We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What they don't tell you

I am so deeply proud of my military man.

When we decided to be "boyfriend/girlfriend", I knew it would mean staying together through his eight-month deployment. We made the most of the time we had together here, and crammed fun activities into every moment until he left. I had no idea what dating someone who deployed would be like, but I got my first taste on the drive home from the airport. I cried the entire way back to my house to crawl into bed, all the while trying to get it through my head that this was not forever. The emotional side of me always wins.

After my tears dried up, I took action and researched, mostly because I'm a giant nerd and partly because I refuse to be a Mopey-McGoo for eight months. I read a bunch of articles from military wives and girlfriends, pieces about what to send in care packages, and how to generally cope with a deployment. What I learned was that the process goes something like this:
1) Take up a hobby. Done, I am a workaholic and obsessed with crafts.
2) Start a daily schedule, and stick with it. I'm terrible at this, because I'm super ADD. This is still not getting done.
3) Find others to hang out with and provide support. I have the most amazing, supportive family and friends, who never tell me I'm annoying them with all my "miss my boyfriend" talk. Done.
4) Be overwhelmingly positive when talking to your partner, they are under a ton of stress. Not great at this one, but I'm trying to be better.
5) Send care packages, write letters, Skype. Done and Done. The best part of my day is when we get to text or video chat. And I love sending packages! The post office ladies have been incredibly kind and patient with my ignorance about shipping overseas.

These are all helpful bits of knowledge, and I am so thankful for the Googles. I couldn't help but wonder if the articles purposely leave this out; but no one talks about the loneliness and worry and guilt that is the daily life of the SO. I am in no way complaining about my relationship; I am counting down till he gets back home, and I think we're doing an awesome job making the best out of this deployment. But all the articles in the world could not have prepared me for the emotions that I've experienced over the past few months. Having the strictest schedule every day wouldn't make me worry any less; having friends and family doesn't make me less lonely at night, when I just want to know that he's home and safe. And then there's the guilt... I have a wonderful life; I get to do whatever I want, eat whatever I want, go anywhere at anytime; and he is stuck. I tell him everything, but there's always that guilt in the back of my mind, like I'm rubbing it in. In reality, I'm making mental lists of all the things we get to do together next year.

In conclusion, I would give this advice to anyone facing a long deployment, especially for a first-timer like me:
1) You WILL get lonely. Don't stray. If you find yourself doing something that you wouldn't do with your SO around, stop.
2) You might cry some days more than others, or not at all. Don't let your emotions interrupt your life here.
3) Send care packages often. They're so fun to put together, and only cost about $12 to ship to an APO.
4) Keep busy. Men can be wonderfully time-sucking, and a deployment provides a perfect opportunity to be a little selfish and do something only for yourself.
5) Tell your SO everything. Communication is the only thing you have to keep your bond strong over the months and miles.

Thank you to all who serve our great country, and to their families who also must sacrifice.

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