Bittersweet Memories

I used to LOVE change… I think that was one of my FAVORITE parts of being in the military. Getting to go to a new duty station every few years where you could pretty much start over with a clean slate….make new friends, turn over new leafs, swear you would do things different and travel more. I used to look forward to that change about 2 maybe 3 months into a duty station, and then spend the next months counting down the months & days until I was leaving.

It has been that way at my current job too. Once I learned all that I felt like I could, I was READY to move on to a bigger challenge and something different. In the next 2 – 3 months, I will get that chance… and it’s more nerve-wracking than ever. In the military it was easy… I knew where I was going, that I had a job, a place to live, etc. I have 1 of those things so far. Yes, it’s a start but I have definitely become somewhat of a planner (at least in some areas of my life) and want to know this information NOW!!

So I’ll be going to a new town where I know like 4 people (two of them family members), hopefully already have a job lined up and it won’t be as difficult as it was to find one here, and find somewhere decent to live for the next year. It’s definitely going to be challenging which is a good thing… but also bittersweet.

I know this town pretty much like the back of my hand. I can tell you approximately how long it would take you to get from one side of town to the other and the best routes to take. I can show you the house I spent 18 years of my life in, my elementary school, my middle school, and the schools I went to high school in (the old Harding building and the new). I can show you the church I spent my middle & high school years, where I had my first job, totaled my first car, and the park I played baseball & softball at every summer.

When I was in the military, I was still tethered here. My parents still lived here and in the house I grew up in. I stayed in my old room when I was on leave. Now that I’m taking one of those tethers with me… there isn’t anything holding me to this town but memories.

Memories of screaming at the top of our lungs Christmas carols while my dad hung the lights outside and stopping traffic (literally), the Christmas open house parties as a kid, the big family dinners when I was home on leave, showing rabbits in 4-H and my dad taking my sister and I to far away rabbit shows to compete. Spending nights upstairs in my parents room with my mom and sister playing cards. Shaving my dad’s head in the girls soccer locker room after I scored my first goal. Scoring my first goal at the Varsity level. Coming home from Spain just to surprise Mark for his Anchor’s Aweigh party. Coming home from Maryland to see my baby brother graduate high school and then a few months later leave for the Navy.

This town is filled with ghosts and memories. And while I’m ready for this move for many reasons…. a part of me isn’t ready to say goodbye to them either. It’s familiar, it’s safe (because it is the known), and it is home.

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