Blink is back!

I was so excited when I found out the other day!  Blink 182 is back together and working on a new album and world tour.  I didn’t realized how much I missed then, even with their respective spin off bands, +44 and Angels and Airwaves.  I can’t wait to see what they come out with.  Yay!

My musical tastes are all over the map.  DH and I came to our relationship with distinct musical interest, but we’ve grown from each other, those we met at college, and our travels together.  We pride ourselves in being open to anything as long as it’s good.  We enjoy finding great local bands everywhere we go.  At any one moment our cd player and Ipods are filled with an interesting mix of country, spoken word poetry, classical, rock, hip hop, Hawaiian, punk, oldies…the list goes on and on.  There’s something for every mood and occasion.

By far my greatest musical influence is my brother, known from here on out as Super Rad (more on him later).  He clearly got all the musical genes in our family.  He can sing and play several instruments.  His music collection is even more diverse than mine.  Music gets him through life, and he always knows the next big thing ages before anyone else.  I like to say that my life has a soundtrack built by the moments Super Rad and I are together.  Can you tell we’re quite close?  Anyway, Bink 182 came into my life because of Super Rad, and when I heard the announcement I immediately thought of him.  I can’t wait to see if he knows yet!  I play this game with myself to see if I can beat him at finding out music stuff.  I’ve only won once.  (You’ll find out why this is significant later.)

So here’s to another chapter of cruisin’ with Super Rad with Blink 182 blaring as loud as it’ll go!

Caught in a funk

I don’t have much today, but I did want to check in.  The last few days have been rather…sporadic perhaps.  There’s a certain  point in my school work that I always get overwhelmed and rather panicky.  I had one of those moments last week.  My first reaction was to immediately call DH, but he was unavailable.  On one hand, I’m recognizing and asking for help when I need it.  On the other hand, I’m relying on DH and have been lucky that he’s been relatively accessible.  He won’t be for much longer.  Later than night we mused about finding me a psychotherapist in the area.  I always struggle with this.  I love going to therapy, but after every break I take it feels like I failed somehow and I have to re-convince myself to start going again.  I might have a few possible leads in the therapy department.  The only problem is the mass transit system in my area only runs during commuter times.  I’m a little out of the way in a housing development, so it’s a several mile walk to get to civilization.  I want to go to the best possible person for me, so I’m a little bummed that if I do this, it looks like I’m going to have to compromise with someone who’s in my transportation range.

My mother and I have been in talk mode about everything since I’ve gotten here.  Somehow, I can’t remember exactly, we got on the topic of my mental health.   After a three hour long conversation, I had mixed feelings about the outcome.  We’ve had a few before with mixed results as well.  Sometimes she’s overly defensive, others she’s blaming me, all of them she’s claiming to have been in my shoes before.  Her reactions just don’t sit right with someone whose experienced it, and she flat out refuses to elaborate.  Bottom line, she’s not supportive.  I don’t know if that’s because she refuses to be, because she can’t understand, or because she doesn’t know how.  I really don’t care.  No support is just that-no support.  I can’t use no support, so I can’t use her as an aid in my recovery if you want to call it that.  I don’t mean it in a bad or mean way, but if I’m not proactive, I won’t get better.  Waiting for someone else to fix it didn’t work, so I can’t continue thinking of others’ feelings above my own.  In the middle of it all, I had a small panic attack, which I got under control, but I didn’t leave the conversation with a feeling of progress.  I wonder how she feels it went.

Homework was the other big thing for me.  I got behind on my weekly reading in favor of running errands.  Not sure it was worth it.  I picked my topic for the final paper of the class.  After much stress, I settled on the Mughal Empire of Medieval India.  I think it’ll be promising…hopefully. I’m always nervous and suspect of this part in the whole research process.  I’ve got a shorter, ten page paper to work on this week, so that’s my focus now.  And I need to start researching possible topics for my final thesis.  I have to know by the end of April.  I don’t know how they expect students to find time to research that while doing the daily assignments.  I can feel that wave of stress starting to build.  Hopefully if I’m aware of it now, I can be prepared and ready for it when it gets here.

