Forty minutes ago, we took off from the nation’s capital heading to Kuwait City. By the time this is actually posted, I will be far from Kuwait and onto the next chapter of my life and career and I can honestly say I am more than excited to begin that moment. But as we fly over my home town and I am being jostled about by the turbulence, while listening to my Musicals playlist, I cannot help but feel that sense of emptiness. Do you know what I am talking about? The gut wrenching, loneliness and emptiness that only comes when you are faced with leaving everything you know behind for something new. Something bigger and better than yourself, but nevertheless, intimidating and exciting.
As I said my last few goodbyes before my phone service was suspended, the last call I made was to my Mom. The person who has been there for everything for me, unwaveringly. Saying goodbye is never easy. Even when you do it often, it doesn’t get easier; that whole practice makes perfect thing is a lie when it comes to saying goodbye to those you love or once loved. As we were boarding the plane, one of my buddies asked me the very question I have debated since day one of joining the Navy, over three years ago. Is this something I want to do for a career or serve my time and get out? In that moment, I knew we were both experiencing that emptiness. It’s almost nice to have someone to go through it with, but of course, it’s different for everyone. We had both just spent the past day or two saying goodbye to those we care about, not knowing when or where we will speak with them next.
I wouldn’t say I am anti-social. I am far from it. But I have always considered myself to be rather closed off to all but a small group of people. The funny thing is, that when you live in multiple places, get involved with different organizations, and make connections with small groups of people in all of those places, your small network grows quite significantly. So my handful of people I care about and feel the need to communicate with and say goodbye to is actually way larger than I thought I’d ever be comfortable with. But saying goodbye to all of them was rather depressing. And thinking about not communicating with them for long periods of time is scary.
At the same time, I think time is going to fly. And I cannot wait to experience all that is in store for my deployment. It’s going to be difficult, but I am stoked. And that’s what I need to keep in mind when I do get that emptiness feeling creep up. At any rate, just my ramblings for the next adventure ahead. If nothing else, I have some awesome diving and hiking and friends waiting for me when I get back.