My birthday was just another day for me… riding back from Portland after a rugby tournament, playing with a mixture of wonderful ladies. Birthdays aren’t a big deal for me, for the past few years it’s been used as more of a day of reflection and everything that I’ve been through that’s kept me here to this day. I remember when I was a kid my parents would buy me a birthday cake and I’d blow out the candles, always making a wish. My wish never came true but it’s always fun to do it anyways. I never really received actual items as gifts, usually money, but I appreciate the more meaningful items such as hand written cards and homemade trinkets. I still keep a bag full of handwritten letters and cards from my friends and always keep them with me wherever I travel. I like to go through them when I get in my “homesick moods,” which is hitting me pretty good right about now. When I say homesick, I’m not referring to my actual home where my parents live, but where I made the most memories with amazing friends. So mainly Knoxville and Hattiesburg. People are always hating on the south, but nothing beats good ol’ Southern hospitality.
Anyways, I’d like to take some time to write out 3 things that I’ve learned or improved on within the past year and also 3 things that I’m looking forward to in the next year to come. You should try it. I think it’s good to put a few things into perspective and compare/contrast the difference a year can make.
1. I don’t believe I give myself enough credit for being patient. I always tell myself that I am the most impatient person in the world, but looking back I’ve given so much of my energy towards people and situations that I question myself how I even did it.
2. Time is actually fast when it seems slow. Looking back during deployment, some of the days went by really slow. Thinking about being on land and seeing my kid didn’t quite help, so I kept myself busy training people back to back, teaching group classes, and organizing a major event each week made everything go back so quick. So I guess it’s how you make it. By the time everything was over, it seemed as if I just got onboard.
3. Good things come to those who wait. This time last year I was driving back and forth from Hattiesburg to Chattanooga for a temporary job and then out of nowhere, BAM, I got a phone call for this one. After years of searching, one little thing kept coming along after another.
1. I’m looking forward to the new friends I’ll make and people in my life that will play a significant role. Knowing people can make a huge difference in your life… for one, it cures boredom!
2. I have many projects coming up with this job. I can already forsee that with the work to come, it’ll make this next year fly by super fast. I’m looking forward to being creative and seeing the things I can do for the sailors and community.
3. I wonder what mistakes I’m gonna make and how it’s going to make me a better person. What else don’t I know yet about me that I’ll discover within the next year.