C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Thursday, July 22, 2004
What an exciting day!
It's continued to be a really busy week for me and my shipmates, and this upcoming (or current) week will be the busiest days ever for us. We had this huge inspection today, which included the whole compartment (office, head -- aka bathroom, laundry room, deck, windowsills, everything) and alternately our bunks and/or lockers (that is, either how well we made our beds, or how well we stenciled/labeled, folded, and stowed all of our clothing and most of our gear.) As yoeman, (a) I don't have much time and thus my shipmates are supposed to help with my stuff, and usually do except not always enough or correctly; and (b) I "get" to follow the inspector around with a clipboard, writing down the hits he calls out on bunks and lockers. When he got to mine, of course, I was on the edge of my boots. I stinkin' bombed the thing. The office was perfect, but I got 4 hits on my locker, which is failing. They were for dumb things, too, like not having buttoned the cuff buttons of the utility shirt that I had folded up in there. So it was frustrating. But the inspector said I can't fall apart; he needs me to have my head on my shoulders and continue on with the inspection. So I did, and only on the bunk right after mine did my voice crack at all. Beyond that, I was just fine. One inspection bombed, yes, but good enough scores on everything else that I'm set.
So then, one of my petty officers (actually, this may have been before the inspection) told me that I'm one of our (86 member) division's 3 nominees for honor graduate. So out of our 86, I'm one of the top 3. And they had to send a male, and RPOC is always sent (our RPOC is a female). So it's like either way I was going, and since I'm the one of that, it's like they said I'm the top. Which is partly because I passed PT0 and did decently well on all the other tests and assessments so far, with excellent military bearing when needed, can train almost anyone in the division for their position,, and have most everyone coming to me for advice, mediating, and/or to support me, all in the midst of the most hectic job for a recruit to have.
That was stinkin' awesome.
And then all the females were getting ready to shower, and I was slow because I had a corndog for lunch and my stomach was tore up. So I was standing by my rack getting my stuff out, when Petty Officer came out looking for RPOC. Since she was in the shower already, Petty Officer told me to get my shoes on and get in the office with my best military bearing, because the FTT inspector was there. So I did, and to make a long story brief, he ended up giving me a Brovo Zulu (which is a good chit) for "outstanding military bearing and a great team player" as well as a 15 minute phone card. In the process, I made my senior chief and petty officers have a good belly laugh with one of the answers I gave the inspector, but it was kind of a you-had-to-be-there thing. And since, fortunately for you, you're not here, I won't bother.
Tomorrow is PT1 (the first real physical fitness test) and then there's plenty more fun to be had in the next 2 weeks. For now, I got letters from my mother and Barbara (pictures included -- yay!) and it's time to go read them.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2004. 2203
My RDC's, for whatever reason, decided to only send two recruits for honor board, without even having the ship's leading chief petty officer look at us and choose between. So, they're sending our RPOC and me. 2 females; something that is NOT done in this kinda situation. But you always send the RPOC (and our RPOC is a great candidate, anyway) and none of the males could replace me there, so they're pushing the envelope in a big way on this one.
Wow, I am so amazed.
And then they had the division vote on who they want as the division-decision honor graduate, knowing that I was already nominated for this other thing. By more than twice the runner up, they voted for me. Well over twice. Then the second, third, and fourth most recommended all had within a few votes of each other. The guy I voted for later asked me (before the results were announced) if I was it, and others came to tell me why they'd voted for me (or in some cases, why they chose the person they did). It's just blowing me away, having such incredible shows of support from both my RDC's and my shipmates within my division. Me, the one who took a year deciding to join, who couldn't seem to keep a job or work my way through school.
I'm not quite sure yet what any of these things mean other than getting recognized specifically at graduation and attending a special brunch and all, but I'm caught in this whirlwind of excitement and some anxiety.
It does help ease my nerves a little that even if I don't do so well tomorrow and I don't get one of the 5 honor-board spots, I’ll still be my division's honor graduate. But if I do get a spot, our second most recommended recruit will get it. Unfortunately (in my humble opinion) that doesn't happen to be the guy I really think should get it (as in, I think he should've had more votes than me), but it's a decent-and-helpful enough recruit, and I'm glad for him. And all my shipmates, who are getting much better as a division, most of the time.
Now I need my sleep... honor board is in 8 and a half hours -- yikes! Nite!
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2004. 2226
The moral of the story is that I can be fully confident around my peers, and can certainly hold my own under pressure at certain times, but at other times (when I get nervous) I lock the snot up and am not good for anything regarding speaking confidently or having "military bearing." On top of that, I seem to be really sick again -- I've been nauseous the past 3 days, but I thought it was nerves about the honor board. However, (or, as my RDC's say, "However, comma,") I've been getting more and more nauseous as the night goes on, and feeling perhaps feverish or just like something is way off.
Eh. Here's to getting healthy when I get out of boot camp and can hopefully sleep more. And here's to still being my division's selected honor recruit, even if I sucked at the awards board.
SUNDAY, JULY 18, 2004. 0834 -- started chatting (and getting rid of trash and stuff from my letter-writing pile), now it's 0931
Holiday routine is shorter now, because about 2 weeks after I started boot camp, they shortened it to 6 weeks (plus processing) instead of the 8 (plus proc.) it is for my division. Granted, we have it shorter than many in the past, but honestly I can't imagine how they'll compact it even more and still turn out half-decent sailors. Just not gonna be good for them, trying to squeeze it all in.
The point, though, was that because those recruits need more training time on Sundays, we have less free time even though we’re at the point where we don't need as much training anymore anyway.
Today, there's a lot of excitement around these parts. Within the past 2 days, we were finally granted permission to use HAIR BARRETTES (no more than 2, and must "match" hair color) which is an amazing feeling. And today, we get to pluck our eyebrows for the first time since leaving home, since our photos are tomorrow! And lots of the girls are using perm/relaxant/etc. products on their hair, and we'll get to wear makeup tomorrow just during the pictures time, and we all feel like females again. It's incredible.
Yesterday, there was a pretty intense situation in the division involving a few of the females, and everyone called ME over to deal with it instead of an RDC. Because they've seen something in me that makes them think I can handle pretty much anything. That something can only be my relationship with God, whether they realize that or not just yet. Either way, it's honoring and yet stressful. Butt I diffused the situation, and then spent the next hour and a half AFTER TAPS explaining to the one that started it that just because she's at the same level as me in the chain of command, that doesn't mean that she is right in this situation or that HER "feeling threatened" is any more ok than her making the other female feel threatened. So, more stuff to deal with today when the RDC's get in. C'est la vie.
It's less than 3 weeks now 'till we graduate, and just a bit more 'till I actually leave. Yay!! I am so stinkin' excited about it. And so proud to think ahead to standing up as honor recruit at graduation, especially.
Time to shower, and then I've got lots more to do. But yes, it's actually good now with some difficult moments instead of the other way around.
Please write, everyone. Thanks immensely to those who have. People said letters would be my lifesavers here, and they really weren't kidding. If you know someone else at boot camp (or on deployment or for any other reason, far away from home), please write them, too. I was really bad about that before, but I'll not forget this in the future.
With love in our Lord, Jesus Christ
Seaman Recruit Tracey...
Comments: Post a Comment
Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th