Day 2. Get Ready.

Hi Friends! Today is a tale of preparation for Leaving Day. Share advice or stories if you have any please. I am a lover of both. (:


To begin, tomorrow is my last day at work. This is the final, looming checkpoint to my deployment. What I had been counting down in months and weeks can no longer fit into a shoe box. I had counted down by drills I had left, holidays to get through, or months to check off the calendar. Now, we are here. My last day at my civilian job, before I step into an entirely new life for a year.


I hear the same three questions multiple times a day: When do you leave? How do you feel? Are you scared?

Well. I leave soon. I am not scared. At least, I don’t think I am. We will see in a few days how I feel…


My bags are packed. That is not the preparation I am talking about. The preparation that is taking the most effort is the mental one. My mindset is to assess the emotions that I am going to be subject to when I leave and be mentally equipped to deal with them. Nothing is worse that getting hit with an unexpected feel when you aren’t ready.

My favorite method of preparation has been meditation, with focus on controlling negative emotions through breathing (literally, Mindfulness of Breathing). The closer Leaving Day gets, the more difficult it is to relax. I find meditation is a good way to get a mental break and reign in negative vibes.


Two pictures keep flowing through my mind. The one that brings the most negative vibes, that puts a lump in my throat, is the idea of the last hug I giveĀ  my grandma. I have lived with my grandma since August while preparing for this deployment and we are very close. We have been inseparable since I was born. I hate the thought of leaving her in this empty house.

The next picture is equally sad. I keep seeing me standing in the airport, trying be a tough little soldier as I hug my mom. I know she’s going to cry and that’s going to make me cry. Because really, who could possibly watch their mom cry and not cry too?

Those are the two thoughts that bring any real negativity to this, the adventure of my life. But, as with anything in life, it will pass and we will learn to live with it. What more can we do, really?

Til later.



Day 1. Before.

Hello friends.

The biggest adventure of my life is upon me. In a few short days, my adventure will begin and it is a story I look forward to sharing.

You see, I am going on my first deployment. I am unmarried, own no property, or anything of real value at all. I have no bills to pay while I am gone. I have what others may consider the ideal deployment. I expected be getting more nervous than I am, but I think most of the nerves came when we first got notice of the upcoming deployment. Now, I have accepted it not only as a fact of life, but rather as an amazing opportunity. While I am gone, I plan to learn as much about the culture around me as I possibly can, study anything and everything that interests me, and be financially stable when I return. That’s not to say I expect this to be easy. Deployment is going to be one of the biggest challenges in my life. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. The army is never easy. It will hurt some days. I will be homesick. I will get into fights with my battle buddies over trivial things. Some days will be scary. But I will get through it, just as all of the troops who have deployed before me.

So, I have packed my bags. I have put everything I own into storage, sold lots of my stuff, and have spent days and days with my family. I have (re-)started my blog, in the hopes that I will be able to share my stories with anyone who is interested in the musings of a twenty one year old soldier. And I am ready for this next big adventure.

This deployment will change me, and I welcome it with open arms. Every day, every experience is an opportunity to become a better person. This deployment is an amazing chance to do that. I will cross paths with people who can change my perspective on life, who will share their thoughts and ideas and dreams with me, and I will forge new and wonderful friendships. Life can offer no greater experience.


Til later.




We Are All Wanderers

Leaves drop, fluttering to the earth,
a hard packed trail, narrow.
The trees are changing colors. The dirt
is cold, numbing the bare toes of the wanderer.
His feet are calloused. He has been lost
for so long, he does not notice the miles,
wearing away beneath him.

Snow falls, coating the trail with
frost. Still he travels, ignorant to the passage
of time, the evolution of nature.
His feet crack and bleed, but he does
not stop.

Now spring comes, coating his feet
with mud. Flowers bloom beside the trail,
birds come to life with songs of love.
He remains blind to the life around him.

And now we welcome summer,
Sweat streams down his face. The wanderer
does not stop. He does not look
back. He does not glance to the sides. He
only looks forward.

For is this not life? Is this not how we live? Unstoppable, ignorant of those around us, plowing through them with no consideration?
We are a selfish people. We can no longer love nature. We no longer stop for pain. We must always progress, lost with no direction.
We are all wanderers.

Enter Mr. Finnick Peter O’Reilly

Yesterday, I went to the pet store to look at all the cute animals. I didn’t have any intentions of buying one because of course, I am a rational, poor college kid. Until I met this guy. I was watching his brother hopping around in the cage and I asked to see him. Unfortunately, some lady had asked literally the minute before, and she bought that one. So I got to hold this little gentleman. And I fell in love with him. So, I spent waaaay too much money buying things for him, and now he is happily settled in my home.
Now begins the litter box training.

I set him in his litter box yesterday. And he sat there for literally five minutes like he was on time out. I had to tell him he could leave before he started adventuring again.

This is a post-adventure picture. He literally crawls on everything and has explored every nook and cranny of my apartment. Also, he randomly gets excited and kicks up his little bunny heels and darts to the other end of the room before coming to a complete halt. I suspect he may be a cat with long ears when he does this.

He also likes to jump on my back and run up and down, then randomly flop down and watch tv. Which leaves me laying there like “Heyy buddy, I was just gonna go get some cereal, you gonna be there a while?”
To which he responds, “Obviously, Human, you are mine and you do what I tell you. Now change the channel.”
But really, I call him Finnick (I just gave him his full name today. It was a lot of work finding he perfect one) and he calls me Meg. We will love each other til death do us part. (: I hope you love him too.