Oh my. Has it already been over a month since I last posted on here? Sheesh. What a month it has been. I am currently starting week six here in Indiana with a growing pup by my side, literally, and a handsome man by my side, figuratively, for the time being. Six weeks have brought a lot of growth, a lot of learning, and a lot of unexpected joy.
The transition here was not easy. In fact, it was really quite tough. Leading up to my leaving, I had found myself quite smitten in a new and unexpected relationship. What started as a “let’s grab beers” quickly evolved into a “wow, we’ve got something good, let’s try it out” kind of situation. The catch? (Because, let’s face it, there’s always a catch in a good story). He was headed to Afghanistan for a 9-month deployment and I was headed to a new travel job that didn’t allow me to plan much past my 12 week assignment. So after spending countless hours together leading up to our departure date, we shared a kiss (or a lot, okay), a hug, and a “see you soon”. I saw Mike off around 3am Sunday morning and started my journey to Indiana from there.
It was terrifying and just sad for a bit, honestly. Not only was I unsure of how to be a girlfriend to someone who was deployed, I really was (and still am) learning how to be this guy’s girlfriend. I was still trying to figure out ways to keep this pup of mine alive and happy, as well as trying to figure out how to be my own SLP in a brand new environment. Y’all, that’s a lot of new.
So I did what any respectable, educated individual does: I turned to Google and Pinterest. I read countless blogs about having a dog, being a military girlfriend, being a new SLP. Man, there’s a lot of information out there and a lot of super high standards to try to meet. Have you seen some of these care packages that some women put together? THEY HAVE THEMES. THEMES! You know the theme of Mike’s first care package? “Sorry this is coming over a month into deployment, but here’s a bunch of random shit thrown in a target bag.” I mean okay, the random shit was carefully chosen random shit but you catch my drift.
As I mentioned before, I am the first to say, “Let me Google that” when I have a question. I think that’s one of the incredible things about the Internet age we are living in. There are hours and hours of other people’s experiences at our fingertips. For example, tonight, Rocky and I were going on a walk and he excitedly pulled me and yanked me forward. Now, I know he’s going to be a big pup so I don’t want to have to worry about losing my arm the next time a rabbit crosses our path. I walked him back home, went inside and turned to YouTube. I watched a video on how to help with pulling and we walked outside and I worked with him on his leash. All within an hour. Like, come on. That’s awesome.
There’s a flip side to that. Just look at some of the “fitness influencers” on social media. Look at the comments on some of their pictures. So many questions about how to get a body like theirs. Again, can it be helpful? Yup. I love getting different workouts from some of the great CrossFit athletes. I love seeing a meal and being inspired by it. Fun fact though: one size sure as hell does not fit all.
We see people we look up to and think, if I just follow what they do exactly, then I can be like that. I literally Googled “how to make a relationship work on deployment.” Ha! You know what none of them mentioned? FaceTime CrossFit workouts. You know what’s been one of, in my opinion, the best things we’ve done for each other so far on this deployment? FaceTime CrossFit workouts.
I think it’s important to learn from others, especially when other people’s journeys are so accessible. I think we can find comfort in the “oh someone else has gone through this” moments we can find through the Internet. In fact, that’s one of my favorite things about this blog. I love when a friend messages me and says, “I’ve felt that, Dani.” It’s pretty cool to connect with people in that way. It just doesn’t mean that we follow other people’s journey as though it was a blueprint for a happy, successful life.
We have so much to learn from those around us and those that have come before us. What will those after us have to learn if we all do the same thing? What will we have to teach if we don’t embark upon the path that few have traveled? A cookie cutter guide to life, that’s what. I don’t know about any of you, but that’s not what I’m wanting to do with my short time on this Earth.
Just as the Word says, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Walk into a store, look around, and you’ll realize we are not cookie cutter made. We are made from a Creator that made us intricately. He designed us to be just that: us. Oh man, is that hard. It’s hard to look at so-and-so doing such-and-such. I truly believe we owe it to the rest of the world to be fearfully and wonderfully who we were made to be. I think it speaks so highly of God when we celebrate the cool human He made us to be.
I know, it’s hard. Mike and I were talking on the phone and he was talking about dogs knowing when their humans are sick. I told him I haven’t been sick since I got Rocky but I had spent a few evenings sitting on the kitchen floor with him, in tears, and he comforted me. Although, one time he tried to hump me. Freaking teenage boy dog hormones, gross. Anyways, I digress. Mike said, “uh, you’ve sat on the floor crying?” I nearly reverted back to my old ways, scoffing at myself, poking fun at the fact that I cry at everything. (No really, everything. I teared up when Matt Fraser won the CrossFit games tonight for the 4th year in a row. I don’t even think Matt Fraser cried over his win, okay?) Instead, I stumbled over my words a little, before shrugging and saying “yeah, I’m just a crier. I cry at like, a lot of things.” The conversation moved on. While that’s a very simple, small scale victory, it’s a victory nonetheless. I think God nodded His head in approval as to say, “Yeah girl, own that.” (I don’t know about your God but mine is a sassy one).
Oof, I feel as though I’ve been rambling a lot to make a small, simple point. Maybe I should just get to it. I don’t know, what is my point? Own your life? Don’t let the way others live theirs dictate the path you take? Sure, that sounds good. Be you and be you in such a fierce way that sassy God says, “Yes girl (or boy), you work that life I gave you.”