Sunday, June 8, 2014

Openning Up

While getting ready for bed today, I came to realize two things. First, I haven't posted in months; and second, I should have written about today's topic when I first started this blog. I don't necessarily want to call this post a rant (that's much too harsh of a word) so instead I'm simply saying its my opinions for everyone to see.

When it first was publically announced that my fiancé and I were getting married, we were met with two reactions. The first was your typical: "Congratulations! So happy for you two!" but the second, and only slightly less reoccurring reaction was somewhere along the lines of: "You're pretty young to be getting married." While I realize that the standards of most American people today typically suggest marriage in the early to mid-twenties, I was still surprised to get that second reaction so often.

So yes, to most, my fiancé and I are a bit young to be getting married. But, I'd like to shed some light on this situation. When you're in a long and serious relationship with someone who takes the military as their career, especially those in the front lines, you tend to value your time with them a whole lot more. The infantry's job is to be on the front lines of the action, and usually their jobs tend to have the highest mortality rate. I hate to say it, but its true. My fiancé's job is extremely dangerous and when he gets deployed, there will not be a day that I do not worry about his safety.

For many of the men in the military who fight on or close to the front lines, their age of marriage tends to be quite a bit younger than everyone else's'. For instance, where you may consider getting married at 24 or 25, a soldier or marine who is neck deep in the action would probably chose to get married at 19 or 20 instead. When your job could cost you your life, your love for someone tends to be very deep. Speaking from experience, my fiancé and I value every chance we get to see one another. After all, we only see one another every six months.

Now, here is where my opinions are going to get a little heavier. I hate having people react negatively to my upcoming nuptials. While I realize that they're allowed to have their own opinions, I still don't enjoy hearing it. The marriage of young military personnel to their significant others is a choice they more than earned to make. I understand if some do not understand because they're not close to or in the situation, but for those who are, its extremely difficult. After all, they give up everything for the country, they damn well deserve to be with the one person in the world who makes them happy.

Now, let me set something straight. Yes, you have the right to say I'm wrong. I'm fully aware that everyone has the right to freedom of speech. But guess what? Take a second to think about who it is that makes that right to freedom possible for you. That's right. It's those same soldiers who are making adult choices at 19. If they're old enough to fight and die for their country and the freedom that it treasures so heavily, then they're old enough to get married at whatever age they choose.

I will admit that before I met my fiancé, I too thought it was crazy to get married before the age of 21. But, being with a man in the military has taught me a lot and in many ways, has nearly forced me to grow up more quickly. I actually didn't mind this since I've  always a sort of old soul. But, this lifestyle isn't for everyone. Admittedly, I do not think that everyone could handle the amount of commitment, effort, time and worry that a military spouse has to endure.

I once read somewhere online that military girlfriends are just wives in the waiting; after all, no one would go through this kind of distance and struggle if they weren't in it for the long haul. Honestly, I totally agree with that. It's been hard to go from seeing my fiancé everyday to only once every six months for a couple of weeks at most, but we make it work because in the end, we won't have to be apart nearly as much one day.

So again, I realize that some of you may think that what I'm saying here is stupid and you may think I'm just a young girl about to make the biggest mistake of her life. And you know what? That's okay. Go ahead and have your opinions. Hell, voice them if you wish. But, remember that the soldier who I'm marrying is one of the thousands that fights for that freedom of speech that you simply throw around.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Missing Your Voice

Sometimes, It's Not Everyday

There are times in your long distance relationships when talking is going to get hard to do. You'll get busy, he'll have'll have work, etc. Those days can be some of the most difficult to deal with. Eventually, one of you will become less busy than the other and begin missing the other a lot. You'll begin to feel the absence of being able to talk to them all the time and it'll really be hard for you. But, the person who is busier will have it even harder.

Right now, my fiancé and I are trading between those roles. I just went back to school (college) and I also have work about four times a week. He often has work for five days a week and works until very late. By the time he gets off work, I'm either out running errands or getting ready for my shift at work. Being five hours apart in time distance also doesn't help the situation. Lately, the person who has been running around more is me and I can see that he's beginning to miss me.

I HATE the fact that I have to tell him that I can't talk at the moment and knowing that he usually falls asleep by the time that I'm able to talk at. Am I blaming him or anyone else? No. I wish that we both weren't so busy and that our schedules weren't so conflicting. I want to be able to talk with him and tell him about my day and the things happening. What else doesn't help? Both of us are sick at the moment. I may or may not (most likely do) have a sinus infection and he's got a seriously bad cold.

