Thursday, January 29, 2015


Today I was talking to my friend about my 30th birthday this June, and she was surprised to find out I would still be in Seattle and not back with Hubs in NC yet. My reasoning for this was that I don't want to turn 30 with only him and our cat. Sure, I've made a few friends out there, but compared to the party I'll have in Seattle a NC bash would have a depressing turn out. In the last ten years, I've moved so much often I'm in a new place on my birthday, and I rarely get to celebrate with people who I've known more than a month. This year, I'm ready for something less... intimate.

At the core, my decision to stay in Seattle, while based on a party, really has nothing to do with a birthday and everything to do with happiness.

Hubs and I have been in a relationship for almost four years, and during that time I have learned this: Loving someone can change your life, it can fill you up and make you a better person- but you cannot be happy on love alone.

It's not all on Hubs to provide me with ultimate happiness either, it would be impossible and it's simply not his job to. He is an addition to my happiness, making my life better exponentially simply by being who he is and supporting me. Together we can travel, be active, take classes. He can laugh as I spend too much money at sephora, go to breweries with me, and all of the things. He can be a perfect, loving husband that makes me feel safe and wonderful, but he himself cannot fulfill me.

This is where things like my career come in. Staying busy, feeling accomplished, and the stuff money provides like trips, adventures, fitness, being on a sports team and all of that. These are things he can support me with, but not give me, and unfortunately these are not things that are possible in certain places we have lived...and thus why I moved to Seattle during his deployment, and stayed when he got back early.

The response I get to that is you make your own happiness. My place is with my husband because otherwise what's the point of being married. I could have any sort of shit job to make money, volunteer to feel accomplished, get a hobby to feel creative, and the ever popular have kids.

There's nothing much else I can say to that, except that it's hard to understand if you're not a career person. I don't mean you have a career instead of a job, or that you enjoy your work. I mean you LOVE your career and it defines who you are. My greatest struggle since leaving Chicago has not been loving hubs or even his deployment. It was figuring out what my new identity would be if I was not to be a creative, a MadMen if you will, any longer.

Over a year ago I started studying to be a personal trainer. It's something I enjoy, something I'm good at, but I haven't finished yet because of one thing: At my heart, I'm still a MadMen, and I continually search for ways to stay on that path. Being a personal trainer would be fun, but it lacks luster and edge. Most of all it lacks all the struggle, drama and heartache you go through to create, and the straight up euphoria when it comes to life.

But love conquers all, right? And a job is just a job. As a co-worker once said, we're selling shoes, not saving lives.

Of course, he's right. It's just advertising, and he punches in at 9 and out at 5 every day. He doesn't drive home thinking about headlines or spend his showers wondering up ideas. For him, it's an on-off switch. There's a lot of people like him who have zero passion for what they do, and if you aren't passionate about something, well it's pretty easy to forget about it and move on. If you are, it's going to be like cutting off your arm very slowly.

While I love Hubs more than anything, I guess in some ways I don't love him more than I love me. There's certain things he can only trump so far. And, he's not any different. Flying helicopters for the military is his dream, and when we were dating he made it clear that he would go after that with or without me. I don't believe that makes us selfish people, and I don't think that means he's not the one for me or we're a terrible married couple. It means the opposite. Quite frankly, we are a power couple.

Over four years we have thrived, loving each other more each day. Nothing can tear us apart. Thousands of miles, months in separate states, even war has not put a dent in our relationship. We know what we want and are never idle, constantly working towards new goals. We know each other better than any two people should. Each moment together is precious, and each phone call is the highlight of the day (even though I call him three, if not more times).  I am the absolute neediest of wives, and he is the most patient of husbands. I love our cat, he pretends to hate our cat but secretly cuddles with it. I make sausage on a fork, he mades seafood chowder from scratch. My complete and total insanity somehow compliments his complete and total insanity.

So, I'm going to stay in Seattle for a few more months. I'm going to work my butt off, hike, climb, taste beer, hang out, watch epic mountain sunsets, and have a blast. I'm going to miss Hubs every moment, but I'm a tough kid and we'll be together again soon. For now, there are places to go, things to do, bad ass shit to conquer-- and I challenge all naysayers to give our lives a try and see how they come out on the other end. It's not the most ideal life, but it works, and not for any other reason but because when you love someone, you make it work.  You compliment each other.  Above all, you make that extra effort to exponentially increase their happiness.

That's what makes a marriage, not the lack of miles between you or the days you spend apart.


1) For the phone. For talking to Hubs on my way to work, during lunch, and before bed.
2) For my flannel comforter from my mother in law. It is the best and worst thing to ever happen to me in the morning. I am so damn lucky.
3) For bread. God I want bread so bad. I also hate God for making bread bad for you. It should have the nutritional value of a carrot.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Recently I've been thinking a lot abut the N word.


