Friday, September 30, 2011

Wife vs. Army Wife?

I have read some stuff lately that has really bothered me. And since I have all this time on my hands, I've had time to think about it. I struggle with the label "army girlfriend" or "army wife" on a personal level anyway. But when these young army wives and girlfriends use the term to define themselves, it really makes me wonder about them as individual people. I know many people just use the term as what it simply means, you are married to an army soldier. It doesn't define you. Its not a special club. Its not a cookie cutter mold of who you're supposed to be. And when said to another "army wife" it says it all.
My problem with the term is not only the generalizations that can be made, but the fact that many girls want to use it as a special buzz word, like a secret hand shake for some club. I read something the other day... "I am many things... But most importantly, I am the Girlfriend of a United States Soldier." Well, let me tell you something my friend, I am many things, but "army girlfriend"  isn't at the top of my list.

I'm an individual.
I'm a strong independent women.
I'm a daughter.
I'm a sister.
I'm a niece.
I'm a friend.

I'm a cousin.
I'm an employee.
I'm a co-worker
I'm a friend.

The "I'm an army wife/girlfriend" hat doesn't come on until all of those other commitments are taken care of. I love my boyfriend. It honestly doesn't matter to me if he's a soldier or a teacher or a ph.d physicist. I would love him no matter what.  I'm incredibly proud of the path he's chosen, but his life doesn't define mine. His job may direct our lives, but it doesn't make me who I am. Honestly, his job doesn't even make him who he is. It might dictate his haircut, but not the kind of person he is inside.
I worry about these girls that fight so hard to be "army wives." So what happens when being an "army girlfriend" doesn't work out? What happens when you get a divorce? I've seen far too many people still saying they are a "former army wife." I honestly just don't get it. Is it the drama? Is it the romance that most think our lives consist of? And of course I've seen far to many young girls chase those ACU's. That confuses me the most. So you're dating him just because he's a soldier? Just because he wears a uniform? Let me tell you, I know LOTS of soldiers. And many of them are just scumbags and losers!! Just because he is sporting the uniform and the haircut doesn't make him a stand-up guy. But that's a whole different blog. My point is, be with the guy because you love him and he loves you, not because you want to get on Twitter and label yourself as an Army wife or girlfriend.
Yes, when in conversation, the term speaks volumes. I can tell multiple people i'm an army girlfriend, but they still know nothing about ME. And so I struggle with labeling myself that. Even struggled naming my blog that. But I have two blogs. Did you know that? I have another blog just for ME and my non-army girlfriend life. Because I need somewhere to forget about all the stupid Army jargon that's been thrown at me for the last year. I need a place where I can be a daughter and a sister and a dog lover without the weird overtones and connotations of being labeled an Army girlfriend.

I really don't mean to offend anyone. It's just an observation that I've made over the last few months. I want these young women to take value in their lives outside of their mans career and haircut...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Ready For Fall!

I'm so excited to finally be in semi-cold weather! October is around the corner! Which means Austin and I's one year, Halloween the Texas State Fair!! I can't even begin to express my excitement. I love wearing winter clothes and buying long sleeve shirts, boots, scarfs and etc. I can't believe it's gonna be one year since i started dating Austin. This has by far, been the longest year of my life, but surprisingly it went by super fast. I hope the next year and a half will be the same way. I guess you could say i learned a lot during this past year. Especially with the Army. I never thought i'd know as much as i do now. It makes me really happy to know that i have actually stood by Austin this long. Not that i had doubts about it, i just feel it's a huge accomplishment. I never knew i would be where i am today with him. I never thought we'd be as close as we are. I've learned so much about him this past year. So much.

I remember thinking when he first asked me to be his girlfriend, how hard it would be. I was completely clueless. I had no idea what i was getting myself into. When he asked me out, i knew he was just waiting to get rejected. Considering what he was asking me it was only natural for him to feel this way. "Will you be my girlfriend? Even though i won't be home for 2 more years, you will barely see me, night's alone will suck, Skype will be our best friend, etc." I knew all of this, but it was a risk i was willing to take. I had never done this long distance thing before so i had no reason to say i couldn't do it. I went into this relationship not knowing what the outcome would be. There was two outcomes. We could be fine and make it, or be miserable and break up.