So I don’t know.  I’m in a little bit of a funk and slightly pessimistic.  That’s the first step toward the downward spiral, so I need to get my rear in gear.  I’m still trying to establish a routine, so maybe if I get that done, it’ll help forestall any further backward movement.  I’m afraid I waited too long though.  I always think if I had a vacation from life to just sit and meditate, I’d have time to figure out how I felt about stuff like the conversation with my mom and then it wouldn’t bog me down.  I’d figure it out and then put it in it’s proper mental cubby.  When I can’t, it’s like life is moving too fast for me and I’m falling further behind everyone else.  I don’t know.  I think quality dog walking time might help clear my head, and then it’s back to the books.

Alright, I guess it’s time

I’ve been putting this off, but there’s really no reason to.  One facet of my mental illness is triggered by DH being gone.  I’m not sure yet if it’s just the change of routine or the fact that he’s not physically present, but for some reason I have built my foundation so completely around him that when he leaves, I feel as if I can’t continue being myself.

I wish I had blogged before we moved, so the difference between planned and reality would be more obvious.  I had such high hopes!  I wanted to get a bus pass and be a busy little bee.  I wanted to spend time at the big museums I love downtown.  I wanted to find a local yoga class and go often.  I even thought about locating a psychotherapist and going because I knew being back with my parents was going to be rough.  I brought books I wanted to read, unfinished cross stitch projects, and ideas about  my final thesis for school that I could start researching.

My life looks nothing like that plan.  I usually stay in bed until lunch time when the dog finally barks enough that I know the neighbors are going to be pissed.  I drag out my school work but don’t really work on it for most of the day.  I do go to the gym with my mother.  I’m trying to help her lose weight for surgery she’s going to have in May, but I think if she wasn’t waiting to go in the evenings, I wouldn’t drag myself there.  I usually have to quickly turn in my homework minutes before the midnight deadline, and sit up reading or playing on the Internet until at least 2 am.  I haven’t even changed my address yet.  I’m relying on the post office to forward it for me.  I hate it!  I know that if I just get a routine going, I would feel forced to follow it and would be better, but I can’t.  I’ve tried.  I set my alarm every morning and make plans for what I’m going to do but can’t follow through.

It sucks.  I feel miserable, but this happens every time.  It’s only been two weeks, and I even get phone calls most days!  Do you know how lucky I am to get fairly regular contact with a DH in training?!  It’s unheard of.  My biggest problem when this happens is my eating drops to about zero.  I haven’t figured out why I do that either, but it’s really not good.  I’ve gotten better about it, but each day is kind of a toss up on whether I’ll feel motivated to go to the fridge or not.  If I have to fix something, just forget it.  I lived a week once on granola bars, Nilla wafers, and yogurt.  Another time it was nothing but oatmeal.  And if DH happens to check up on my eating, watch out for that storm.  Nothing gets me madder.  It doesn’t make sense to me either, and knowing that it happens doesn’t help prevent it at all.

Luckily, I have no choice but to deal with it and get over it since the military could care less that I don’t want him to leave.  It makes me upset because I feel like I’m being pushed into it faster than I feel comfortable, but maybe I’m just whining.  I just want to get better under my own conditions in a place where I feel secure.  My parents do not provide that environment.  They don’t recognize, understand, or tolerate mental illness.  They have an idea of who I am and who I should be, but it doesn’t match up with who I really am.  They are very set in their beliefs, and other ideas, values, and opinions are not tolerated.  Thus I don’t feel encouraged to be my true self.  I put that desire on hold through high school, thinking I could just turn the switch on once I was at college.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I never learned how to do that because I had the pause button on for most of my life.

I was reading my homework, an ancient text on samurai sword techniques, and I found a little quote that spoke to me.