Combine our busy schedules and the fact that both of us are sick? You've got a recipe for hurt feelings and worsening feelings in our bodies. My advice for anyone going through this kind of situation is to take a little time if you have it to sit down, relax and talk to your partner. It's going to help so many things trust me on that. It'll make you feel relaxed and you two won't be as likely to have gaps between you two. Missing each others' days is bad enough, but not being able to talk about it with one anther makes it worse.

Don't let yourselves grow apart because of distance and lack of time. MAKE TIME. If you love someone enough, you'll do it and you'll be there for them and they'll be there for you. Right now, neither my fiancé or I have much time but I try every chance I can get to talk to him, even if it's only a few minutes. Little or short time is better than no time at all. It may be hard to only talk for a few minutes and then say goodbye, but trust me it is better than not talking at all.

Make time for your soldier, because there may be a day when they're not going to be there for you to give your time to. I know it's a horrible idea and a hurtful one at that, but it's realistic. You don't want to make regrets when it comes to your soldier, trust me on that. It's easier to miss them now and get a chance to talk to them while you can than to miss them when they're not going to be there at all.

Personally, it's my greatest fear to lose my fiancé during a deployment. Losing my fiancé is my greatest fear and if you're in love with a soldier, you'll know that fear as well. The bottom line? Make as much time with for your soldier and speaking with them anytime you can. It might be a bit difficult sometimes, but trust me, it's worth it. It's worth every second.

- Angel

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shark Week

Mother Nature Sucks

Alright girls, this one is for you. For most of us over the age of 11 or so, the crimson tide comes along every once a month. It sucks for everyone, just in different ways for each of us. Speaking personally, mine sucks a lot. The symptoms change every time, and so do my moods. Mood swings, for me, tend to be pretty mild. But this time? No such luck. They reared their ugly heads with a force. Usually, these posts are philosophical and deep. But today, we're getting into more normal issues for every woman.

I am yet to meet one woman who actually enjoys getting their periods. Everyone I've spoken to has said nearly the same things over and over again. "This hurts, how can I bleed this much, everyone sucks, men suck, I hate being a woman, and (my personal favorite) why couldn't I have been born a boy?" My complaints usually are the third and last. But hey, it's different for everyone.This month, as I mentioned before, my mood swings went crazy.

Mood swings can be relatively manageable....IF you're alone with absolutely no other living beings around you. However, my fiancé was in the firing range this time and let's just say it didn't end very well. Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough at the time to realize that I was having a mood swing and continued to talk with him and every little thing got to me. It wasn't even his fault yet, somehow, at that time everything was. Continuing to put yourselves in that situation is going to lead nowhere but a fight (as my fiancé and I discovered last night).

SERIOUSLY girls, when you start feeling like everything is bugging you and nothing is going right? STOP TALKING TO EVERYONE AND JUST BE ALONE FOR A BIT. That little tip right there will do you wonders if you follow it. It's going to save you a lot of annoyance, fights and hurt feelings of whoever you're speaking to. I woke up this morning feeling like the worst person in the world because of how I acted last night. I blew up for no reason, at absolutely everything my fiancé said on the phone and he did nothing wrong. Girls, save yourself and your soldier's feelings and just GET OFF THE PHONE.

And guys, if you're even reading this, if a girl seems extremely upset and annoyed and she starts getting really upset for no reason? She's probably having a mood swing. Either nicely suggest you two talk later, or let her get off the phone with you if she says she has to go. Don't question anything and don't get upset; that will only make things worse. You may not have done anything wrong and most likely, its not even you. But just understand that while you're being fired at, your girl doesn't mean to upset you or be a raging rhymes with witch.

Bottom line everyone? Periods suck A LOT. Girls, we all know this and chances are, unless you're just starting out or on REALLY strong birth control, this is a really normal thing for you. And guys? If you're in a serious relationship with a woman, just learn to get used to this because until she's pregnant or in menopause (which are both worse), this is going to happen quite a bit. But, once it's done, you'll both have three weeks of semi-normality.

Anytime this happens in the future, for both parties in the relationship, calm down and take a deep breath and just keep reminding yourself why you're with the person in the first place. You love one another and the other person is an amazing person despite the monthly hormone monster that may peak out of that sweet person you're used to seeing. Hang in there girls and guys, at least you're not suddenly expecting another child in your lives (if you weren't planning on a kid yet that is).

