Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trying to grow, change, and improve...

What I will never understand is how some will talk about all your negative traits but they don't see when you're trying to make yourself into a better person nor will they, with regard for your feelings, let you know what you might be doing wrong.
I am nowhere near where I want to be as a person.  Things that have happened to me in the past have really affected how I interact with those around me.  I love my friends and do my best to be a good friend to them.  I think I do pretty well but when my tendency to be upfront backfires, I react by being a little less forthright.  I don't get dishonest but I will share a whole lot less.
Or, when I'm dating, I usually jump all in (with my head) but hold back (with my heart).  I treat my sweetie the way that I want to be treated and try to not chameleon--which I've been doing pretty well.  However, when they turn out to be a douchebag, I will throw a wall right back up and tread cautiously.  I have way more casual sweeties than serious ones.  The last serious fella that I was with was in 2004 and he chose to be dishonest with me...haven't shared my heart with anyone since.  That's not to say that I haven't loved anyone since then but there was definitely a part of me that was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And, it did.  Thank you for that, Black Behr.
So, going back to trying to improve.  Because of my lack of trust towards most folks, I'm pretty sure that I come off as a bitch.  I exhibit disdain and dismissiveness.  I'm trying to not do so.  I've also been accused of having a "high sense of entitlement."  I don't know what that means but I'm trying to figure it out so that I can address it.  If anyone who knows me, knows what this means, please let me know so that I can get to work on adjusting whatever it is that needs to change.
I'm also constantly in conflict with myself because my "military work" self is so much at odds with my "true" self.  I'm so much more at ease at my part time job than I am at full time job.  I think because I'm less under the microscope at VS than I am in the AF.  As a result, that discontent and anxiety carries over into my personality and the folks I work with pick up on it.  Three more years and I can say "Screw it!  This is the *real* me."
I welcome any and all feedback.  I do truly want to grow.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cancer. Part II

How bad?  Stage 4 Carcinoma.  Now what? She goes to a shit load of appointments and I finish out my deployment.
Not to say that I didn't have a good cry when I read the letter--which I got the day after my last post--but my thoughts and feelings are not going to change anything in her world right now.  They will only affect my world.  Which means that I need to focus on the here and the now for the next few weeks.  When I get home, I can call her and get "up to the minute" updates.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cancer. How bad? And now what?

I spoke to my dad yesterday.  He let me know that my mom had sent me a letter and, although he wanted to wait until I had received it, he thought that I should know that she will be seeing an oncologist sometime soon, in order to make a diagnosis on the lump on her neck.  Now, this lump...I saw it last year when we were on vacation.  She brushed it off and I didn't press her about it.  It's not like a marble under the skin or anything.  It's more like a large sausage shaped (think bratwurst size) "thing" is under her skin.  Last year, it was probably 1/2 to a full inch in diameter (if it were a real tube) and about two inches long.  I don't know how to really describe it.  I just know that a year ago it was big enough that when she turned her head, there was little indentation where her jawline should have been.
And I can't just pick up the phone to talk to anyone.
So, now, I wait...for the letter...for a better explanation of what the hell is going on...for the timeframe of just how much longer she'll be here.
I love you, Mom.
Bette Midler--The Wind Beneath My Wings

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 10th, 2013 marks 17 years in the Air Force