I learned so much about him this past year it amazes me. I had never dated a military guy before but i had heard a lot about them...i had no reason to think he was any different. But after two months passed, three months, six months, i knew he didn't want me like that. He actually cared about me. And during the time we weren't together i learned a lot about him, because we had no other choice but to So i learned to listen to him very well. I don't think i have ever learned so much about a person this early in a relationship. And now that i have, i can't imagine how i ever got by without him. Our timing was perfect i must say, considering i had just left an ex i had wasted the past 3 years of my life with. Just when i thought there was not one guy out there that was decent...this amazing, adorable, big hunk of a man came into my life and swept me off my feet just like that.

I got Austin an anniversary gift! I also had planned on going up to Washington for our one year. That's usually all i save my money for these days...airline tickets. He's worth it though. I don't really know what we'll do. I've never actually "celebrated" one before. I've acknowledged some...but never did anything for it. So it's kind of exciting for me. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Bucket List

I realize almost all of these are difficult to achieve and will never happen...but a girl can dream, right?

1. Live my life with true meaning
2. Travel to Europe
3. Find my soul mate
4. Visit the famous Wall Street
5. Have my dream home
6. Reach out to millions around the world and help them to grow and achieve their highest potential.
7. Ride a camel
8. Walk across a desert
9. Explore Antartica
10. Go stargazing
11. Witness a meteor shower
12. See the Northern Lights
13. Enable the people around me to find true love
14. Swim with dolphins
15. Experience the cherry blossoms in Japan
16. Explore Louvre in Paris
17. Explore a castle
18. Sleep in a hammock
19. Sail out in the sea for a week
20. Have a dinner in a location that overlooks the entire city
21. Fly around a city in a helicopter
22. Get a pebble to bounce off the surface of the water 4 times
23. Build a sand castle
24. Eat something weird and exotic
25. Go sky diving
26. Go on a hot air balloon ride
27. Have a functioning family of my own
28. Have a fairy tale wedding
29. Learn how to change my own oil
30. Open a dance studio, where tuition is slightly cheaper than the average studio
31. Visit all 50 states
32. Go to a super bowl game
33. Adopt
34. Get a tattoo
35. Change my last name
36. Learn to play decently at Texas Hold’em
37. Be able to identify more constellations
38. Take a US road trip from coast to coast
39. Grow a decent backyard garden by myself that survives
40. Snowboard
41. Run a marathon
42. Become a platinum frequent flyer
43. Stick to a 30 day yoga challenge
44. Go trekking in Nepal
45. Attend a broadway play
46. Attend a UT/OU football game
47. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
48. 3 mile walk for Breast Cancer
49. Have children who are successful.
50. Own some land
51. Buy a four wheeler
52. See the broadway show “Love” in NY
53. Visit Ellis Island
54. Read all of the Twilight novels
55. Rescue an animal from a shelter
56. Become more positive
57. Receive unexpected rainbow colored flowers
58. Sleep on a beach
59. Visit a vinyard
60. Watch the sun set off the Gulf of Mexico
61. Go to the very top of the Empire State Building
62. Grow my hair long
63. Visit a Coyote Ugly
64. Meet someone extremely famous
65. Meet someone famous, unexpectedly
66. Ask Taylor Swift who her songs are about
67. Volunteer at an animal shelter
68. Experience Christmas in New York
69. Visit Disney World with my love
70. Change someones life
71. Grow old with someone i love
72. Be a good parent
73. Go to a real fashion show
74. Cliff jump
75. Take my mom on the vacation of her dreams
76. Celebrate my 100th birthday
77. Visit all 50 US States
78. Help end animal cruelty
79. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome
80. Find a cure for cancer
81. Be an Aunt
82. Have a paint fight
83. Dye my hair a crazy color without warning anyone
84. Attend the Olympics
85. Own a polaroid camera
86. Live near the beach
87. Watch all of the Harry Potter movies in one day
88. Move to a different country
89. Have a job that travels
90. Ride a subway in New York
91. Play messy paint twister
92. Book a ticket and just leave
93. Go zorbing
94. Learn a new language
95. Swim in an infinity pool
96. Go to the airport and buy a plane ticket for a random flight
97. Be in two places at once
98. Visit all seven continents 
99. Be the maid of honor in a wedding (12-31-12)
100. Learn how to sew
101. Own a nice camera (11-16-11)
102. Live to meet my grandchildren 
103. Wake up in Vegas
104. Ride first class
105. Own a husky
106. Drive an expensive car
107. Move in with the one i love
108. Design my own dream house
109. Have someone win me a giant stuffed animal
110. Marry my best friend
111. Get kissed under a waterfall
112. Visit Hawaii with the one i love
113. Have my dream body
114. Celebrate my 100th birthday
115. Go on a safari
116. Become a millionaire 
117. See a shooting star
118. Visit Hollywood
119. Build a tree house
120. Go on a road trip
121. Eat pizza in Italy
122. Win the lottery
123. Have a healthy pregnancy 
124. Send a message in a bottle
125. Shop rodeo drive
126. Watch a meteor shower
127. Visit Tokyo, Japan
128. Watch the ball drop in Times Square
129. Learn how to surf.
130. Buy a house
131. Try every flavor of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
132. Go to Greece
133. Slow dance in the rain
134. Buy flowers for someone for no reason at all
135. Buy a homeless person a full meal
136. See the Grand Canyon
137. Be married to the same person for over 50 years
138. Go zip-lining
139. Walk on the great wall of China
140. Complete a scrap book
141. Read every novel written by Nicholas Sparks
142. Kiss at the top of a ferris wheel
143. Visit the mall of America
144. Kiss someone on midnight on New Years (12-31-10)
145. Kiss under the northern lights
146. Let my hair get really long
147. Bungee jump
148. Bake in the middle of the night with someone i love
149. Put a piece of gum on the gum wall in Seattle
150. Stay at a bed and breakfast
151. Ride in a private jet
152. Go to Fiji
153. Watch the sunset at the beach
154. Find a four leaf clover
155. Say "i do."