“If you do not pursue a genuine path to its consummation, then a little bit of a crookedness in the mind will later turn into a major warp.”     -Miyamoto Musashi in The Book of Five Rings

That totally happened to me, and it’s a horribly painful path to undo it.  On a side note, Buddhism and Daoism really speak to me.  Maybe I’ll study it more in the future.

So I’ve been slowly coming into my own.  Even things like what I like to wear or the music I want to listen to is foreign.  DH has been more supportive and patient than I could ever image, but without him as my crutch, my efforts falter.  Especially when I’m back in such a toxic environment, I crawl back into the familiar shell.  When I’m here I have to hide certain aspects of myself that aren’t accepted here.  I explain it like ruts in a dirt road.  This family has established ruts.  Mine was bad for me, but I can’t change it’s path when no one will adjust theirs to accommodate me.  I have to use that rut when I’m here. It hurts so much worse knowing that it’s all faked on my part.

Unfortunately, coming here was the best option when DH got his orders.  It’s all an opprotunity for me practice being on my own, but that’s so hard to remember some times.

Military libraries and those that love them

The mental gravity of being apart from DH and being away from my home for such a long time is finally catching up with me.  I’ve been rather sluggish and tired.  It’s so hard to get motivated for even a daily routine.  I have some ideas about ways to combat this, but I’m not in the mood to sort them out today.

I did want to mention a really cool blog I just found.  Forget Google searching, the best place I have found for good blogs is either indexes or favorited links from other people’s blogs.  I’ve been slowly trying to amass a small list myself, but I’m rather picky.  That was one reason I was so excited to find Nomad Librarian.  She’s a military spouse but also sound like a very fun, passionate librarian.  I follow several blogs by librarians but haven’t yet added them to my links list (so don’t go looking).  To find one that also grumbles about military life is such a treat!

To explain my passion for libraries, outside my intense love for books, you’ll need a little background info.  As my undergraduate graduation was approaching, I decided that I wanted to work in museums and/or libraries with my history degree.  I always loved both and set my sights on eventually working in one as a career goal.  My university was just opening up a brand new building for the university museum, so I volunteered there.  I figured it was the one of the few ways I could be proactive about getting into the field.  I volunteered  at a great time; they needed a lot of help, and I got to learn a lot more than I would have otherwise.

After graduation I got an exciting opportunity to be an intern at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done!  I actually got to pick whether I worked as a museum tech intern or an archives intern.  I chose to work in the archives because I thought it would help me learn another set of skills since I had some museum ones already.  It’s so cool to go the website and recognize the people!  It was a great experience.  I would totally recommend interning there.  They have a great program set up that really encourages learning as much as possible not only about the department you are working in but the whole Smithsonian organization.

I had just gotten married to DH before graduation, but he had a year left of school, so I had to find a decent job to support us both while he focused on school.  I got lucky and was hired at my university’s archives and museum (two different departments).  It was a very tricky job, but I learned so much and got to do everything I love.  I got to help visitors with their research using objects, rare books, or archival documents.  It was so much fun and I love and miss my coworkers tons.  I had to quit that job once DH was commissioned and we had to PCS.  As anyone in the field can tell you, even though archives or libraries and museums seem alike, they are not.  School for both are radically different.  You kind of have to commit to one or the other, which made me so lucky to get to do both at once.  I still can’t decide, since I had such a great time doing both.  Finding a kindred spirit in Nomad Librarian was such a lovely surprise.  Maybe we’ll run into each other in our military travels one day.  I’ll certainly be following hers for as long as she’s willing to share.

My guilty pleasure

gone with the wind


I’m sick of everything to do with moving, so I decided to take a break for awhile.

I am an avid reader.  I have been all my life, and even as I continue with school and the heavy reading load that accompanies it, I still enjoy reading for pleasure.  I would much rather read than sit and watch tv or a movie.  A list of my favorite books and authors is a monumental task that I’ll save for some other day, but high on the list is Gone with the Wind.  I read it over the summer between middle and high school and have reread it many times since.  As a going away present from DH when we were first dating, he gave me a copy of the novel (with a rather large picture of himself inside the cover, but the thougt was still lovely).  It has traveled with me everywhere I’ve moved, through college, and into married life.  I even skipped the Super Bowl one year to watch the movie rendition…not something I recommend.  So, yes, I am a Gone with the Wind fanatic.  It’s glamorous and romantic and passionate but hurtful and vindictive at the same time.  I have read it many times but have yet to figure out who Rhett and Scarlett really are.

