So, I’ve been out of the Navy for over two years now, and last night, I was just thinking about life in general. You don’t have to respond. I just wanted to babble.
10 years ago, it was 1998. I was 19. I was a McDonald’s manager and living at my then boyfriend’s parent’s house because he was still in high school, and they didn’t want him to lose focus.
9 years ago, it was 1999. I was 20. I was living at my brother’s house dating Eric and working at Pizza Hut. I still didn’t have a driver’s license, but I was going to school full time and getting no where.
8 years ago, it was 2000. I was 21. I had been in the Navy for just over 10 months. I was stationed at Sigonella at the HazMin Center.
7 years ago, it was 2001. I was 22. My dad had been murdered just 5 months earlier, and my life was quickly spinning out of control. I think I spent most of my time drunk.
6 years ago, it was 2002. I was 23. I had been on the Truman for 4 months. Life had just started to feel normal again.
5 years ago, it was 2003. I was 24, and we were on cruise. Sean and I were engaged, and I didn’t know what I was doing.
4 years ago, it was 2004. I was 25 and stationed at AIMD Oceana. I was pretty happy in general.
3 years ago, it was 2005. I was 26, married and miserable. Charlie and I separated for the first time, and I had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
2 years ago, it was 2006. I was 27. I had just gotten out of the Navy feeling mixed about it and was 1 month away from my divorce and starting a job.
Last year was 2007. I was 28 and had just moved to Chicago for a job promotion that disappeared. I already knew I had made a bad choice but was trying to make the best of it.
Now, I’m just over a week from leaving Ferguson. I’m starting a new job and staying in a city I haven’t always been fond of since moving here. I’m trying to embrace it more, and I’m excited about the year. I’m 29 and finally, I think I know what I want out of life. I have a new job, a great boyfriend and a cool set of friends. I think the Navy did two HUGE things for me, and they contradict each other. First, it let me stay as irresponsible as I wanted. I knew the basics in life were going to be covered. Job security seemed permanent. (Ha!) Lastly, it really made me grow up. When dad died, I gave up. I felt like my world was crumbling and didn’t care. The Navy doesn’t get that. I still had to be at work and perform. Then, with cruise and lastly having to get out suddenly, the Navy didn’t really “care” about me. It was about the mission, and the fact that I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with a lot of that stuff didn’t really matter to them. I’m excited about letting go of things in my past and really for the first time embracing my future.