Monday, December 28, 2009

"I'll be counting up my demons, yeah, hoping everything's not lost..."

I am home in Missouri for the time being. A measly two week break courtesy of BYU with my family before I start my second semester at the good ol' Y and really start focusing on my future. You'd think I would have the time of my life here at home with friends and familiar faces.  But this trip has proved, once again, that I cannot run away from my problems.  They manage to find me at the most inopportune times.
Don't get me wrong, I love my family, no matter how loud, opinionated, and offensive they get, and I can't imagine my life without them.  Unfortunately, though, I am the last of them to embark on the rough and bumpy journey that is REAL life and thus can't enjoy the small things quite as much as they can.  They take pleasure in a good conversation and good food.  I do too, for the most part, but I'm still adjusting to the constant nag of financial problems, the emotional stress of feeding yourself, and the looming fear of not knowing what the next day is going to bring.  They all assure me that they went through the same problems and pat me on the shoulder saying that it will be all right in the end.  And in the long run, it might be.  But for right now, I want to allow myself to panic with the real fear that I've managed to stave off for the sake of my sanity.
About a week ago, I was so set on my future. I had talked to the ROTC about the programs in the Air Force and Army and then enrolled in the Military Science 121 class that's the beginning Army class and also enrolled in a 6am MWF Physical Training class to get prepared for when I contract at the end of Winter '10 semester. But now I'm having second thoughts because I've come to realize that my contracting in the Military will effect a big part of my future: I won't need to work for money for the rest of college, I'll be gone for periods of time when I do basic training(if I do it...), I'll be doing Active Duty and so won't see my friends and family for long periods of time and, most importantly, it will influence my ultimate goal of wanting to get married and have a family. Being ROTC is an all-school commitment and about 3-4 years after you graduate. And since I'm doing Active Duty (or planning on it), I wouldn't want to settle down until after that commitment. And then there's the choice of what I'll do after that. Will I make military my career? Do I want to do that to my future family? I don't want to get married NOW, oh no. But it definitely limits the playing field. I don't know too many guys who wants to date a girl who's stronger than them.
All I can say now is that my future is so unclear and so dark right now that I find living in the present the only way to keep me going. Don't worry about anything until it's staring you in the face. Then take it on one step at a time.
Anyways, I'll be posting something more happy soon. This time of the year is really hard for me. But in a few months time, I'll probably be more optimistic since the dark cloud of insecurities will be mostly passed.


Leon said...

Happiness is an illusion.

Julina said...

For the record, if it looked like we all had it figured out, that was the real illusion (sorry, Leon). The taking pleasure in good conversation and good food was, for most of us, our way of doing just what you were talking about:
"that I find living in the present the only way to keep me going. Don't worry about anything until it's staring you in the face. Then take it on one step at a time."

The specific worries might be different, but they're still there (health/significant medical diagnoses, change of major/career plans, loss of income, new/different responsibilities - that doesn't look spelled right, by the way, "food insecurity", etc.)

All of which, you probably already know at some level, and doesn't necessarily help at this moment.

But for the record, I think that even considering the military is a big, scary, admirable, amazing thing. When an army recruiter (or something like that) came to talk to our OT class, I briefly (like, I'm talking milliseconds here) thought about signing up, but there was no way, even given the relatively small chance of overseas/war zone deployment (and this was *before* there was an actual conflict going on, never mind 2!)

So it kind of blows my mind to think of my baby sister in the Army. It would bring unique challenges, no question about that. But not insurmountable ones, not if you let Heavenly Father guide your path and stay true to what you know. Not if you rely on the priesthood (in the form of father's blessings from Dad or other blessings from worthy home teachers/bishops/etc). Not if you continue to be honest in facing the realities, fears, challenges and triumphs of such a life.

Although I don't know of any General Auxiliary leaders or General Authority wives who have served in the military, I know that there are several of the Brethren who served faithfully and were blessed in and by their service (Dad's new DVD "Saints at War" comes to mind). I also know that our Church leaders have a particular concern for military members and have prepared numerous resources for them. If you're going to start a military journey, I can't think of a better place than a Church-sponsored campus to do it and to access those resources.

Anyway, I guess this is just a long-winded attempt to let you know that I am proud of your efforts to find the path that fits you, of your willingness to take risks, of your talents and determination and humility.

If our efforts to be reassuring seemed dismissive instead, I am sorry. I hope it won't stop you from calling/texting/emailing when the stress gets to you again. And I hope you have a wonderful rest-of-your-break.

Love you, my dear book-ender sister.

Talk to you soon, I hope.