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Friday, October 2, 2015

We Will Always Have Newport: Chapter 1-A Coastal Courtship(Part One)

(January 2010-June 2010)
Sometimes, I have to remind myself that he lives on the other side of the country. He feels so close to me. We talk on the phone every other day for hours at a time. He tells me about life in the Navy and shares a crappy story or two with me.  Crappy stories consist of anecdotes about  the monotony of patrolling the waters around the base and the personality quirks of some of his  fellow Sailors. I have taken to listening to podcasts tailored towards military spouses. I am also reading blogs by military spouses. It is definitely a different world from what I am accustomed to. Sure, my cousins were in different branches of the military but, it’s different when it is a spouse or significant other.

I don’t want to even imagine what it will be like to worry about his ship being in hostile waters. Which because he will be on shore duty for the next few years. Perhaps, I am jumping the gun with all of this silly worry anyway. He is inquiring about my views on marriage and kids. It seems awfully soon to be asking such questions but, I find out from both my female and male friends whom are military vets that this is common. Due, to the nature of the military the courtship phase is sometime almost non-existent especially since anything could happen with orders and assignments.

Having a significant other in military is akin to being on a tilt a whirl of emotions. Every negative news story about the military makes you irritated and the positive ones make you cheer. The Sailor has warned me that the lifestyle of a milispouse it not an easy one. As a milispouse you are responsible for making  the home of your soldier, sailor, airmen, coastie and/or marine a safe haven from the outside world. You become  a guardian of sorts to their physical and mental well-being.
At age 35, this was not a scary concept to me. But, I could only imagine what someone 10 or 15 years younger would be going through. You are trying to figure out yourself and then give support to someone else. Fireworks and not the good kind are bound to ensue.
There times in which the Sailor gets a little maudlin when he talks about the colleagues he’s lost or how sometimes the military can set you up for a life of isolation. I have learned whenever he gets into these moods not to try to pull him out of them right away. I have learned that these moods only last for about 30 minutes or so. Then, I change the subject to ask him about how the weather is faring in Newport.

Then, he inquires about Santa Fe and just like that the mood lightens. I text him trivia about the Navy. I can almost picture him smiling at his phone and my excitement about learning about his world.  A few weeks into it, he has asked me about my future plans. Did I see marriage and children in my future?
Would I be able to handle being a military spouse and the constant  relocation and long periods spent away from one another?
Sure. I reply. I am thinking back to my own history of frequent relocations and my own active lifestyle which most of my previous boyfriends couldn’t deal with. 
Something in me begins to stir. I am beginning to see that these are not casual questions. So, I ask him about his future plans. Does he want to remarry and have more children?
“Yes.” He replies.
I change the subject quickly to something else and he brings it right back up again.
It feels too soon to even consider a future together, But, I surmise that military relationships, coupled with our 30 something ages means that things are accelerated. Still, I want to get to know him before I commit to completely changing my life around.

Besides, I am still sending out law school applications and researching life in Newport, RI. Just how difficult would it be to start a new life in a region of the country which I have never visited? I recall my other renegade moves and in every situation, I had at least visit the state before taking the leap.
I promise myself and my friends that I won’t do anything too rash and that I will base my decision on which law school I get into and go from there.
Speaking of law school, the rejection letters have begun to pile up. Which doesn’t surprise except for the fact that I am unfazed by them. Whereas 10 years before, the thought of not getting into law school would have devastated, each rejection letter signified that a previously open-ended chapter in my life was finally closing.
to be continued....

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Old Decaying Manuscripts Brought Back To Life

I completed my first manuscript back in the 8th grade. It consisted of several skits which filled up a spiral bound notebook. I even had a classmate whom edited my work at least twice a week. Some of the skits saw the light of day but, a majority of them are still tucked away somewhere in my mother's basement.

Almost 25 years later, I find myself once again drowning in manuscripts which I have long outgrown. I am ready to work on some new stuff. 

I have decided to publish these never before seen essays on my various blogs. The first one is entitled: "We'll Always Have Newport." It is about the 2 years that I spent living in Newport, RI. Spoiler Alert: There are lots of essays which involve cooking and navigating life in a Navy town.

I wrote the first draft of the manuscript back in 2010 and I continued revising it down to a nub.

Every few months, I drag it out of a drawer and attempt to workshop it again. Still, it seems to read better as a series of blogposts versus a collection of essays.

Stay tuned for this very fun and sometimes a little mushy series.