June 14, 2011

What if....

*I know.. I know.. two posts in one day! To my defense though, the last one was a scheduled post I wrote yesterday*

Whoever said that the feeling of being homesick goes away is a liar liar pants on fire.

Sometimes I wonder what our life would be like now if Trey never joined the Army. If we never left our hometown.
Would we have been able to keep up with our mortgage and still be living in our home? We were dangerously living paycheck to paycheck.
Would we have decided to get pregnant at the time we did? Would we have Andrew right now? Let's say we did. Our parents would never have to miss him. We could go and spend an unlimited amount of time with them. My parents house would look like they had a grandchild besides just the pictures on the wall. Maybe they'd have their own stash of bottles, diapers, baby food and toys. (Trey's parents have a granddaughter that does live in the same town, so their house does look like this already). I could see my mom and dad loving on my baby and I feel like my life would be more complete.

I'm struck with a stabbing sense of regret and sadness when I hear about my friends that are able to do this on a regular basis. Just something as simple as going over their parents house for dinner.. to watch a movie.. to grill out. Visit them when one of them is sick or in the hospital. Spend holidays with them. Watch a game. Anything. Sometimes, it's little things that stop me in my tracks. The other morning when I was drinking the same type of coffee my mom drinks. I was instantly back on her beautiful deck drinking it with her. Or today when a loud truck drove by. For the quickest nano-second I pictured my brother pulling up in our drive way and plopping down on the couch asking for some munchies and a Gatorade. Do you know what I would give to experience these little mundane things????

But, on the other side... What If he didn't sign up.

What if we never moved away? Would I still be that same dependent girl who never grew up? Never did anything on her own? I barely knew how to keep up with bills before he left.. so serious. I can remember while he was at OCS in Benning and I made my first road trip down to see him. It was the first time that I ever.. in 26 years of life.. got in the car and took a road trip by myself. I was scared out of my mind. (Rightly so, apparently, I almost died.) And after a summer of making monthly 5-hour road trips to Benning, I friggen jumped in that same car, by myself, and drove 18 hours to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Me. Ask my friends.. they'll tell you how unlike me that is. I grew so much. I don't know that I would of ever had the chance to do that otherwise.
I look at the people I have in my life now. I've met so many amazing people. It's crazy to me to think that I wouldn't have met all of them had we not made this decision. When you're an Army family, you learn that you don't have all the time in the world to form a relationship with the people you meet. So, sometimes, when you meet the right people, it's instantaneous. After the obligatory, where are you from? Do you have children? How long have you been in? What posts have you been to? That's it.. it's like you've fast-forwarded 2 years into a friendship: you have their number, your FB friends, and they immediately are an irreplaceable part of your life. I've been so blessed in this area.

If he hadn't joined, we probably never would have had the opportunity to see the places we have seen over the past 2 years. That's sad to me. While we were eating dinner at The Edge of Texas last Friday night, sitting outside, looking at the mountains, we talked a lot about that. No, El Paso is not the most exotic location in the world. But, it's beautiful in my opinion. We never in a million years would have randomly said, "hey.. let's book a flight to El Paso for vacation this year". But, I'm incredibly thankful that we're here... experiencing a new to us culture. Viewing a part of the country we wouldn't have otherwise. I'm getting opportunities that not many people get. Because it's not just a vacation, because we live here and will for at least another year and a half (probably more it's starting to look like) we get to take our time. Explore the area. Travel to surrounding locations.
Fort Sill, or Lawton, OK rather, was a hole in the wall, crap town. But I can guarantee you that if we weren't stationed there for a bit, I never would have seen Oklahoma City.. which we loved btw. I never would have met the people that I did there that I now would consider some of my great, great friends.

And this is only 2 years into our experience. Who knows what else we will see. Who knows who we will meet. I don't believe there are any mistakes. The places we go and the people that become part of our lives.. it all happens for a reason. So, yes, while there are the drawbacks of being homesick and missing out on time with family, I still have to say that I love our life and I'm very thankful for where we are in it. And hey, the pay will only get better. Soon, I'd imagine we'll be able to afford flying back home more often.. now I just need to come to terms with the hassles of flying with a child/children.


JG said...

It's amazing how often we are on the same wavelength. We were talking about this just last night. It's crazy to think back a few years and how much our lives have changed.

Julie said...

I think about this all the time. When we got married we lived in a city with 90% of his family. We left when my oldest was 6 months old. I wonder all the time what life would had been like had we stayed. And I also think about what life would have been like had we never joined the Army.

I think though had we chosen a different path we would probably wonder "what if?" about other things.

It is so crazy to think about.

Real love stories have no endings said...

Ugh what I would give for those moments to be "home" with family but I do LOVE my military Life :)

This brought tears to my eyes!

Jen said...

When Kyle and I got married I had never lived outside of Las Vegas. We both love our families but after moving away from there we have decided not to move back even after he retires. It is amazing how fiercely independent you become when you become a part of this lifestyle.

C. E. Welch said...

I couldn't wait to leave my hometown when I graduated high school. I went to college in KS and never looked back. Ok, so I went home for Xmas and summer.

J was an army brat himself, so he moved all over his whole life. He went to art school and rebelled against the army lifestyle. That is, until he graduated college and suddenly felt a sense of duty that needed fulfilled.

Fast forward 2 years, we're living in KS, J loses his job and I hate mine. There's next to nothing in the way of careers for us, and he's enjoying his Reserve weekends. So he dropped his OCS packet.

We've been here almost 2 1/2 years now. Yes, I'm ready to move, but I've always been itchy to move around. And hey, if we hadn't come here, I wouldn't have my adorable little mutt and my awesome army friends.

Ashleigh said...

I just want to give you a hug...i got a little emotional reading this.

I do think you've grown so very much, into a wonderful woman since yall started this journey.