Too much time
Sitting at home alone at night, watching television shows about a profession I want to persue and how even seasoned veterans of this lifestyle have problems dealing with issues they come across, doesn't make for a happy night.
You can hear a million stories and think "I can handle that" but you never know until it happens. You never know until you yourself are actually put into that position.
Sure, a dozen people told me that the Army sucks and it will be the worst decision ever made. But I figured it would be different for me. I knew I could handle it. All the jokes about me being the sensitive kid were just jokes. My story changed on day two of basic training. Suddenly I realized that I'm not as strong as I thought and "the Army life is not my style" (that's a line from a cadence).
And something is true about expectations of life we all have as kids. "Life is easy and no one ever lies." Sure Afghanistan will be easy; I'll be sitting in an office pushing around papers all day. Fast forward nine months and I find myself in the gunner's hatch of a humvee careening down the streets of Kabul. And then going back to base and doing four hours of paperwork.
Lesson learned? We'll see. I moved to New York City, didn't I?
I did learn valuable lessons though. First, my life doesn't need to be planned out 30 years in advance; one month at a time works out pretty well. Second, I'm not unique (dang those preschool teachers. "It's ok if your painting looks like vomitted poo. You're special, Ben. Here's a gold star!"). I haven't experienced anything in life a million people or more before me have, so why do I keep trying to do things on my own? (Yes, I recognize that my parents are in that million or so batch.)
Third, when you think you have "it" figured out, you discover you in fact have nothing figued out. I learned that lesson early in my relationship with my wife when every date we tried to plan to perfection just fizzled and we ended up watching TBS movies eating pizza. Nothing wrong with that at all, though.
And I also learned not to eat an egg and sausage omelet from "Seattle's Best Coffee" and then crawl into a steaming subway tunnel. The egg has spinach in it. Gag me.
All of this because I am trying to figure out where to go in life. I'm 22 and don't have a college degree, but all of my friends (minus one who is enjoying party time more than study time) have degrees and jobs (for the most part) they like. I know that getting a degree even when you're 35 is totally possible and I'm not saying it's bad, but I have a feeling that if that man could have got his degree sooner, he would have. Sometimes life deals us the jack and 8 and we're left to bluff our way into the winner's circle (I don't remember the technical term for it and I'm sure it was inappropriate anyway). Of course, I go all in a turn too late and lose a flush to a flush, but I've never been good at cards.
I just want to get my life back on track. These last four years have been fun at times and downright miserable at others and I feel like life is passing by and I'm just sipping on a lemonade made of urine waving goodbye.
And I'm fat. I guess I'm done ranting.
God is good. All the time.
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:: Ben 7:43 PM [+] ::