But I have a confession to make.  I read Gone with the Wind and ate it up without really thinking about it.  Several years after I first read it, my mother told me about Scarlett, the sequel by Alexandra Ripley.  At first I was outraged that someone could think they could even come close to doing such a book justice, but I had to read it.  It was a trashy romance but gave readers the conclusion they so desperately wanted from the original Gone with the Wind.

Then a few years ago I stumbled across The Wind Done Gone at a used book store.  It calls itself the “unofficial parody,” and takes the traditional Southern novel from the slaves and freed slaves perspective.  I enjoyed the book, but I would recommend being fresh on your Gone with the Wind details before you read it.  It enriches the details and makes the flow much easier if you are.  Most importantly, the book made me re-look at the original Gone with the Wind in a completely different light.  The original novel is rather iffy on historical details and does portray a highly romanticized version of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the South.  It was written in the 1930s, so what can you really expect, but I was so ashamed of myself for not thinking critically about my beloved book.  How could I read it so many times, agonize over the characters, feel like I owned the book, and yet just take the text unquestioned from the shelf?

After that experience, I almost became a bigger fan of Gone with the Wind but a more aware fan.  I wanted to drag the original off the shelf and reread it to catch all the stuff I thought I’d missed, but I didn’t have time.  And I think I was a little scared of what I might find.  I still love it for its superficial self.  But then I found Rhett Butler’s People.  I have waited and teased myself with this book for months.  Written by Donald McCaig, a noted Civil War author, Rhett Butler’s People takes Gone with the Wind from Rhett’s perspective.  I am just about half way through right now.  School work is slowing me down.  So far, it has failed to wow me like I was with The Wind Done Gone.  I don’t know if I agree with the childhood that was given to Rhett, and I agree with Tina Jordan’s reviewthat McCaig didn’t quite capture the essence of some of the main characters.  For a Civil War writer, I also think he incorporates historical detail rather cheesily as well.  Like any die-hard fan though, I’m holding out hope.  I’m only half way.  It could turn around.

I’m glad I’m reading it though.  I have evolved from a generic fan of a heartbreaking romance story to one that’s interested in the entire Gone with the Wind culture.  I wish there had been a class in college about it.  I would have loved to examine every page and find out why it still commands attention but also find all its flaws.  Perhaps it’s because of the flaws that it is loved so much.

