Taking Time to Make the Time

28 Oct

We have resigned the Army.  We broke away and came (what feels in some ways like) full-circle.  In some ways it feels like completely uncharted territory — full-circle isn’t supposed to feel so unknown, is it?

When HD returned from Afghanistan I was overwhelmed with how similar the Army is to being in an abusive relationship, and like a bad boyfriend the Army made itself tough to leave.  My HD and I are practical planners, so as we searched the world for a new home and work, the Army kept whispering in our ear he’d make things so much easier if we’d just stay.  We wouldn’t have to try to figure out so many answers; the answers would all be given to us.  We wouldn’t have to figure out anything! Just relax and let him take care of it. ::insert creepy shoulder massage from behind so only an onlooker can see the wicked grin on his face::

But the time drew near, and as our date to separate approached my HD and I were emboldened with excitement.  Once we reach South Carolina a huge sigh of relief exited our souls.  I think that if we had separated from here in SC — instead of a base in Pennsylvania — then we would feel like we hadn’t gone far enough.  Despite our best efforts to be stationed here, God preserved life in South Carolina for our civilian experience alone, untainted by memories of the Army.

So now we sit here in our happy home — full of our collected furniture and decorations and best of all our two boys — and the time between us and Active Duty widens.  What seemed like a “mutual breakup” has stepped into the light and can be seen more clearly as an escape for the better.  We feel no regret, no pangs of longing.  We don’t miss it.  But like any breakup, there’s a healing period afterwards.  And that’s where we are: awaiting the healing from only the passage of time, which is required before we can honestly declare that this is HOME.

Generally speaking if someone is awaiting the work of time, it’s because they’re in a bad place, and awaiting something good: time heals a broken heart, or a broken bone.  This is where the analogy breaks apart for us, though; we aren’t damaged and waiting for healing from any sort of bad effects.  We are actually in a very good place right now! No, I’ve written about how confounded by the constraints of time I have felt for painful situations.  The deployment tortured us till we hung by a thread.  (Fortunately, I learned my last thread is the strongest one I have; a titanium thread).  In our case we are anxiously awaiting Time (capital “T”) to introduce us to friends, to find a home to buy, to find a church to worship in, to find playmates for the boys.

It just takes time!

Flip that coin, though, and you’ll see on the other side there is a lack of urgency when the weekend rolls around.  We aren’t pressured by the sensation that this will be our *only* autumn in this city so let’s be certain to enjoy all the local festivities! When you’re in the military you feel compelled to do that, especially as you travel across the country and the world.  But not any more.  If we miss the parade this year we can say with confidence, “there’s always next year”.

Everything feels like a blank page now, though (for me, mostly).  I feel anxious as I search for mooring points in my  schedule.  (Out of this anxiety I immediately enrolled Young G in the nearest preschool possible, and began working out at the nearest gym.  Suddenly my M-W-F took shape.) I feel like when I left my ex-boyfriend in college, though.  He asked me if I was leaving him for another man, and I told him I was leaving him for every other man in the world!

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