A. I still feel very wild and restless. I've done the Fort Dix thing, and the mission isn't going to change all THAT much for me (maybe decrease, but not really change...). I've pretty much seen and done all there is to see and do. Sure, I'd like to fit in a couple more professional development classes before I leave, but that's not life-or-death.
The thought of another deployment makes my heart beat a little faster. Iraq? It's like longing for a lover you haven't seen in far too long. I want so bad to see the cluttered landscape, taste the sand, hear the foreign prayers at dawn.
Do you know that I still roll my shoulders backward sometimes, the best way to make my pistol holster sit comfortably? I haven't touched that weapon in nearly 7 months.
There is a major I know that is willing to take me along with his unit to be the last AFN in Baghdad. It would require me going back to DINFOS for the broadcaster course (great!!), transferring into the Army Reserves (not so great), and possibly paying back most of my reenlistment bonus (exact opposite of great). But I'm really, really considering it: early 2010 is the timeframe for that deployment. I'd get off my OWT orders as scheduled in July, go to DINFOS until November, hang out for a few months and then..
And if not that, there are TONS of other opportunities. As a trainer for all Army reserve component public affairs units going to Iraq, I could easily hop on with any one of them. The current PAOC we have on the ground asked me to go with them; their LTC keeps telling me to pack my bags so I can leave when they do.
Do you believe me, I mean, really believe me, when I tell you that I loved it?
Iraq made me important, needed, a part of something so much bigger than myself, but in that way, big. My heart felt big each and every day I was there.
B. I love my little house, my little car, my little cats, my little life. I love sleeping in, having a weekend off, and the possibility of calling in sick. I love seeing my family pretty much whenever I want, and I love even more not hearing the tension in my mother's voice over the phone. I love having more than 10 cable channels (two of which were in Arabic, three were AFN channels, and the rest were MTV, History Channel, Animal Planet... forgot the other two...).
I love not eating the same 5 meals over and over again. I love soda that tastes like soda and not watery shit. I love more than 5 minutes of a hot shower.
I love the wintery air and snowflakes. I love not having to pretend that the holidays don't matter to me. I even love the Christmas tree that I didn't want in the first place.
And the lakehouse - how can I live without this view?? The loft, the outdoor hot tub, the window seat, the screened in porch, the floating dock, the wild ducks... this place is the closest to perfect I could have ever imagined.
Does loving those things make me selfish? Because that's exactly how I feel after typing all that.
"watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked"
- Weezer "Undone (The Sweater Song)" -