It’s true. I wanted to say “Sadly, it’s true,” because I feel kind of wrong being optimistic about life while my husband is deployed. But either way, yes, since deployment, I’ve been more secure, more optimistic, and I want to say “happy.” I’m not happy my husband is deployed, I miss him and would love for him to return home sooner than later. But, it’s an emotion I feel.
Had you of asked me how my outlook on my life would have been for the term of my husband’s deployment, I would have thought I’d be crying myself to bed almost every night, probably not smiling much, and having anxiety and panic attacks, probably to the point of being daily. But I’m not. I haven’t really had a good cry since sometime during the days before my husband deployed. I’ve felt the tightness in my throat two or three times, and have only teared up a tiny bit (remember those “micro-cries”?) only as many times, too. I am really surprised at myself, and shocked with my “progress.”
But, I am optimistic. I think something just snapped in me – or I have lost my mind and am just a bundle of non-nonsensical enthusiasm. But, I have that confidence I had been long searching for since high school. For the past year, I would often think to myself, “If only I could go back, do high school over again as the person I am now,” and I think I would have enjoyed it more, and taken advantage of more opportunities. Not to say I would have been selfish in high school, but I would have done more for me, and actually of BEEN the person I wanted to be, instead of the quiet girl. And then I finally realized – I can be that person now. Who needs the drama that comes with high school? The petty fights, the gossip…the homework…haha. I HATED the drama and gossip that occurred in high school, (and ultimately occurred while living at Post). But I can be the person I am, the confident person, and have my adult life. I am living the life I want to live…just, without my husband.
As an adolescent, I thought myself to be a “realist,” but one who saw the glass as half-empty (but I’d never actually admit that, because I didn’t WANT to be a pessimist). I still consider myself a realist, I see things as they are, but I choose to focus on and find the positive side of things: appreciate the opportunities that events bring me – even the bad events.
I kind of live life now, with the belief that life is what you make it. If you’re constantly pessimistic about everything, and a self-defeatist, those are the only events that will happen to you, and if not, the only ones you will “see.” The energy you carry about you, draws like energy. Not to say that the optimist will never have a bad day – we will. But we’ll see the positive. It may be a self-serving prophecy, but it may actually happen. You will have more good days than bad, because you’re set on the good. To someone who is a pessimist and negative all of the time, they will only see the bad, focus on the bad, and will have more bad days than good days. If you put a pessimist and an optimist in the same situations, the pessimist will take all of the bad away from it, and the optimist will see only the good (maybe a little bad).
So, maybe it’s my survival technique. That the ultimate “bad thing” could happen to my husband. And I know I would be devastated. You can’t smile past the loss of a loved one, especially someone held so near and dear to my heart. But being depressed about it all of the time won’t change the fact that it could happen. Being miserable now, and making him worry more about me while he’s deployed, won’t bring him home quicker, or guarantee he makes it home alive. So I can only do what I can to live every day, to assure him in my own emotional stability and day-to-day life and success.
But, when faced with the involuntary separation, of having to go every day for the next year or more without my husband with me, this is how I’ve come to cope. I have become the person I have always wanted to be, personally. I can’t rely on my husband to carry me through life, because he is not here now, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be with me forever. That’s for anyone. So in his absence, and in my adulthood time of having life to myself, for myself, I have found myself. I’m no longer in school (high school or college), where expectations and standards are pretty set (and I’d follow them). I didn’t do a lot of self-experimentation to see who I was, I just tried to fit myself into the puzzle of life based on who I thought I was supposed to shape myself to be. I’ve learned that I don’t have to fit into anyone’s expectations of myself but my own. (Granted, I do have some pretty high expectations, but they are mine). So, I am thankful for this time apart (NOT the deployment), for the opportunity to find myself as an individual, as a person.
Which leads me to a tangent. I think those of us who do go through school and our adolescence trying to be this person we are not, trying to meet up to everyone elses’ standards and expectations of ourselves, jump into college then and ultimately continue to do the same (do you party because you want to, or because everyone else is going? Are you studying every night because your parents expect you to be a high-honors student, or because you want the good grades for yourself?), then we date, maybe fall in love, get married, and then wonder, when did I take the time for me? I went to school, fell in love, got married, now have a family, but I do not know who I am? If that’s the case, I certainly don’t recommend divorce or abandoning your family. There are ways to find yourself within your life. But I think that’s why some marriages fail. Why some people do abandon their loved ones (I guess I should use the term “loved” loosely, since I can’t imagine anyone who truly loved anyone would abandon them), because they realized they didn’t want what they thought they wanted, weren’t who they thought they were or wanted to be.
That was a random thought. But I think everyone has to take a look at their life sometime, at themselves. Are you the person you aspire to be? Why aren’t you, if you’re not? And how do you see your cup? Trust me, life’s not so bad once you start seeing it as half-full.