A few weeks ago, at the most perfect time, I was reminded that once in a while life gets going so good that sometimes it keeps your ideas from materializing. The book you just bought doesn’t get read because you have Girl Scout cookies to help sell. The DIY reupholstered chair project you have planned gets back-burnered because you decided to volunteer for a military function that ends up soaking up all your free time. I got caught up and that’s ok. I am reminded that there will be a time and place when I will write again, and when it happens, it will be beautiful.
So I took a bit of a sabbatical. I am refocused with so much more to say than I have had in a long time -- things about military life and motherhood. Things about marriage and womanhood. I’m back to writing about life in the military, and I know that 2014 is going to take this little space of mine to new heights.
I’d like to start the year by addressing a couple comments I received before this self-proclaimed sabbatical. The comments went something like, “Well, I wish she was as calm as she appears on her blog,” and, “Wow, that person on the blog seems to have her life pretty figured out.” And, “She has the perfect life.”
Yeah. This happened. I guess I should be flattered that I’m getting some nasty-grams, but I’m mostly just annoyed because these comments really miss the point of this blog. And this is why I’m choosing to address them. I need to set the record straight for some folks in order to move forward in 2014. I need to be honest in order to remain honest. To the nay-sayers of 2013, pull up a chair. This one is for you.
I don’t have my shit together. I don’t have the best life. And I don’t have my life pretty figured out.
In this space called a blog, I show you what I want to show you. In this space I choose to remain positive and to hunt down the happiness. For those who have been devoted readers since 2012, you may remember my desperate plea to hunt down the happiness in my every day military life. Post after post I took a very challenging situation and looked for the good. Because that is all I could do. It was either look for the good in those situations or drown my stress with a bottle of Moscato.
The military lifestyle is not easy. I never claimed it was and I will never claim it will be. If you haven’t been reading since 2012, type in suck fest into the search box. It’s there. Search it. You’ll find a bunch of stuff pop up for ‘yer readin.’ Oh, and don’t forget to read the one titled, Whitney Told Me She Hated Me. Yeah, that happened on Valentine’s Day (the day of love!) last year. Major suck fest.
Listen, I have learned a very important lesson over the last couple of years; Everyone is fighting a battle. I fight a battle every single day while getting my girls to brush their hair before leaving the house.
In all seriousness though, everyone has something in her life that causes her stress, discomfort, or turmoil.
I have yet to meet someone with the “perfect life.” I haven’t met a celebrity, but I’m sure even they have some nasty baggage they’re dealing with on the other side of the curtain of fame and fortune.
And to say that a military spouse has “the perfect life” just hurts my heart. I have had to say more goodbyes than I care to think about. I have had to watch a spouse cry a blood curdling cry because her husband was killed in combat. I had to send my husband to the Deadliest Place On Earth for a year, and I had to watch him come home to our 1 1/2 year-old daughter who didn’t know who he was. Major suck fest.
So, I appear super pulled together and pretty figured out…
In the spirit of Brandon, I’ll throw down an analogy (that man sure loves his analogies.) Your boss at work is dedicated, poised, and funny. She gets along with everyone and motivates you and supports your career development. She is a kind person and a hard worker.
At home, she’s a hoarder.
Her house is filled with nick-knacks and junk. She has no place to sleep because it’s littered with her obsession to collect furbabies. She has no place to cook a decent meal because of the mounds of trash and other odds and ends on her stovetop. But you never see that part of her life because she doesn’t show it to you. It’s really none of your business if she’s a hoarder. Being a hoarder doesn’t change the fact that she’s a great boss that has supported every step of your development. She’s still kind and funny and gets along with everyone. In short – people have a private side to life, and not everything about a person needs to be aired out to the public.
So, I appear super pulled together and pretty figured out…
What you don’t see is the mass chaos that happens in my house at 5-o-clock every single day because everyone is hungry and tired. What you don’t see is me breaking down in sobs because I don’t know how else to discipline my tiny toddler. What you don’t see is the loneliness I feel because we move every 2-3 years and once I make a friend, I move away from a friend. Sometimes I do talk about that stuff. In fact, type meaningful relationships into the search box and I bet you’ll get some stuff on loneliness.
The point? It’s offensive to assume that I need to over-share to be a real person sharing very personal stories. And I am a real person who shares very personal stories. Not all of them. And I don't need to. I have my ups and downs, my good days and bad, just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else, I share some of those good days and bad days in a very public place. And because this is a very public place, I choose to show you what I want to show you in order to protect some privacy for myself and my family.
If you still believe I appear pretty figured out and you wish I appeared as calm as I am on my blog, then may I suggest you spend a bit more time getting to know me through past posts before you pass judgement. I have several examples of being stressed out and not having everything figured out.
(For the record, I am not a hoarder. I’m kind of a neat-freak. No offense to the hoarders out there. You go do your thang…)
Dear sister-friend, I am just like you in one way or another. My life is both messy and beautiful. I’m a mother who makes mistakes and who has really awesome super-hero moments. I write this blog for all women. Mothers, civilian wives, military spouses, and singletons. I use myself as an example for what I did wrong or perhaps what I’m doing right. I make mistakes and use them as a way to find the good or to tell a story about the lesson I learned. If you walk away feeling at peace or lifted up in some way, then you have given me one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for. I really enjoy helping people. For now, it is through my writing that I am able to do this. I continue to give life examples with some tips along the way.
(And if you want a story about a major mistake I keep making… stay tuned. I definitely do not have the army wife thing down… More suck fest to come.)
We had a nice long weekend over Martin Luther King Jr. Day. One of the plus-sides to military life is the 4-day weekends they often get if training allows. We drove north to Sunspot, NM for some snow tubing fun. The photos look very green, but there was snow – I swear…