I realized today that, while I’m wicked excited KFOR 9 (they’re awesome too, by the way) is here, I’m also a little sad that this deployment is ending and I’m also stressed and exhausted.
I know I’ve touched on this before, about the bittersweetness of the end of this deployment, but the hardest part has been articulating the exact feelings and thoughts that make it so bittersweet. So today, in between wanting to bang my head against my desk just so I could get a nap in, it dawned on me that I’ve got two conflicting emotions waging war against each other inside me.
The first is sadness. Why am I sad when I’m leaving in 20-something days? Well, my first reason is because I’m Terra and therefore ridiculous and the second is that this place has been home for almost a year, I have great friends here and whether or not I like to admit it, there’s a part of me that’s resistant to change. Silly, yes, but still something I’m dealing with. I think it goes beyond that as well though. I know I’ll never come back here, and that’s a little sad. Plus, as cheesy and clique as this might sound, I’ve discovered a lot about myself during this deployment, made a lot of changes to my life, and finally realized that if I ever want to be happy, I’ve got to master the fine art of being honest with myself. So, when you factor all that in, is it really any wonder that leaving creates a little bit of sadness?
The second conflicting emotion is the joy/glee/happiness/excitement that comes with knowing that soon I get to return to the States. I don’t think I need to explain that as it’s obvious why I feel that way. I mean, I get to drink sodas from a fountain, drive my own car, drink beer, wear civilian clothes and wear my hair down. And all that’s fine and smile-inducing, but still. The sadness of another chapter of my life closing is still with me, still reminding me to drink it all in now while I can before it’s too late and to try, try, try to remember all the details of this place because I’m going to be gone in just a few weeks.
Or, as was suggested to me earlier today, maybe I’m just scared of real life.
Maybe. It’s possible. I’d hate to admit it, but hasn’t this whole journey of mine thus far been based on self honesty? Didn’t I make a promise to myself somewhere along the line to work on introspection and learn what I really want and what I really feel? (Oh, yeah. It was on that sadly neglected list of goals I created back in March. I remember now.)
So, I’ll stick with maybe for my answer and admit that yes, I have become quite comfortable doing my job here, living this life, being this person and that perhaps, yes, the thought of going home is tad bit scary.
But with the sad thought comes this: The things I get to do, the fine friends I have at home and the knowledge that I finally (finally!) get to go back to school, start my life all over again, and just be me without this extra identity of Soldier strapped to me every move (don’t get me wrong, I love being a Soldier, but after 15 months of it every single day, I’m ready for a break. I’m ready to be a civilian for a little while.).
So, my question to you is, do you think it’s rational for me to be a bit apprehensive about returning home and a bit sad at the thought of leaving Camp Bondsteel and Kosovo and Eastern Europe forever?