This post marks the halfway point of my goal for the year. Number twenty-six of fifty-two posts I planned for this year! This may seem like a small feat to you but to me its monumental. This time last year I could barely eek out a single page, double spaced, with sixteen-point font!! I was trying to write a different story but couldn’t get the words to flow. I believe that I will eventually write the story I was trying to write last year, but my soul demanded that I tell this one first. I am truly enjoying this experience. Mostly laughing at myself, I can be a bit corny and kind of a cheese ball. However, this process has highlighted some things about me that I never wanted to admit to and a few things that I honestly didn’t understand about myself. Besides the learning and growth, it has also been a fun trip down memory lane. I was in the middle of writing and stopped to watch Romancing the stone. Yes, the whole movie. Looking back at tv shows, clothes, and I even looked up all the neighborhoods and houses I lived in. All from the comfort of my cozy bed, under my warm throw, in my room! I swear the internet can be used for things other than porn! Who knew?
Looking up some things actually caused physical responses within me. Looking at the houses I lived in brought back memories that I could feel. Causing changes in my heart rate. Instigating and agitating the butterflies in my stomach. Putting a smile on my face or causing a tear to dance perilously close to the cliffs edge. Even now just thinking about Diana Ross singing Home is a little feely for me. I love it though, I am happier than I have ever been, even when I write about the not so happy times. It is comforting because I know this story and I know that while the ending my not be romantic comedy level good, it’s still pretty damned great!
Now, where was I? Oh yeah! Adrian had just dipped into the sunset. I was not quite done with A-school and had just reached the point where I was actually going to have to study. I failed a test and had to go before a little tribunal (they had a name for it, but I don’t recall what it was). When you failed a test, they would review your records and determine if you could continue to move forward with your class or if you needed to be sent back to join another class that was a few weeks behind to make sure you learned what was needed. Fortunately, they decided that I didn’t need to be sent to a new class! I would have been so embarrassed. I had been there for friends who had gotten set back and would always tell them it was nothing to be ashamed of. That it was no big deal. That they could take this extra time and do really good on the test next time. That shit did not apply to me! When it was me it WAS a big deal and would have been the source of major shame. I didn’t admit it to myself at the time, but I judged people a lot lot. I didn’t think I was judging but I for sure was. I could be there to support and help people trough tough times and tell them that it was ok that they were still a good person or whatever fit the situation. I did so knowing full well that I would not think that way if it were me. Additionally, I knew I could never tell anyone that I had failed at anything! So, while I presented myself as being helpful and understanding I was really using it as an opportunity to kinda make myself feel better about me. “At least I wasn’t in that situation” whatever it was. The big one for me was “At least I didn’t need anyone’s help.”
With the approval to move forward with my class I buckled down and studied! I didn’t do anything but school, practice, mandatory events, and study. I would get invited to the club or crazy parties but chose not to go. I would stay in, but I’d eagerly listen to the recitation of the weekends events from members of my tribe. I enjoyed the stories, but I think I had out grown parting before I even reached my twenty second birthday. Lmao! Of course, after A-school was over I would go out, but I was never that into it. Even if I acted like it with my friends. It was just an act. I would much rather have a chill evening. Just sit someplace sip a glass of something and chat all night. Ahhh… The sweet perfection of that image in my mind! No one in their early twenties wanted to do that. Everyone wanted to go to clubs and be in the middle of everything. To be seen.
For the rest of A-school I would be seen in my barracks. I didn’t have long to go and when I was done I was eager to go off and explore the world! When I was in boot camp I had been asked where I would like to be stationed. My response was “on a ship.” My answer for my second choice was “anywhere overseas” and when they asked which coast I would like to be based out of I chose the west coast (I had history there) it was the first thing that popped into my mind. When I graduated from A-school I had to wait a month or so to get orders. I kept fanaticizing about being shipped to some cool far away place. My roommate had just received orders to Spain. She was not happy, but I would have been hype as a mug! Everyone was getting shipped out, I believe I was the last old head left on the drill team. I was laying on the couch watching tv when I finally got a call that I need to go pickup my orders and prepare to check out.
Somehow wanting to be on a ship or overseas means that you will probably not get to go. While so many others were angry or sad about getting sent off someplace. I was angry and sad about not being sent off someplace. I got orders to NASNorth Island, San Diego. I could feel my heart squeeze in just a little as I read the words “shore duty.” Folks around me kept telling me how cush those orders were but it didn’t feel like it to me. I was like yeah ok. I packed my things said my good byes and was officially Going back to Cali, Going back to Cali, Going back to Cali! (in my L. L.Cool J voice). Yup, I just went to the google and am now playing the song as I sit in my bed at 5:00 a.m. writing this!!
I made it to San Diego and of course it was a beautiful day. I was in my dress blues carrying my sea bag and my luggage set I got as a gift from my aunt Andre. I had to go from one office to another with all my junk it sucked. As I had just received my barracks assignment and was grabbing my bags Adrian walked up and grabbed a bag. Cue the music!! I was shocked! I hadn’t seen or heard a single word from him in a few months. Not at all since Note Gate! Here he was a thousand miles away picking up my bag and acting as if it was just yesterday.