It's a dull world, but weirdly one most of us spend a lot of time aspiring to be. There's two parts of it: one is sticking out but only in the good ways, and the other I can only describe as a feeling of home, of comfort, of our standard. 

Right now I'm having a whole lot of trouble figuring out what exactly that is to me, but I'm getting the feeling that my current life is it. An ever changing bedroom, belongings that fit in my car, an overly-outgoing attitude partly based on survival, and a relationship on the phone- all cut up in spurts of physically being someone and trying to figure out what it means to be married.  My normal seems to be a roller coaster, never taking the same loop twice and never stopping with enough time to get off and put my head on straight. Most days, I think that's a good thing. 

A few months ago I had a pretty interesting conversation with some ladies I work with. Here's some background on them:
C's husband lives and teaches at a prestigious college in New Mexico. She works with me for a great company in Seattle. For three months each summer he moves to Seattle. She seems him on all the school breaks and, like me, work allows her to go and work from New Mexico on occasion to spend time with him. They've been doing this for three years. 
L's husband is a firefighter. He has one of those one for days, off for days schedules. When he's on, he'll be gone for 1-3 days at a time. I don't recall how long they've been married, but I get the feeling this has been awhile. She likes the days when he's gone. It's Me time. She doesn't have to keep the house super clean, can watch trashy TV and do whatever she feels like. When he's home, it's together time. 

When I told these stories to my friends, they all had the same reaction- especially to the husband in New Mexico. First: Wow, that must be hard. Second: I could never do that. Third:: Well that's not really a marriage, how could they feel that way, and most especially pertaining to New Mexico relationship- how could you not figure that out to be together? How could you let your jobs rule your relationships? 

I didn't share any of those reactions, most especially the last one. In fact, I understood these women and connected with them in a way that I don't with most people, even other army wives and especially with the last sentiment. After all, Hubs is back from overseas and living in North Carolina, and here I am 'selfishly' working away on the west coast. When I mentioned that to my friends, every single of one of them felt that I was different. Military is different. It forces choices on you. 

I don't really believe that- I very much made my choice to be and to stay here for the same reasons C hasn't moved to New Mexico and L enjoys her time watching trashy TV and truly enjoys her alone time. I love working. I love that my career is a culture, not a job and I don't want to give that up.  I love exploring. And if I'm honest with myself, I love a little bit of chaos. 

Despite all of that, I've found myself yearning for Normal. I see my co-workers leaving for dinner with their spouses, to pick up their kids from day care, calling them to say they'll be home late from work. I wonder what the heck that is like. Today I was telling my mother-in-law how this is the first time in four years we will spend a cheesy Valentines Day together. That we've only actually spent one anniversary together if you could both marriage and "dating" years, out of a total of 5. We've had more birthdays and Christmases than other special days, but half of those have been spent driving across the country to the next destination, and if I'm lucky, with me, him and our cat. We don't fight over normal couple things, but stupid stuff like "You didn't call me before bed" or "you send me too many pictures of the cat and not any sexy ones." 

When I've mentioned as much to C & L, that some days I wonder about Normal, they tell me "You are normal. This, this is your normal." The scariest, and I suppose most comforting part is, they are absolutely right. And when I think about it, what scares me more IS normal. There are days we talk about him getting into a certain unit, and that would place us in one city for five years. Five years. And then after, we'd spend his last 5 in Washington and retire there. Those last two sentences sound like a death sentence. The idea of staying in one place, of giving up a revolving bedroom door, that is truly scary. 

So, this is my normal. This is my comfort zone. I'm always telling Hubs that I'm afraid of pretty much anything, and the difference between being a regular person and a compelling person is doing all of the things you are afraid of, so that's why I do things- so maybe, maybe "normal" is something I need to give a try some day. 

In the end, I guess I'm still finding my normal, but days like today, I'm not sure right here and now is the normal I want to be, because ultimately, I don't want normal to be a country between me and the one I love most. 

Le sigh. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Football ruins everything.

Even though the day started out well with touch-rugby, it quickly disintegrated into a blur of green, blue, chants and too much beer.  It was a fun time, but all in all, I didn't need that one last drink, or the last one after that, or the last one after that. And today I felt like crap. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm starting to get sick of that feeling. I'd rather wake up, feeling good and ready for the day. I woke up this morning at 530, went to the gym, and instead of getting a run in I ended up back in bed feeling like I was going to throw up and accidentally missing a 9am meeting.

This weekend I'm going to a snowshoe hash, and I'm pretty much dreading the 5 hour sunday drive back to seattle, because I'm a little afraid I'm going to get carried away in all the madness, chaos, and fun. I don't think I'm an alcoholic, but I'm starting to find victory in the nights I can go out and hold back. Not sure if that's a good feeling or not.

