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
Friday, December 17, 2004
I'm doing well, though, as far as I can gauge from anyone's conversations with me. Perhaps not the typical, more reserved little bottom-of-the-totem-pole-dweller many are used to in E-3 females, but learning quickly and able to do my job while handling my own. Not that anyone here would try to treat me worse because of my position. My command is really great, and most everyone is quite friendly and all.
It's still up in the air about if I'll have to switch upstairs to the pay department instead of my current, cozy little home in admin. But I'm hoping to stick around, and the good impression I've made on the CO and current XO (who is retiring soon, but I've already met both of his potential replacements) may help me get more of a choice. Either way, though, at least I'd still be here in Jacksonville, on shore.
I may be able to move off base soon. I put in a request for it yesterday, which hopefully will move its way up the chain of command quickly so that I can get word soon. I've got the money and the steady income to back it up, and I found a couple of apartments going for significantly less than what my housing allowance will be, which will leave the remainder of that for utilities, cell phone, and food expenses, while then my food allowance will be extra money for myself -- perhaps. It all depends how smoothly everything really works. Oh, and I'll have car insurance (through USAA though I would have stuck with Progressive if USAA weren't so very much cheaper for servicemembers) which isn't too much per months, and savings which will be fairly substantial. I'll do quite well, I think, financially. And that's a good feeling. Unusual for me, but very, very good. I'm sure it will make those of you who have known the rockiness of my normal financial ground happy to know it's been hoed and smoothed-over, with a nice little flower garden ready to come up in the spring.
Just imagine if I do go officer.. I'll be making roughly twice what I'm making now, with no significant reason to expect an increase in my expenses without similar increases in my allowances.
At any rate, as an enlisted person for the time being, I'm quite happy with it. Less need to be formal (though really I'm kind-of formal anyway, as far as professional interactions) and less folks under me to get in trouble for. It's like being yoeman at bootcamp, when I had to do push-ups or jumping jacks whenever someone else did something wrong. Here, I have no one under me, so as long as I do everything I'm supposed to do right, and quietly try to help those over me, there is no way for me to lose face, really. Of course, since I'm new at this whole game, I don't do everything right. But as I said, everyone here has been very understanding, and I'm learning quickly.
I'm very much looking forward to my New Year's trip down to see my mother, brother, niece, twin brother, and the significant others or friends that may be in tow. I've got plenty of gifts already ready to go, with a few more in the works, and only two weeks from now I'll already have been there and been spending plenty of time with them.
Goodness, one week 'till Christmas eve, and one more week left in the year. Really, that's pretty crazy. It has been one amazing year. In just under one and a half months, it'll be my birthday. A month following that will be a year from my enlistment date, and three months later will be one year in the Navy. I'll have made a lot of progress within that year, to be sure, and in the years to come, be it 5 total or a full career.
Apart from my Navy advancement and adjustment progress, I've had a lot of other progress issues on my mind.
I got this nice journal from one of the CD promotional campaigns I did nearly a couple of years ago, and I took that out of my storage space the other day so that I can start writing the stuff I won't put here, whether because it's too small or too complicated or not really what I want to put in the complete open about myself between this blog not being anonymous and knowing about certain readership. I haven't really broken it out too much just yet, but I will this weekend. I've been needing to for a very, very long time.
I am tired of getting to know guys in a completely platonic and just-for-the-moment kind of way (talking for a few hours, with the idea I'd never see or hear from him again) and then getting the questions about keeping in touch, sometimes even the persuasions if I initially decline. And so I give him my number, my email, whatever I deem appropriate, and he never calls or writes. Why did he ask, then? Had he never requested we keep in touch, I would have walked away having had a very nice evening or weekend or whatever of getting to know some new person and then leaving him at that spot in my life. No need to be curious years later as I am with longer-term friends about what he's up to or if he ever thinks about me. Just a few nice memories of conversations and shared moments. Half of loneliness is having no one to share the moments with, and sometimes strangers are better than friends for curing that. But when he asks for my number or to otherwise stay in touch, he's asking me to commit him to memory, to move him from the side of my brain that is just temporary encounters into the side of people who I know, who I interact with regularly. (And regularly can be a very varied term, of course .. sometimes meaning once-in-a-blue-moon while other times it means much more often.) And once he's settled in over on that side of my mind, I figure out that he's just another one of those guys who doesn't actually follow through on his request, but makes it from some unknown reason.
Seriously, did he ever intend to keep in touch, or was he just saying it because that's what he thought he should say? Perhaps I'll ask the next requestor that. I've been tempted to before, and I think I even have asked one or two guys. The whole thing is about keeping things in perspective. We talked for a few hours, maybe we had some good conversational chemistry. If we meet again randomly at some point in our lives, that would be great. But are you the guy I am going to marry or at least have a very deep and rich friendship with? Odds are highly against that, especially since I'm a person so in need of tangible people, HERE with me.
When Andrew and I were best friends, there was a time when I lived in CA and he lived in FL. About ten months of that, and then another two or three afterwards when he was still at school in Pensacola while I was back with my mother in South FL. During that time, our friendship grew significantly through the exchange of letters and care packages, with phone calls as often as either of us could afford -- perhaps twice a month. When I was in foster care for three months on the tail end of my CA life, he called me every Sunday just to talk. Our friendship grew, yes, despite the distance. But it had already been built on a very strong foundation of nearly a year of friendship. We had already become best friends in a very deep way. His expressions of our friendship when I left for CA were incredible, and came from someone that knew me much better than all but a small handful of others ever might have.
In contrast, when I meet a guy at a music festival and talk with him there throughout the weekend, my departure is not so sad, and his goodbyes not so bittersweet.
Why do I still heed their requests, then? Because I have indeed kept in touch with some such people, male and female alike, who I have become friends with during an evening or a weekend. And those have blossomed into very great friendships. After all, anyone you meet outside of school and work is likely to be someone you meet for one evening and may not see again. Once you're done with high school/college, you've got work, church or other weekly events, and random meetings left. In a working environment like mine where the people come and go so fast you barely have time to find out how they tick, it's a bit harder to make deeper connections at work. And I've made a few such at the church I've been going to here, but still rely on my other random meetings (the hangout on base, the friend-of-a-friend, etc) to provide more chances for friendship.
So I still give my number or my email if I think there's any reason I'd want to stay in touch. And then he doesn't call or write. And there is no way for me to answer the ever-present question of why.
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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