If I’m writing everyday, I’m going to write about everyday things. I’m not Elizabeth Aquino (one of my favorite bloggers), able to write long, great pieces everyday. Maybe with much more practice and diligence I can deliver the goods. That’s what this is about.
Yesterday was another one of those days in which I felt alive and was incredibly productive. Good days are thankfully becoming more frequent. I’ve got to figure out the recipe.
I worked with my hands all day, and had time to think. As I said yesterday, I’m probing my defense mechanisms, and the areas that hurt, and those that feel nothing. As I transition out of the Air Force, I’m getting a clean slate.
I am declaring a do-over.
I understand I have a tremendous privilege, and I’m glad to have experience doing something I love, and can waltz into another career without much turbulence. I feel a part of a community, and I’m finally making friends.
In that do-over, I get to demilitarize my thinking. I was talking to a friend and said I was thinking about getting an engineering degree after I get my BA next summer. That’s not my thinking, that’s USAF self-preseervation/career advancement/boxchecking thinking. I never want to take another math class. I don’t want to study at night what I worked on all day. I don’t want my career to be my life. I want to do good work pursuant to becoming a master technician, and not have to write performance reports at night. I might eventually become a manager, but I want to make sure I’ve gotten about as high as I can technically before becoming a supervisor again. I don’t have to do standard career path things. I don’t think studying engineering would fit in to that. I wouldn’t enjoy it, and I can support the fam with my current skillset. If I have to spend time away from my family, I get to choose how I will invest that time. I’m going to study social justice and writing if I decide to keep going to school.
This is liberating.
I also won’t constantly remind people I’m a veteran. This doesn’t have to be my identity- it hasn’t been the whole time I’ve been in. I’ve wanted to get out for almost 10 years, I’m not going to cling to it. I am going to do some stereotypical veteran things, like grow a hellacious beard, but that’s about it.
I am excited. Yeah, sure, the tide may turn, but it’s looking good for me, and my head’s in a good enough place to recognize it.
So here’s to good days, to do-overs, and getting strong and honest and supported enough to handle the bad days.