Maybe I’m used to this base; I’ll be here about three weeks before heading back. But I have the routine down and I’ve found a ton of fun things to do (I’ve taken up the old bicycle in the cardio room. Doing 12 miles a day while playing a game on my iPad! NERD UP!)
But there is this weight that’s lifted off me, this crushing force on my chest because I’m not trapped here anymore. I’m making solid plans (see previous posts)
I think about getting on the plane from Bagram to Dubai, and the one from Dubai to Melbourne Australia. I think about what it will be like when that plane takes off and I fly away and all the things I’ll say goodbye to.
In blog fashion, here’s a list of those goodbyes:
Unsolicited Advice: I’m not taking it anymore. If I tell you an idea, and you start off the reply with “You should. . .” I’m slowly tuning you out. You might get past the shield by saying, “I might have some ideas. Care to hear them?” But I’ve been addicted to following the whims of people’s counsel, regardless of its motives or expertise. I grew up thinking that everyone’s opinion was better than mine and that I could not function without asking someone what they thought.
No More Permission: I’m not asking anyone’s permission to start a business or drive to South Carolina. I’m not asking for permission to shack up in Iowa for a month while I learn how to be handy. I’m not asking. I don’t need your permission and you don’t need mine.
Video Games: This one is rough and I’ll do my best on this one. But I’m no longer playing video games unless an actual human being is sitting next to me playing. I just don’t enjoy them anymore. Maybe they offer a pseudo community, a faux story—and I want to live a real one. I know that’s hard to believe.
Holding Back: My friend Lee said, when this journey had just begun, that when it was over, when the plane broke the clouds, I would “suffer no fools.” and he’s right. I’m no one’s doormat. I’m no one’s patsy. But I’m also not holding back telling people that I love them, and how I feel. I’m not holding back encouragement when I think of it.
“Proving” my manhood: Now that I’ve done a year here, I can drink appletinis all I want. Oh, I’m watching Steel Magnolias? I’ve flown in a C_130 and you can deal with it. My man-card is made of steel. Go ahead, try and rip it up.
What can you give up: It’s so much harder to start something than give something up. Maybe it’s small (like I’m giving up drinking regular soda. I’ve been on a binge this week. No idea why.) but what can you just release and let go of?
Tell me what you are giving up this week.