Tomorrow I’ll be marking my 17 year anniversary in the USAF.  17 years.  Who’da thunk it.  It really has gone quickly…despite feeling like it was taking forever.  The last couple years—since 2008, I’d say—has been pretty tough to get through.  My fitness has been sporadically good enough to keep me in and I will continue to fight to achieve and maintain the standards required to stay in.  However, looking back at 17 years…some highlights:
1996—Basic Training at Lackland, Tech School at Keesler in Biloxi, MS.  I have some great memories from Tech School.  Made some friends then that I still keep in touch with today.  I remember going to Mustang Sally’s and dancing til it was time to head back to base in order to meet curfew.  My second week there we ended up in lockdown cause someone had messed up.  We marched to and from the dining facility…in our blues…in the pouring rain.  My lowquarters were trashed after that.  I was also on the drill team for the latter half of my six months there.  *That* was fun.  Tossing around plastic, molded guns with precision and timing…took a muzzle in the armpit during one of our practices.  *That* hurt.  Lol.  Transferring to my first duty station, McChord AFB, brought about a long drive across three states as I drove from my hometown to Washington.
1997—Settled in and my bestest bud in the whole world moved to Washington with her daughter.  Lordy, two 20-somethings on their own…God, that was fun.  Parties every weekend and hanging with friends.  Me and Jose Cuervo were real good friends for about six months.  Then he turned on me and I haven’t been able to stomach him since.  Lol.
1998—Both my BFF and I were 21 by this time and able to go out to the clubs in the local area.  Still had parties on the weekend but going out dancing was so much more fun.  I had a *serious* boyfriend for a short time…until I realized that he was an alcoholic.  That discovery nipped that in the bud.  However, my bestest bud met the love of her life which lead to…
1999—I was the Maid of Honor in her wedding.  I bought a house in July.  The mortgage company must have been crazy--selling a house to someone whose take home pay is $1100/mo while they were charging $840/mo for a mortgage payment.  I got a second job at The Love Pantry.  Lots of stories there…but none would be appropriate for total public knowledge…it was an adult toy store, after all.  Lol.  I had that job for the eight or nine months that I “ghosted” in the dorms. 
2000—started out pretty rough.  My bestest bud moved to Iowa with her husband. I finally started receiving BAH so I didn’t have to work at The Love Pantry any longer.  It was in this year that I started talking to my son’s adoptive parents about having another child for them.  I went off the Pill later that year so that I could get the chemicals out of my system.  Had my first reenlistment—Dad officiated.
2001—My brother’s kids came out to visit while their mom was visiting her husband’s family in New York.  He loved seeing the kids after almost four years of not.  My son and his parents came up for some races that year and were able to stop for a bit during their travels.  I was able to get a picture of the three cousins—my son and my niece and nephew—just before my niece and nephew headed back to the east coast.  It’s the only picture they have together.  I sewed on Staff Sergeant in December.
2002—My daughter was born in the Spring.  Three months later, I was headed to Tinker AFB for AWACS training because I had orders to Japan.  I got to Kadena three weeks before Christmas—that was kind a bummer cause I didn’t know anyone at my new base.
2003—Not too long into the new year and I was headed home for my grandfather’s funeral.  I also moved out of the dorms and into an apartment.  I loved how it was close enough to base that I could still walk to the Commissary and/or BX, yet far enough away that I didn’t have to deal w/base traffic.  I also completed my Community College of the AF Associate’s degree in the spring.
2004—A friend moved into the apartment with me—more parties and headed out Gate 2 on the weekends.  Work was definitely uneventful.
2005—It was quite a year for transition; a lot of friends moved as they left Kadena; to include me moving to Dover, Delaware in December. 
2006—Four months after getting to Dover, a C-5 crashed in a field just south of the base.  That was headline news for quite a few months.  In June, I got my part time job at Victoria’s Secret—gotta love a 30% discount and being able to get new items at just $15 or free.  At the end of the year, I sold the house that I had bought in WA back in 1999 and bought a new one in Camden, DE.  Re-upped for four more.
2007—I was transferred from the C-5 squadron to the C-17s.  We spent the first five months of the year setting up all the programs; to include me and one other person inputting thousands of individual items into the toolroom computer database.  We got our first plane just before the start of summer and we were aching for work because there is almost nothing to do when there is only one brand new jet to maintain.  By the end of the year, we had about half of our aircraft inventory but were still doing everything we could to stay busy.
2008—I was transferred to a different squadron in June and oversaw a number of improvement events throughout the Maintenance Group as well as performed numerous inspections that gauged how well each shop was keeping up with orderliness and housekeeping.
2009—I spent 16 months in a daily fitness program after failing a PT test in Oct ’08.  In Aug ’09, I transitioned out of that and then had liposuction around my waist and hips. I love, love, love the results.
2010—Had a very dark period at the beginning of the year but came out of it unscathed; Made Technical Sergeant and sewed on in Aug.  That pay raise helped me to pay off a ton of debt.  Re-upped for another six years in November.  Dad was my reenlistment officer.
2011—Went to the NCO Academy shortly after returning to the C-17 flightline.  Six weeks in Montgomery, AL is not my idea of a vacation spot but I did have a fairly good time while there.  Upon my return, I went to night shift.
2012—Transitioned from nights to days in Aug; attended the National Sexual Assault Convention in Chicago, IL in September—very enlightening and educational; went on vacation after that and the outprocessed in Oct for a deployment that began in Nov.
2013—present time…still deployed but headed home in May.  I’m definitely missing my cats and the rest of my personal space and time but I’ve been able to save a ton of money and got to know quite a few of my coworkers.  Really can’t complain.  J
It’s been quite a ride and I’m anxious for the next three years to pass so that I can begin the next chapter but I don’t want to “Click” passed the whole of it.  I plan to do a little introspection to see what changes I should make and what positive impact I can have at work.  I’m certainly open to suggestions.  Lol.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Looking forward to heading home next month.

Every so often, the list of things that I miss and/or took for granted while not deployed rears its head.  Some of those things:
Not having to wear a uniform any time I exit my domicile
Being able to grocery shop
Being able to shop, period
Driving more than two or three miles
Picking up the phone and calling my friends and family
Living in more than one room
Sleeping on a bed that is larger than a twin AND has a firm mattress
Living alone
Leaving work and actually leaving the whole place that I work not just my workcenter/shop
Spending time with folks who aren't military
Being able to be my "off duty" self
Being able to work out in clothes that are comfortable vs having to wear the PT uniform--did I mention that the crotch ends, literally, four inches above my knees?
My front-load washer with its lack of agitator which doesn't tear up my Delicates
Not having to be quiet cause people are sleeping
Having my kitties around to love on.

However, there has been plus sides to being here:
Saved up $10,000 in four months
Haven't had to buy gas
Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and other basic toiletries can be found for free at numerous locations around the post
The latrine and shower area is cleaned daily and not by me
Care packages
Getting to know better the folks that I work with
Expanding my system knowledge quite a bit
Got to come to a whole new country that I had never been in
Not having to pay for electricity

Definitely more Cons that Pros to being deployed but at least I can say now that I *have* deployed--first time in my 17 year career.

Still can't wait to get home though.  :)