I am a creature of habit. I always have been. I hate change. Maybe it's those OCD tendencies; I don't really know. I've just never been a fan. However, I have come to accept it. Things change all the time. I don't see as far as I used to. I don't have as much hair as I used to. The hair I do have is not all the same color like it once was. Those are natural functions of time. They are not the things that make me who I am. They are not the pillars of my life. So, I shave my head to hide the shiny ones and blur the line between where I choose not to grow hair and where my head has surrendered trying. I throw on a pair of reading glasses and the world is in focus again.
It is when the ground floor changes that it rattles me. Things you count on. Things you lean on. Things you consider to be the foundation of life. Those are unexpected. They are not functions of time. I don't like that one bit. At a minimum, I look for explanation, if I can't change these things back to fit within the parameters of my expectation. I look for a closure, of sorts. If I can find reason among chaos, I can plug the hole with that reason and logic.
I look at this time a year ago. Things were different for sure. Last summer to this summer feel like two separate lives. The way I spent my time was different. All of my surroundings and how I felt about them were different. I would venture to say that all were more positive. Now I feel quite empty. The things I cling to for joy are fleeting joyful moments. They make me happy at the moment, but not a happy person. For example, this blog. It is cathartic and brings relief, but, obviously, is not something that makes my life joyful. I have things around me, but which of them positively affects my life. We all know it's not work. That is a ticking time-bomb and I pray daily that I escape it before the timer reaches zero.
I have Linda and she brings me joy. She makes me happy as a person. She isn't here. She isn't now. She is the future. Yes, we are together and happy today, but my emptiness is day-to-day and until I move back to New Jersey that's a void she cannot fill - not day to day, moment to moment in person. My earning potential, job and professional life is on hold. School is nothing more than a means to an end.
This is not intended to be a pity party or a black cloud. The point is the change. It wasn't this way a year ago. Partially, I feel it is because I can see the end of the road with the military and my anxiousness kicks in because I know I'm not long for this military world. But beyond that - life. Ties and bonds have faded for no real reason with no real explanation. No beefs, no arguments, no direct cutting. Just fading without rhyme or reason.
What's worse is I have owned the feeling now. I don't long for it to change back. I don't struggle with new situations as much as the process of change. Even if things were better once upon a time and I am given the option to get back there, that requires going through another change, that I'd rather just avoid in most cases. It is why I cling to a large, but slowly diminishing number that represents that last time I have to make a major change. It seals this chapter and, truthfully, closes the whole book and my life begins anew. As I see it today, lots of things that I thought would travel with me into my new book appear like they will be locked away forever. I don't know why.
I could ask. I could investigate. I could act. I'm one person. I'm one exhausted person. I'm one exhausted person with a white flag. I surrender to the unexpected changes in situations and life. I accept them willingly and readily and admit that the things I thought were part of my foundation all rested on baby boughs not capable of holding these things up. When light, warm, summery breezes blew through a year ago, they floated and stayed aloft on the warm, carefree air of the summer, but then sunk under their own weight. The strength in these was artificial, clearly. And all the while, I had them placed as cornerstones to my life.
Now it is time to live temporarily. I mean it is not the time to plant roots. It is time to be nomadic, emotionally, that leaves me unbound until I get home where I can be moored to my home, my family, my love Linda and my new profession. This was not my plan. My plan was to move and when I was uprooted, all of the items that fed me and nurtured me would come with me and be replanted with me, if not physically, then in spirit and with lasting emotion and bonds. As it turns out, my life is not rooted in anything here and will be planted as a seedling, nay a pure seed next year when I get home.
In the meantime, it is to an unfulfilling and temporary job I go each day and to temporary pieces of enjoyment I return each day, profoundly empty and waiting, but without dwelling on the loss and change from last year until now.