Today I also woke up to an email from the FRG- for those of you who don't know what that is, it's the Family Readiness Group. In the military, it can be generalized as a bunch of gossipy women with too many kids and not much else to do with their time. Anyway, they are having a "valentines day party" on Valentines day from 6-9. At first I scoffed at this, because why the heck would I want to spend Valentines day with a bunch of other military people, and my husband. But, I forgot. I was lucky my husband came home early, but half of his company is still deployed and they are spending Valentines day on their own.

Not that, if I was there, I would want to go spend V-Day with a bunch of other lonely women. It sounds like the saddest place on earth. However it did strike a cord with me. In the 4 years hubs and I have been together, we haven't had one V-Day together. We've always been in separate states, and this is really starting to get to me. Even though this is the first year we're going to actually be with one another, it makes me wonder about future valentines days. I know he's going to deploy again. I know coming back doesn't mean home for good, and I wonder if I can hack this for another 12 years.

Some days aren't so bad, but some days are- and the days that are bad, well, they are just happening more and more. Sometimes I wish he stayed deployed,  because the fact that he came home and we're living on completely opposite coasts makes it worse. Now it's not mandatory, it's a choice we made.

And, I suppose to bring it back round to feeling hungover today, days like this are the worst. Days like this are the ones where I'm supposed to wake up with a bowl of goldfish crackers and bottle of gatorade next to the bed, with a packet of alka seltzer for my tummy and two extra strength excederins and he's humming in the kitchen making breakfast. Half the time, I expect that still, and then when I crack my eye only to find a cat hovering over me giving me the death stare, a cold bedroom, and the bachelor-style condiments only in the fridge, well it's a pretty depressing feeling.

So, I suppose I'll start acting like a good grown up again, if only till North Carolina again. And by then, maybe it'll stick.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I'm starting this up again because I've decided to do the Whole Life Challenge- an 8 week, online game-ified program that's supposed to help you change some of your bad habits into good ones. For me, back to working out 6 days a week, being active and less lazy, cooking again, stretching daily, and drinking less.

Some things I care a lot about more than others. For one, I want to get back into shape. When husband deployed, we had spent a month just being lazy, together, eating and drinking whatever he wanted. Then I quite literally drove across the country, from one coast to the other, visiting friends, drinking beer, hiking and eating whatever. And, with him being gone, and me back in a place with some old friends, well, going out to eat and drink became and excuse to take my mind off of being alone.

It's not that I got fat, or even got 'chubby,' but I'm certainly not happy with myself. And, living in the great state of Washington, I feel like I'm missing out. Boozing is fun, but there's so much to do here I'll just be kicking myself when I leave again. This year, my new years resolve is two parts. 1- For the next 6 months I'm here, do something interesting and new every weekend. Outdoors if possible. 2- When I move somewhere new, do the same. It doesn't have to be crazy, but it has to be done.

Then there's the cooking thing. Hubs is always making fun of me because I am constantly eating sausage on a fork. Yeah, that's exactly what it sounds like. I know how to cook, I'm just lazy. We have a chef at work who makes us lunch everyday, it's relatively healthy, and nearly free, so there's nothing really forcing me to get off my butt to make dinner. Not even left overs. It sounds stupid but when we move back in together, I'd like to be better at making dinner for him. He loves cooking, but I know he doesn't want to do it every night, and that he's not going to be thrilled when it's tacos or stir fry, or.. sausage on a fork.

Lastly, I feel like I am in very sad shape. I'm not as fast a runner anymore because I haven't been working out. Quite frankly, my ego is getting in the way. I was doing so well in marathons and especially triathlons, I don't want to do it again and suck. I'm not sure if I'll get over that, but I have to at least get back in the gym and on the trail.

Also, there's rugby. Rugby saved me from myself. When I got to North Carolina, I was full of anger and hate over the loss of Germany. But the Rugby team found me. They gave me friends, something to do, and places to go.  Most importantly, they gave me something to work towards. When I left NC for the west coast, the first thing I did was contact the rugby team. I found a new set of friends, a great new roommate, and touch rugby with a bunch of dudes who range from "How are you still walking, let alone springing and kicking my ass- old," ex USA team members, college kids, and a plethora younger (super sexy) guys, all who are willing to give me pointers, help me get better, and are, if I'm honest, a pleasure bumping into over and over again. Girls if you are single and straight, this is place to be. Oh yeah, and some girls show up too, ha! Long story short on that, I want to be a kick ass rugby player, and that involves me getting faster and stronger.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting my life-ducks in a row. Since I left Seattle the first time, my life has been nothing short of insanity. From 80 hour weeks in Chicago, to moving to Alabama and driving three hours to work, almost moving to Germany, moving to North Carolina, unemployment, re-employment, unemployment, re-employment, and then deployment and moving to WA- well it's enough to throw any girls life-ducks out of alignment.

So here's to getting back on track, and making sure I can fit into my wedding dress for Wedding 2.0 this October!

This weekend's adventure: Snowshoeing SkyLine Lake Trail. Not great views because it was cloudy but the trees were beautiful and it was awesome bouncing around in all the snow.