as you know, i launched my lofty list of things to do in a.'s absence. i was going to eat healthy and exercise much. learn a new language and how to play guitar. ready many, many books, travel the world, volunteer, scuba dive and climb mountains. all of this in one year. oh yea, and start a brand new job. see where the straight jacket comes in?
by three months in, i definitely felt less crazy. i met up with a good friend who went through two deployments herself and she verified my deepest fear: the second deployment is tougher than the first & doesn't get any easier. the only way to get through this unscathed was to fight like hell and endure. so i did.
i dove head first into work. with a week of australia ahead of me, i had something to look forward to. it was only once i hit the new challenges of the job, that i realized i no longer had anyone to bounce ideas off. the one person who was not only an awesome sounding board, but also helped me rationalize and stay grounded, was gone. and that sucked. majorly. so i turned to my awesome network of family & friends and they guided me (with a ton of patience) through my trials. and i am forever grateful.
by the time the holidays got here, i was completely out of any sense of normalcy i once had. but it didn't make it any easier. no sir'e. the holidays were the absolute pits (sorry family...just being honest) and while i was home, it just wasn't the same. so once again, i endured and made the very best of the holiday cheer and festivities.
when i arrived home, life took over and continued full-speed ahead. and even though the days felt long, i found i had enough to do to keep my mind occupied. a. and i spoke often. we talked about the future and our life plans & bucket lists and life after the army. we wrote one another letters and on the rare occasion, were able to chat via skype or on the phone. that was the best.
my friend was right, it never did get easier, but as the snow and cold lifted, so did my spirits. i started to see a light and with costa rica right around the corner, had a reason to get very, very excited. while emerging from my funk, i also started making time for me (this is actually rather ironic considering i had an entire year of me-time). i finally got involved in a running club and read more books. i picked up beer making and began to make mini-books again. i bought flowers for the house and cooked more meals. as dismal as things may have been, it was really starting to look up.