Move update

I wanted to post a quick update on the status of our whereabouts.  Hopefully things will slow down and I can get back to normal communication now, but I make no promises.  Not after the doozy we just had…
So, moving day was supposed to be last Thursday.  I procrastinated on the packing until the very last minute, but if you had seen the state of our little one bedroom apartment, you’d understand.  We were eating off plastic flatware still.  Anyway, I had my last day of work and we celebrated DH’s dad’s 50th birthday.  A lot of his family flew in for the event, so that occupied our time right up until moving day.  We finally made it to a transportation briefing to find out how our stuff is getting from our original location where DH commissioned to our new station.  I frantically packed up on Wednesday.  Half of the apartment was going to stay in DHs parents’ garage and the other half was going to stay in the trunk of the car.  Yes, I am actively trying to see how many states I can spread my household goods over.  🙂  I packed up the car Wednesday night with stuff to take across town to the in-laws’, and we did the last minute errands like the bank and post office.  The original plan for Thursday morning included a quick trip to the in-laws’ garage, returning keys to the landlord, repacking the car, and driving by 10 am.
If only it had been so smooth.  DH had to report early Thursday morning to get his official release.  When he showed up, things were delayed and permission had to be gotten from the Colonel…who was at a school in another state.  DH eventually gave up and came home to wait.  Around noon the call came.  Denied.  We were stunned and hurt.  And sitting in a mostly empty apartment.  We curled up and moped for the rest of the afternoon.  We had canceled our electricity and our lease, so we had to undo all of that.  Around 4:30 I was hungry enough to wonder how I was supposed to cook supper with no food when we got another call.  A very long explanation later…DH’s orders were back on.
I was pissed more than everything else, but we went into hyper drive.  It took us less than two hours to get everything done and be on the road out of town.  Our landlord was so confused by that point!  I had found a major airport near where DH had to report.  I wanted to keep him company on the drive, and we got to spend a little quiet time before we had to say goodbye.  We got to there Friday night and stayed in a hotel with an absolutely beautiful view of the downtown.  It was two days before my two year anniversary and we were saying goodbye for nine months.  I’ll probably never stay in such a fancy place again, but it was a great way to splurg  some of my tax refund!  I flew to my parents’ the next morning, and DH reported for training.
We’re both where we planned on being, but man, was it hard getting here!  I need a vacation from the military for awhile.  I’m still wrestling with the transportation people.  No one wants to claim us and schedule a truck.  Sometime this summer I will officially move our stuff though.  I’ve got nothing but time at this point.
On a personal note, it’s so lonely!  I never get used to the time apart, and I miss my house.  I’m over halfway done with school, and it’s keeping me plenty busy, but military history isn’t quite titillating enough to fill the void.  I know…shocker, right?  I’m hoping that this crappy feeling gets over sooner rather than later.  No matter how many times I do it, it still sucks.  I’ll fill in the gaps later and post something about the emotional roller coaster this move was, but for now this will have to do.

And the other shoe drops

After a long day at the transportation office learning how to fill out my request for the military to move my household goods, not packing, and having the last good-bye meal with DH’s family, I’m up late working on my first homework assignment for my fourth seminar.  Not a good start.  I was just finishing up when it hit me that I have to say good-bye to DH for nine months too!

Maybe it’s the stress of the day or the late hour or that my mind was finally focused on something else, but it suddenly made me so sad.  We’ve been talking about this constantly for a week, and our conversation back home tonight was all about how much it all doesn’t seem real.  Man, I’m not looking forward to this.  I’m suddenly all panicky and nervous.  I get like this every time, and I never can find a way to avoid the frantic, out of control feeling.  What am I supposed to do?!  I am perfectly capable of doing this by myself, and I’m not even going to be alone for crying out loud!  I’m going to my parents who did the separate-moving-military thing for 20 years…with two kids!!  DH’s helpfulness the past few weeks has been less than stellar, and I’ve been on his case (he calls it nagging) that I’m doing it all by myself, so really, I have no reason to worry about my own abilities.

Take today for example.  At the transportation meeting this afternoon, DH slides the forms to me, tunes out, and proceeds to text his friend.  I am not used to half the acronyms yet, and the form had to be filled out along with a video that went extremely fast.  That’s skipping the issues with just getting DH to attend the meeting.  About halfway through I got so overwhelmed and upset and started to cry.  I get it; the lady fills out dozens of these forms on a daily basis, but I have never done one.  Is it too much to ask for her to be a bit more understanding and slow down?  Anyway, it got done minus DH’s input.

But that break down was the beginning.  I got home tonight and started homework, but I had to stop to start frantically making lists for tomorrow.  The fear and panic about the good-bye is starting to settle in.  I was really hopeful about my attitude about this whole thing until tonight.  I’ve really been focusing on the positive things that I’m going to do while DH is busy, but they’re so hard to remember tonight and seem so trivial.  I’m just so sad and lonely right now.  I wish someone would take the pain away and tell me I don’t have to do it.  I so hope that this next nine months goes well and helps reinforce my confidence and self-reliance.  I know how I want to feel but don’t really know how to get there, especially since it seems like every time I get to practice my independence it doesn’t get me nearly as close to that goal as I thought it would.

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