Keep your heads up girls and try to refrain from blowing up at your soldiers who aren't there to make you feel better like they'd like to be.

- Angel 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Nitty Gritty

It's Not Always Perfect

Let's face it; every serious relationship has moments of anger and fighting. When you're constantly around someone or speaking to them, things can go from fine and dandy to offensive in seconds. Unfortunately, arguments are a part of life and they're going to happen. Even worse, is that this can also happen in long distance relationships as well. You're not always going to see eye to eye with the other person, and that's okay. It's what you do with that disagreement that matters.

When you're separated from the person you love by thousands of miles, fighting can seem to be a huge waste of time. In most cases, this is true. However, most people forget that in arguments, sometimes things are said that really need to come out in the open. Albeit, its not the best medium but regardless, they still become known. Many times, the reason why my fiancé and I would fight was because I'd bottle something up and finally explode at the smallest thing later. This made me seem completely insane and often resulted in ugly arguments that could last for hours.

Spending that kind of time fighting when you've got a 5 - 6 hour time difference between the two of you as well as thousands of miles is really just not a smart idea. You've already got the miles keeping you apart; why let an argument help tear it even further? Now, ladies I understand that sometimes (especially when it's that time of the month) we get a little bit more sensitive to things. While this is an actual reason, it is not a valid excuse. Instead of just getting angry without warning, let your man know that mother nature has called or is calling. If you're in a serious relationship, you should have no problem telling them this. Most guys that I know will be more understanding about your mood changes or sensitivity if they know why it's happening.

Now, sometimes the reason you have for fighting is something entirely different. Speaking from experience, my fiancé and I used to fight a lot over small things for nearly no reason. In reality, it all revolved around the fact that we really missed one another and would get upset about the distance and wound up taking it out on one another because we were simply already there. DO NOT let this happen too many times, especially when you and your soldier have a lot of distance between one another. It solves nothing, and will simply make the two of you unhappy. It's okay to miss each other, but fighting never helps anything.

Speaking personally, I absolutely cannot stand fighting with my fiancé. I'd much rather be telling him about my day, hearing about his or even skyping and seeing each others' faces as we talk about everything and nothing at all. Being comfortable enough to sit with someone and being able to casually float from one topic to another is actually an incredible feeling. It shows a sense of comfort with a person and often times is just incredibly calming.

As my fiancé put it: (and totally took my breath away with this) "Talking to you is like eating and breathing...I need it and cannot live without it." That feeling of just wanting to hear the other person's voice, I believe, is one of the ways to know if you're in love with a person. Their voice never gets old and no matter how many times you've heard it, you could still sit and listen to them talk forever. But, fighting with someone often ruins the chances you can get to enjoy that capability.

It really is a beautiful thing to become so close to someone else that you can share your inner most thoughts and be comfortable with it. However, that level of comfort can sometimes bring tension when you're constantly around the person. Instead of focusing on the negatives of the day, like how you miss each other horribly, or the small things that the other has done that upset you, focus on the good things. I'm not saying to ignore something that they did if it hurt you or upset you. I'm saying to discuss it and or say so nicely so that they understand that what they did or said was not appreciated and then move on so that the two of you can enjoy each others' company.

As long as you're in a serious relationship, there are going to be ups and downs. It doesn't matter that you have those ups and downs so long as you know what to do with them and handle them properly. Being in a long distance relationship isn't easy, but it doesn't change the love that you have for a person so long as you do not let it.

- Angel.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Take Care of the Things that Matter

Better Yourself for the Both of You

Nothing really prepares you for finding out that your plans to see your soldier may not come through. Finding that out is like having a hold punched through your chest. There's no way to prepare for that. You can't just ignore it and you definitely cannot "get over it." Spending six months apart can be nothing compared to deployment but let's face it, any time apart from the one you love can be torture.

While skyping with my fiancé today, I discovered that my plans to visit during the summer may not be happening. Hearing that his leave doesn't coincide with my summer break was terrible. When you're trying to plan a wedding with someone whose life is preplanned, things can get a little...well, difficult.  In the midst of considering wedding plans, I also am trying to figure out when to fly up to him if at all.

