5 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a (Temporary) Party of 1

If you would have asked me a little over 3 months ago how I envisioned the remainder of my 2015, I can wholeheartedly say that it would not be anything like this. I would go on and on about where Tim and I planned on spending our first married Thanksgiving, our expedition to shop for perfect gifts for the both of our families for Christmas, and where we’d be when the ball dropped. I was well aware of the fact that Tim was going to be leaving for boot camp at sometime in the next 6 months, but it was well after our first holidays. Right? He couldn’t actually go until those had passed; he wouldn’t. There was just no way.

You can only imagine my shock when I received that fateful text message at work one night, informing me that a spot had opened up a week after our first (mini) anniversary for him to go to Parris Island. At first, I didn’t know what to think. I’m not sure if it was shock or anxiety or how to even label that sentiment – it was somewhere up there between getting punched in the stomach and finally obtaining something you wanted so terribly, just to watch it slip between your fingers. He wasn’t supposed to leave until after the holiday season. That was going to lessen the blow of his going away to boot camp, if I got to spend all of our first major holidays with him first. I cried. I was angry. I was nervous. This couldn’t possibly be happening. This had to be an unfunny joke. He was messing with me, surely.

Upon arriving home that night, I learned that the news was not at all a joke. The following morning, he had obtained details, dates, a to-do list of what needed to be done before he left. I cried again, sulked and felt bad for myself a little bit, and then I put myself back together. This was being set into motion whether I was ready for it or not – and being against him and his decisions was only going to make things harder. Now or later, he was going to be leaving for 13 weeks eventually. And by Tim’s ideology, it was better to just go ahead and get things over with now. The sooner we were out of the woods there, the sooner we would end up back together. Unfortunately, I couldn’t argue with that logic – no matter how much I wanted to.

Flash forward to now, and we are going to be closing in on the end of month #2. We will be more than halfway through then, and things will (hopefully) be beginning their descent. We have come so far already, and I find reassurance in the fact that this time next week, we will have spent more time apart than we have left to go until we are together again! While I naturally would rather be spending these months with my man instead of depending on a series of delayed letters to know even the slightest thing about him, I can’t say I necessarily regret our time apart. Being on my own for this time has opened my eyes to quite a few things I never fully realized previously. And that, dear readers, is the reasoning for this post today.

1. I’m more capable than I ever realized (or give myself credit for).

While I wasn’t what you’d necessarily call “dependent” on Tim – one thing most people steadily acknowledge about me is my independence and ability to juggle multiple things at once on my own –  he certainly did play a major role in my daily routine and life overall. It was the hardest thing so far to adapt to, but I eventually did develop a routine to continue life as efficiently as it was with him here. I had to problem solve on my own to resolve any issues I encountered, more carefully manage my finances, figure out any road block that’s come in my way alone. I am a firm believer in women (and men, for that matter, though this practice is more prevalent in my experience with females) knowing and owning their independence, and that’s sometimes lost in the hustle and bustle of marriage and children. All too often, we put ourselves on the back burner to instead channel our energy to benefit someone else; whether it be a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband, children, etc. I may be sad and missing him, but I am grateful for the opportunity to re-establish my identity and self as an individual – not simply as someone’s wife. After this, I am thoroughly convinced that I can do anything and absolutely own it.

2. I don’t get to eat nearly enough Mexican food with Tim around.

I love Tim to the end of the earth and back, but the guy simply does not do authentic Mexican food. I know what you’re thinking – and yes, this will be addressed and corrected in the near future. But until then, I will enjoy it in excess while he is away.

3. The little things truly are those that mean the most.

Now I’m not sure if I value our letter exchanges because it’s our only means of communication currently, but I somehow wouldn’t change it for anything. Does it suck not hearing his voice or physically touching him? Of course. But I’ll be the first to admit that I took it all for granted before. Back in September and even for the start of October, as covered above, I thought I was untouchable. I was living in this dream world where nothing could ever not go my way. Tim was there and was going to remain there until I was ready to let go (somewhat into next year). I’ve never claimed to be perfect; I was merely a new wife basking in the novelty of marriage and enjoying my dreamy new husband. Only by turning that world upside down was I brought back down to real life. And in keeping up with that, stripping all other means to him away from me taught me to cherish what little I do get that much more. Before I used to get mad and ignore him over the slightest, stupid things. Now I find myself clutching a single sheet of paper with his scratch handwriting on it telling me about his day and telling me that he loves me for dear life.

4. Difficult situations really are when you find out who your “friends” are.

This applies to most any hardship one faces, but this was the test that opened my eyes personally. Tim and I are each other’s closest friends, but we did have a reasonable handful of others around, also, to lean on. Before the wedding, there were people constantly surrounding us – wanting to hang out, be a part, spend time, etc. Even immediately before his ship date, the few genuine friends we had made the effort to be there, to see him, to send him off on a positive note. And I will forever be grateful for those. As time has gone on, the number of those I have on my side has dwindled greatly – even those I never expected to are now completely missing. I can count on one hand who has been there when I’ve felt at my lowest so far, when I needed assistance or for someone to just be there and let me cry or vent or scream. To those that are: I owe you my life, my vehicle (shout out to Karley and Steven in particular), and these days, my sanity. But those I foolishly expected more from are not in attendance. Which is fine – I can’t control what other people do – and also brings me to my next and final point.

5. Kindness is not always met with kindness.

I learned a long time ago that you will be unbelievably disappointed if you expect others to do and be for you what you do and are for them. I’ve always prided myself on putting others first, whether or not they always deserved it, and being the bigger person in countless situations, time and time again. I’ve always tried my best to be the best person I could be to everyone all around, and never expected anything in return – except to be treated as a human being. As mentioned above, when I need others the most, there seems to be very few in sight. I have no problem with that; in fact, I really don’t want an excess of people seeing me as a sobbing, hysterical mess on more than one occasion (if at all). But what does get to me is when those who don’t bother so much as to check up on me or even shoot me a text asking how I’m doing or how things are going with Tim never fail to call on me when- and solely when – they need something; when contacting me benefits them. Like I said, I very rarely like to tell people “no”, especially if I am perfectly capable of whatever it is being asked of me. But when I am going through a tough time and those same people reaching out to me – not to be of assistance or a helping hand – but instead to selfishly see what I can do for them? Yes, that is where my problem starts. If you are only going to contact me only on the occasions that you need me or something from me, I honestly would rather you not reach out to me at all. I am no one’s back up friend/relative/acquaintance/option. I am a human being struggling to maintain countless things of my own these days, and if you aren’t being positive in tackling or alleviating that mission, then you are inadvertently being negative, so please save it because I simply don’t have the energy to entertain that, too, anymore. I know what I bring to the table, so trust me when I say that I am not afraid to eat alone; I have made it so far with those who sincerely care for me out of the kindness of their hearts. I don’t need or especially require anyone who doesn’t.

This blog is truly my safe and happy place. I don’t want to know where or what I’d be without the ability to release any and all feelings on this platform. And, of course, the beautiful people who find my ramblings entertaining enough to read along. Until next time, loved ones.


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