Saturday, March 28, 2015

Owning My Crazy......

  The one constant in my life as an Army wife is that things are constantly changing. It is probably the best and worst part of this life all wrapped up in one. On one hand, every time we move from a duty station our life turns into this roller coaster that seems to have loops at every turn.  It is stressful, infuriating, sad, and exhausting. I feel like I leave a little piece of myself behind whenever we move, most of the time I feel like that piece is my sanity. However on the other hand, as soon as the two year mark of an assignment comes up I start itching for a change of scenery. I get excited to explore new states, meet new people, and conquer new challenges.  Even knowing the stress, frustration, tears, and sadness are inevitable, I still find myself craving a new adventure. Even though I know that the "crazy" is coming, I still want to hop on the ride.

  This latest move has probably been our most challenging for me. From getting orders only three weeks before we were supposed to move from a foreign country, then spending ten weeks in a hotel while Jeff attended a course, to not knowing for sure what our definite next duty station would be until 3 days before we had to leave, there were curve balls thrown our way almost daily. Going into a PCS I always try to give myself a little pep talk, and I try really hard to "hide my crazy" (I even listen to Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart" on loop to remind myself). The song has become somewhat of my "Army wife mantra" and serves as useful advice in lots of uniquely military spouse environments.

  Unfortunately, this PCS I am afraid that even Miranda's words may not rescue me from myself. I have found that the more I try to brush off the frustrations and smile through the inner rage, the more I feel like I am going to absolutely lose my s#*t. So in an effort to regain my sanity, I have decided that it is time to own my "crazy". I am going to give myself a little bit of leeway in the coming weeks and I am not going to beat myself up for any of the following that I may or may not do (I may have already done these though, oops):

  • Spend so much time starring at a computer screen that my eyes bleed. It's a full time job scouring different real estate sites, waiting for emails, calculating drive time, and comparing crime rates.

  • Whine like a four year-old while my husband, who by the way arrived at this new place the exact same time as I did, is on the other end of the phone desperately trying to help me find my way back to the room. 

  • Extend my third finger at the elder gentleman who honked at me for not hitting the gas pedal the instant the light turned green. I am sorry, I forget that I am now driving for NASCAR.

  • Lie awake inventorying all of our belonging (half of which I haven't seen in 2 years) trying to figure out if we will ever find a house to fit it all in.

  • Stalk Approach the well-put-together wife at the PX and ask her where she gets her hair done (and maybe even if she knows of a good gynecologist) Don't judge, the struggle is real people. 

  • Spend 20 minutes in the candy aisle at the commissary convincing myself that putting one of everything in my cart would not be productive. 

  • Wear the same outfit two days in a row because I just don't feel like digging through the suitcase. Besides it isn't like anyone knows me here yet (except for the lady at the PX, but I am pretty sure she is already filing a restraining order). 

  I know that the coming weeks hold so much unknown that there are times I feel like my head may explode. But the coming weeks also hold so much promise, so much adventure, so much laughter, and so much joy. So while we face the challenges of settling into a new duty station, I am going to allow myself some grace, laugh even if it is through tears, and own every bit of crazy that comes out.  In the end I know that everything will work itself out; I will learn to love it here, I will make new friends, I will have a ton of fun, and in two years I will start itching to do this all over again.  

This life is definitely full of challenges, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Crazy and all!


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