Being in love with someone intensifies nearly all of the feeling that you have toward a person. My mother once told me that my capacity to love matches my capacity to hurt. My fiancé is my whole world and loving him is like being a planet. I'm the earth and he is my sun. But, this love also means that I hurt that much deeper. Being without him is like the earth losing it's moon. I can't function and I'm lost in the dark without him.

These worlds may sound sappy to nearly everyone, but I couldn't find a more perfect way to explain how this feels. Loving someone like this, well it's different for everyone. No one can accurately say what love feels like for another person. The thing is, I had to learn how to love like that. Before meeting my now fiancé, I had my heart broken by another person. It shattered my idea of love and men for a long time. I had to relearn how to trust people and give myself up to someone else.

So, you can imagine after finally growing that trust again in someone so heavily, how it feels to have to let them go. My fiancé was a constant in my life for the first year and a half we were together as simply boyfriend and girlfriend. Then, suddenly, one day he was just gone.  Adjusting to life without your soldier can be one of the most difficult things that anyone can plan to do. For me, learning to live without him was a rollercoaster.

There were good days, there were bad days and then there were worse days. The good days meant that I was able to ignore the empty space that he'd left. The bad days were those when I couldn't ignore it and missing him took over my entire thought. Then, the worse days were those when I'd actually become emotional over everything. The sad songs came on and the tears came down. These worse days were common at first, but gradually they became less frequent. Missing him didn't become any less common, it just got easier.

The bottom line? Missing your military man is always going to happen when he's gone. But, it's what you do with that time apart is the most important. Don't spend all of your days being upset and listening to sad music or trying to imagine what things would be like if he was there. Spending your days focusing on the absence is just going to make it worse and you'll never get used to him being gone. As horrible as that sounds, becoming used to the absence has to happen. Go out with your friends, get a job or work hard while you're doing your job, get a hobby, work out or throw yourself into school if you're attending. By doing so, you're able to better yourself while he does the same.

He may feel like your entire world, and maybe he is. But don't let your life fall apart without him. Take care of yourself because if he really loves you, that's what he'll want. No man who loves his woman wants her to spend all of her days unhappy because of him. Remember, if he loves you, he'll want you to take care of yourself since he can't be there to do that.


Monday, January 6, 2014

How This All Started

Midnight Ponderings

If you consider it, no romance is can really be called normal. After becoming engaged a mere week ago, you can imagine how many times I've heard the phrase "congratulations!" or, "I'm so happy for you!" recently. I'll be honest, after hearing it from my parents and best friend, I began to get used to it and now it's almost tuned out when the subject falls onto the upcoming nuptials. However, one comment did stick out to me that popped up recently.

It is currently winter break for all college students (including me) and I ran into an old classmate of mine while at work. She too, just like everyone else, had seen the engagement posted on Facebook and congratulated me on it. But, it wasn't the usual asking to see the ring and saying that she's happy for me that stuck out. Right before she left, the phrase "You two are the ideal couple," slipped out from her. It was a nice enough comment at the time that I really never considered again until now.
As many of us have heard before, there's no such thing as normal. However, in my opinion, ideal isn't realistic either. Ideality, just like normality, is all a matter of perception. As beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so is ideality. Are my fiancé and I the perfect couple? No. Do we always see eye to eye? Rarely. However, we do love one another more than anything else in the world and neither of us could imagine our lives without the other. I suppose that is what ideal love is really. Knowing you can have anyone else in the world and be anywhere else in the world yet you'd still rather be with them and love them no matter what the circumstance.

But, when you're 5000+ miles apart? That love becomes different in so many ways. For me, it made me realize just how much he meant to me. I realized that there was nothing I wouldn't do to be with him and get to hold him again. Hearing your significant other in pain, sick or upset and not being able to do anything but listen and try your best to be encouraging is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can have. Knowing you can't be there in person to do what a significant other is supposed to do is a challenge. But, that distance can also be a good thing for a relationship.

I know, I sound insane; but its true. When there's distance between you and someone you love, it can make you realize just how much you love them. Simple things that you used to take for granted like their laugh, their smile or even the way they look at you sometimes become so incredibly special. Sometimes, having the time to miss someone can truly build up relationship. Am I saying that everyone should be in long distance relationships? No. They're not for everyone and they're extremely challenging. But it all becomes worth the wait when you're in their arms again (after 6+ months apart).

So is any relationship perfect or idealistic? Not to everyone. But it doesn't matter because as long as you're happy and know that your relationship and significant other are perfect to you and make you happy, that's all that matters.

- Angel