I will periodically add more to this list. I have so many things i would like to do. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Be a friend.

Long distance relationships are tough, so we try to find things that will help make life a bit easier as we journey through the separation. We understand that we chose to pursue a military partnership, but support from our family and friends is much appreciated. Not to mention it will probably result in helping us to stay in a much better mood.

What can our civilians friends do to support us? First off, I would suggest in not badmouthing the missions and jobs of our boyfriends/husbands. We know that everyone might not agree with everything that the military does, but this is their duty and they are working hard to accomplish a job. Staying positive is a key to our sanity so your help in this manner would be great! Also, please don't suggest that we are "wasting our time" waiting for them and that we should find a man here. That's not what we want to hear and we don't want a guy here...we want our boyfriend/husband!

What we do need is for family and friends to console and comfort us when we are down. Let us whine a bit to get it all off our chest, then take us out for a good time to get our minds off of it! This does not include doing things with all couples, obviously excluding us. I don't want to be around 5 other couples all night while I am still PMSing about not seeing my husband/boyfriend in months. Girl time, just pampering ourselves, playing games, shopping, eating out, watching movies, etc. is awesome! Oh yes, all the stupid little fights that you want to complain to us about, DON'T! We would love to have our men get on our nerves...that would mean that they were here with us.

As far as things that we can do to help our family and friends understand what we are going I guess just trying to teach them more about the Military and what our men do will help them to have a better understanding of what we go through. I know some parents, siblings, and friends might have a tendency to cut down boyfriends if they feel that they are not doing their duty as a boyfriend. They will have to learn that soldiers will be often gone physically, and at times not even able to communicate. Please don't hold this against them, of course, unless there is a very good reason.

Last thing...if our soldiers call or get the chance to visit, PLEASE don't get mad if we drop everything to talk to them or be with them! It is a given that we WILL spend as much time as we can either talking or being with them physically. We miss em! 

That's all i have come up with so far...although i'm sure more will come to mind once i turn the computer off.