Tag Archives: change

Exit Clovis

The most ironically perfect sign I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve been living and working here for almost 3 years. That’s something…I don’t know what it is, but it’s something. It changed me. Will I be able to change myself back?

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It’s amazing

…and I’m sayin’ a prayer for all the desperate hearts tonight.

No really, I think it’s amazing how different my life is from how it was 3, 6, 10 (take your pick) years ago, from how I might have guessed it would be, and from the lives of many of my peers. I don’t consider that divergence as inherently good or bad, it’s just a thought that I find compelling.

I forgot if I’ve used the intoxication analogy in this journal before, though I probably have at some point. Anyway, I occasionally compare certain life situations, experiences and emotions to the state of drunkenness. As a gross simplification, booze makes me (and, it seems, many/most people) “feel more”. It heightens mood changes, exaggerates both the highs and the lows. I can think of many times, mostly between 2005-11, when I felt such strength of emotion that it seemed equivalent to deep inebriation.

Conversely, a lot of things about my current situation in life remind me of sobriety. In a literal sense, yes, I’m unimpaired as I write this and probably spend more time stone-cold sober than I did in certain past “lifetimes”. My deeper message, though, is that there’s less emotionality, fewer dramatic highs and lows. One could argue that the past 2.5 years have been one near-continuous low, but one could also make the case for the same era as, if not a high per se, at least a “higher than it could have been”. Perhaps a plateau is the most accurate description.

I’ve certainly been knocked way down off the high horse I rode during several stretches of my twenties, but at least on the good days, I can accept and be grateful for the fact that I’ve even made it to this point. I went through some horribly down periods in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and I don’t feel good at all about some of the ways I got myself through the lows. I could have used my reassignment to Clovis as an excuse to go off the handle in any of several ways. However, although my behavior hasn’t been unfailingly above reproach even since then, I mostly took the involuntary “new beginning” as a sign that I needed to respect myself and respect others to a greater degree than I had been. A few years ago, I was reckless and I hurt people. Now, there’s not really anyone I can hurt. There are correspondingly no breathtaking highs, no plummeting lows, no intoxicating illusions. I’m on a nice little plateau…or maybe it’s a flat island. My own little island plateau.

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Is it time yet to start thinking about those things which I referenced a few posts ago only as daydreams? Perhaps it is. Not to say that I haven’t been getting by just fine here or that I can’t continue to do so. As I mentioned to someone earlier today, a part of me doesn’t even want to leave. A part of me just wants to continue quietly going about my business and not bothering or being bothered by anyone. In a way it will certainly be harder to return to any place that’s not a de facto deployed location; a place (both physical and mental/emotional) where I interact more frequently with more people, especially people outside of the day-in, day-out (or sometimes night-in, night-out) workplace crowd. But of course some things in life are hard. That’s part of why we do them, right JFK?

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To Be Forgetton

When the rest of the world goes away; when I find myself on nights like this wondering whether it’s fate, whether it’s chance, whether it’s a just desert or whether this is simply me coming to terms with who I really am. I can be more honest with myself now, which is good because I have little aptitude and even less affinity for lies. I can process all the things that happened during an ephemeral era¬†when the exchanges of words and actions meant so much more than they do now; I can view them through a lens of sobriety and the far remove of both time and distance. I also feel the relief of not having to pick and choose exactly what I say and don’t say in order to initiate and then cement just the right impression of myself in someone’s mind. Of all the things I intermittently miss, the game is not one of them.

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I don’t generally like or enjoy change–I’ve probably made that clear here and in first-hand conversations. I certainly didn’t like getting orders to Clovis. After spending some time and effort looking into various alternative opportunities and possibilities, I didn’t like hearing the news that I won’t be leaving here anytime soon. I should not, however, lose sight of the fact that, in a way, life (outside of my job) is less stressful here. My parents and almost all other family are at least half a continent away. I have no second job, no night school (at the moment), no major debts other than my mortgage, no kids, no wife, no girlfriend, no one with whom it’s complicated, no BFFs, really nothing except work which has a constant, significant, non-negotiable hold on where I go and what I do. Yes, as previously noted, things have not quite gone the way I’d expected either professionally or personally. Originally spoken by a student leader during OTS, “It only gets harder” is a mantra I’ve repeated again and again as a way of getting me through many stretches of the past several years. Still, I should certainly not shut my mind to the reality that it’s easier than it could be. Sometimes I feel angry, and sometimes I feel sad, and sometimes I just wish there were somebody around. I’m human. I accept those feelings and don’t try to bury them or drown them out anymore. But I can get through it. Perhaps it only gets easier.

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Yeah, I’m not big on it. Most of my life I’ve felt pretty good about what I was doing and have not been happy when external circumstances changed and made me change in order to adapt. Maybe that’s my hamartia. Ironically, the past few years of my life (since 2007 at least) have featured many, many, many changes. Maybe that’s why sometimes I feel good about simply finding a way to make it through.

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