you could say right now you are 'embracing the "oh fuck", or embracing the "what the fuck!", or embracing "holey fucking fuckity fuck fuck". either way i know you will get the fuck through it. xo