2.1 An Ending and a New Beginning

As I already said, I was dating Sarah when I left for military training. That summer was when things changed. Military training changes you, and it was something I couldn’t really see until I got home. My parents definitely noticed. After military training I was much more independent. I was strong, motivated, and I felt invincible. Not too many people go through what I went through (especially women), and make it through. Being a woman in the military is an interesting thing because you are usually surrounded by guys, and I’ve found that you have two options. The first is to blend in with the guys and become one of them. The second option is to try to stand out and be a woman around them, but it just leads to sexism and people think less of you when you act in a feminine way. So I chose the first option. It came very naturally to me, really, and I didn’t even think about it.In case you’re wondering, when I was on basic training my platoon contained 7 girls and 31 guys. We were the minority, and we felt it.

Where was I going with this?

Oh right. So anyways, when I left for basic I was still with Sarah. I loved her. I had a picture of us on my desk, and it made me feel more at home when things got tough. But as the summer went on and I began to see the potential of what I can do, I realized how much the emotional stress of home was affecting me. I began to look for an escape…and that escape came in the form of a crush.

I ended up getting involved with this person, and although he didn’t treat me very well, I liked him a lot. It is much more likely that I liked the idea of being with him, but I really didn’t like the person he was very much.

So the question eventually came from my roommate: isn’t this cheating? Well, I was dating a girl but here involved with a guy… but yes. It was cheating.

That is one thing I never thought I would do. That isn’t the kind of person I am, nor who I wanted to be. So I did what I needed to do. I called Sarah and told her I couldn’t do this anymore. I still had a few weeks of training left, and it couldn’t wait until I got home.

That phone call went exactly as you would expect. Sarah cried. She cried a lot. And her crying started to bring back memories of when she would have breakdowns, and I got worried that she would hurt herself again. That was something I couldn’t take. We were on the phone for about an hour, and she begged me to stay with her. To at least give her another chance. She didn’t understand, and I couldn’t explain. I ended up agreeing to “see how it goes”, when I knew fully well that I could not go back to that. There were too many stresses involved. It just hurt too much.

I knew things with that person wouldn’t last, and as I expected, they didn’t. I graduated basic, and went home. But not before forming a strong friendship with a different guy, named Mark.

The explanation of what happened with Mark is a long one, so I will leave the story at that for now. But if you’re curious, stay tuned as I continue to document my past in what I hope is a somewhat interesting story.

When the burden seems to much to bear, remember: the end will justify the pain it took to get us there. (From the song “Let it All Out” by Relient K)

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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

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