One month from today Paul will be leaving Texas and heading off to Rhode Island for Officer Candidate School (OCS) with the Navy. If you know me, then you know my husband is currently an enlisted soldier in the Army. He has been in the Army for about 3.5 years. His intentions when he joined the Army were that in a few years after joining he would apply for OCS (with the Army) and become an Officer. Then as his career progressed and he starting researching his options (he wanted to become a pilot) he thought maybe Warrant Officer was the route to go.
It turned out that neither OCS or Warrant Officer in the Army were going to work out for him (I won’t bog you down with the details) but he was determined to become an Officer so he reached out to an Officer recruiter within the Army. While investigating other avenues for him to take the recruiter suggested he look into the Navy. Lo and behold, the Navy needed Officers and a new path was opened for him. That was ten months ago.
The process wasn’t easy, there were moments of frustration for both of us, there were countless forms and letters and documents required but thankfully it all worked out. Paul was able to submit his OCS packet with the Navy. He applied for two different flight positions; Aviator and Flight Officer, and because he is an amazing person the Navy recommended him for both. Paul was given his choice and decided to go the Aviator route. For the non-military people here is how I see it; the Aviator is the pilot and the Flight Officer is the co-pilot. That may not be 100% accurate but hopefully it helps explain the difference.
After we found out Paul was selected for Aviator, this was April I think, there was more follow up paperwork involved. Actually this whole process seemed to me like run-around-like-mad-getting-paperwork-signed-by-every-member-of-the-US-Army-and-then-wait-a-few-months. Ah, I kid. Well, sort of.
Any who. We knew the Navy was taking him, the Army was letting him go, and now we just needed to know when. By June (maybe July) we found out he would be leaving in October but didn’t have a date yet. We also knew that after OCS he would be heading off to Pensacola to start the first few segments of his flight training. After Pensacola he will train somewhere else. More than likely (from what I have learned in this crazy process) he will be in Enid OK, Milton FL, or Corpus Christi TX. Or a few of those places. Maybe even all. Who knows? We certainly don’t because where he goes is yet to be decided. He needs to complete some of the training in Pensacola first before we know where he will go next.
So, what does this all mean? Well. It means that while Paul is in OCS and Pensacola and maybe even the remaining duration of his flight training (we are looking at 2+ years including OCS) I will remain in San Antonio. Because I need to work I don’t have the luxury of going with him when he bounces from one place to another. At least not if I need to have a good job with good pay, which I do. Trust me, if I could swing working a part time job at Barnes & Noble and still pay all my bills (even if it was paycheck to paycheck) I would do it. Unfortunately, I can’t. So I will stay here until we know Paul will be somewhere long enough for me to find a good job and stay there awhile.
It was a really tough day when we made this decision.
It was, sadly, the only option that would work for us.
So, in one month Paul leaves. And I stay. And it could be 2 years or so before we are living together again.
This will probably be our longest separation to date. So far we have only lived apart for 6 months and 7 months.
And even though I know what to expect, and I know I will survive, it still sucks.
I love my husband and I want to be there to support him and help him any way I can.
I also want to be with him to give him hugs and kisses and all the affection he deserves.
And because he is my best friend and I’m just not me without him.
And I lose the person who makes me laugh until I cry. The person who knows all of my weird behaviors and doesn’t judge me because of them. The person I can truly be myself around.
Life just isn’t as exciting. It isn’t as fun.
But I’m a big girl. So I will put on my big girl pants and carry on.
Life won’t be the same but it will still go on. I will make the best of it.
I will take advantage of the freedoms this ‘single’ life will bring me. Like not feeling guilty spending hours on the weekend running in order to train for a marathon.
Or watching Felicity.
Or eating cereal for dinner.
Even though I will make the best of this situation I know I will need my friends to help me get through this. I will have days where I just don’t want to get out of bed. Days where I cry non-stop. Days where I feel so freaking alone. And I tell you this not because I want your pity. But as a warning. I will need you now more than ever. So be prepared.
And if I fall off the face of the earth make sure to send me some words of encouragement.
And if I reach my quota of sappy, sad, woe-is-me blog posts let me know. Tell me to put on my big girls pants and go for a run.
Or tell me to put on my bike shorts and go for a ride.
Either option works
“In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.” ~ Hans Nouwens