Sunday, October 5, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

Some may have noticed that I haven’t posted in about a month. My mind runs in a constant narrative about the people I meet and the things I am learning, but when I have attempted to write some of it down, I get stuck. I almost hesitate to take the time and energy to cement it in words when I could be living and enjoying the times (good and bad) I have had in texas. I’ve realized I have a habit of being the observer, have been since I was a little kid. It’s just seemed like a safer approach to living on many levels. My standard operating procedure (SOP in army language) is to observe everyone else do what I want to do -- it means taking less chances, and I gain much from watching others make the mistakes and learning what not to do, save myself the hurt of failing, or loving someone and giving them the power to cause me pain, making friends even when I know I’ll be leaving and might not see them again and that will hurt too… how much have I missed by doing this? doing this cuts me off from the joy of being part of life, gaining new friendships, and challenging myself to do what is outside my realm of confidence. Maybe I’m ‘smarter’ because I’ve protected myself, but I felt so numbed out.

I joined the Army and threw myself into a situation I had absolutely no control over—definitely something I would normally avoid! I hate not knowing what to expect, or having a sense of what people will expect of me. Yes, I am the girl whose #2 nightmare is showing up to a situation and not being dressed appropriately. (#1 involved very large spiders… don’t ask me for details, please). Just a touch of neuroses… while in texas, I’ve had to just let it go… accept the fact that I frequently look foolish (exhibit A: state of beret for 1st 3 weeks of training, exhibit B: showing up on first day with nose ring still installed), have no idea what is going on, don’t like people telling me to wake up at 4 am and work until 6 pm, where to stand, when to eat or sleep, can’t understand half the acronyms flying around. . . I could go on and on and on. What a horrible state to be in! choices are: be insecure/unsure and nervous and upset, or insecure/unsure and laugh about it (ok and cry when it’s overwhelming but deal and move on). Wow, maybe therapy actually works…. ☺

I am flying to Hawaii as I write. Texas and my time in officer’s basic is behind me, I have my piece of paper that says I never have to do it again. I’ve had mixed feelings about leaving for the last couple of weeks. There is so much about being in this course that I have detested— I have been looking forward to getting through the training and moving on to my real job since the day I arrived. But my enforced limbo has allowed me to relax and have fun and spend the time I do have with good friends. . . my days had a rhythm that I was used to. I think I can relate a little to convicts who have served their time and yet fear life “on the outside.” Hopefully, I don’t reoffend and end up back in san antonio.

But I left my little 2 person room this morning, said goodbye to Victoria, my roomie. my real life, or the one I’ll be making for myself in Hawaii, is starting in about 2 hours when I land. I’m slightly terrified, but eager too. Yes, I’m excited about starting my job at the hospital, finishing up my PhD in the process. But I think most of the nervous anticipation stems from the hope I have that my time in OBLC with my platoon and others I met in san antone has changed something inside me permanently.

It’s time for a new SOP.

2 comments:

Pete R said...

Chrystal-
Here here to the new SOP!!! My thoughts and high hopes go with you on this transition - for challenge, risk, and the fulness of life on that side. BTW, in the Navy they loved acronyms too - they called us 'Trainees Under Rigid Direction' when were in the Tomcat RAG (replacement air group). love Pete

Mahealani said...
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