Jason took his mid-tour in April so he could be home for my 30th birthday. As a celebration, we headed to New York City. We stayed at the Waldorf, we ate food that costs more than our car payment, we rode around on a double-decker bus like we were… well… awestruck tourists. While we were there, he took me to see Wicked, and lately, I just keep singing Defying Gravity. It’s kind of like my theme song for Deployment. It just makes me think of how far I’ve come since he left, and sometimes how far I have to go. So forgive me to all you non-broadway fans, but I’d like to share how I’m feeling. 😉
Something has changed within me.
Something is not the same.
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game…
I’m sitting here in our new house, surrounded by boxes and mess, and I love it. I cannot believe that I did this. I can not believe that I bought a house that Jason has never seen, I took our 5 kids, and I moved us. I’d like to say I’m the same person that I was when Jason left ten months ago, but that would be a lie. Sure, at the core, I’m the same, but key elements of me have changed. I’m stronger. Stronger like a baby maple transformed into 100 year old oak tree… not quite redwood status, but I’m growing, taller and tougher. I no longer sit here and wonder how I’m going to do this, I just do it. I’m more able to go with the flow. Yes, I’m still super-scheduled with the kids, but now I just wing it some days. Football practice, errands, moving, yeah, the kids will sleep when I get them down. I slightly despise that change, but it won’t have to last for long, and I’m happy to keep the stronger part of that. 😉 But in order to be fully true to myself and respect this crazy year we’re going through, I have to admit that I have changed. Maybe it’s for the better, like the stronger part. Maybe it’s for the worse (I’m a wee bit wenchier), but it’s change.
Too late for second guessing.
Too late to go back to sleep.
It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and Leap.
You can’t avoid everything for a full year. At some point, I realized that he wasn’t coming home to rescue me, and it was time to pull the big girl panties on. I’ve become more comfortable with my own decisions. Yes, for some things I hop on skype and hope that Jason is available for a quick consult, but when it has come to quick choices, I can do it. I can choose paint colors, I can arrange furniture, I can choose to switch insurance companies and apparently I can buy a house. This doesn’t mean that I don’t think Jason cares. This just means that I’m comfortable that he trusts my instincts, and it’s about time that I learned to as well. He’s always had overwhelming faith in me, and I really have had to learn to stand.
I’m through accepting limits because someone says they’re so.
Somethings I cannot change but ’til I try I’ll never know.
Through this year, I’ve learned that what people (whom I trust) say does matter, but it’s not the end all be all. I’ve always had a bit of the “Don’t tell me I can’t do this or I’ll say *&%# you, watch this,” attitude, but this year I did it. I’m learning that I’m the person who knows me best. Yes, Jason, my parents, my sister, they can all point things out about me that I don’t realize, but when it comes down to it, I’m the person who truly knows what I’m capable of. As much as I have hated this year of deployment, I’m empowered. When Jason left, I looked at this 4 little sets of eyes and took a breath. I had to figure out how to do this alone. I had to stop my crying and stand. And when I think of all that I’ve accomplished, that we’ve accomplished as a family this year, I am unabashedly proud. Jason left in October. It took November for me to pick myself up off the ground. Since then, I have graduated college, taken 4 boys home to Colorado for vacation, developed a new business, snow-blown countess feet of snow, handled a dozen ear infections, strep throats, colds, and stomach flu’s solo. With Brody, I handled one of my worst nightmares, and came out on the other side. I have kept up with boy scouts, baseball, soccer and now football. I have handled the loss of our Layla, sat through a memorial service for fallen aviators, and done my best to stay strong. I have bought a house and I have moved us in. Most importantly, I’ve learned when I have to say that my plate is full and not to take on more than I can handle. It is amazing what a deployment can make you become. Stronger, more self-assured, more less able to take people’s crap. Hopefully my grace will return with Jason.
Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost.
Well if that’s love it comes at much to high a cost.
This deployment has taught me who I can count on. Who’s there at midnight when I’ve had that “feeling” strike. It’s taught me the value of my army sisters. I have been humbled by those who never hesitate to help, and I have been awed by those who know me well enough to know that I’m probably never going to ask for it. Because I’m stubborn like that. This deployment has taught me the value of my family back home, and the overwhelming love and support they give to my ever-constant stressed out mood swings. And I have been stunned by the love they show when they do things like show up when they know they’re needed, or take the extra 15 minutes out of their day to listen to my stressed-out rant (sisters are good like that). But it’s also taught me that some things I have to walk away from, let go of, and just concentrate on what I can handle. I’m kind of struck by Marilyn Monroe here and quite frankly, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” But I’m done living in fear of what people think. Like me, don’t like me. Whatever. I have become remarkably comfortable with myself.
I’d sooner buy defying Gravity.
Kiss me goodbye I’m defying Gravity!
Here I am, taking stock. Realizing that at the beginning of this deployment, I never thought I’d make it this far. But here I am, defying gravity, making it past month ten and into month eleven. But what really amazes me is that when I look back to the fear, the uncertainty of my own abilities, I realize that the only person who was pulling me down was myself. Everything else can be considered dead weight and dropped. Negative people? Gone. Overloaded? Prioritize. Missing Jason? Well, that one has no cure. But it’s been me, doubting myself, that has been the real obstacle. Me dwelling on how hard it would be instead of how best to just get through it. Me letting myself get weighed down in stuff that doesn’t matter in the long run. Hey, the kids are fed, clean, and have fresh socks. I think I’m okay.
So if you care to find me, look to the Western Sky
As someone told me lately: “Everyone deserves a chance to fly!”
And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free
To those who’d ground me, take a message back from me.
Tell them how I’m defying gravity.
I’m flying High, Defying Gravity!
And soon I’ll match them in Renown.
And nobody in all of Oz, no wizard that there is or was is ever gonna bring me down!
So here’s to you ladies out there with me defying gravity. I’m not saying we need broomsticks (though sometimes that seems to be my mood), but we’re making it. Take a look at what you’re accomplishing every day, every minute, every night that you get in bed and realize that you’ve survived another day. You’re defying gravity, and no one will bring us down.