Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Candle in a Hurricane

A song I'm very familiar with describes me as 'a book of pages, waiting to be filled... a heart that's hopeful, a head that's full of dreams...

But this becoming is harder than it seems.'

Hmm... it doesn't help when I get thrown around from Nebraska to Chicago, to Florida, in a few month's time. While still struggling with my mom's pitiful drama, my heartache that stems from my missing siblings, and the memories of some certain men who made sure I'd never forget them.

Now I'm here, in a barracks, learning badass shit, and I'm restless as all get out. Time has become non existent in my life. Every weekend I hit the beach, marvel at the salt water, eat some seafood. I've got a little worry in the back of my mind, shouting, 'in a few months this will all be gone. What will you do then?' And I don't want it. Go away, worry.

Not sure where this is going, but it feels good to write it out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Old Soul

Out of the mists of ancient times
A whisper wafts on the winds of fate
And settles like a well worn care
In my soul.

With it's zodiac cry, and siren lullaby
Singing as mournfully as a childless mother
Keening it's tale into my being, relentlessly
Crushing my heart.

Bringing memories of the darkness
The deepest pain known to mankind
And the sorrow of a world aging
To unknown death...

What is this broken song?
Whose are these lingering words?
Are they somehow, inevitably
Forever a part of me?

This inspiration of hopelessness
The drive to give up the fight for now
Because the past has conquered the future
The present is destined?

Surely this cannot be the message of the old soul
For I have come to love another
And in this one lifetime, what love have I
That can withstand time?

So speaks the old soul into my fragile frame
This mortal host in which I live, for now
Until the next life, and next love,
Carry me away.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inside My Head, Installment #17

I really feel like writing right now. It kind of sucks, because I have a generous hangover and looking at this glaring white screen feels not awesome. But, my mind is coming up with some awesome things, that I should definitely be writing down. Like this one:

Epic battle being fought right now between hangover and feel-better pills. My body is a battleground, and I think the pills are definitely winning, but hangover is getting a few good last kicks in there. Also, gatorade tastes good going both ways.


I know I shouldn't drink to get rid of my problems. I've done that twice in my life. Once was when I was in college. My friend Dean and I were close, and he wanted to try dating, and I didn't. But I didn't want to hurt him... so I drank away the situation. It was kind of funny, cause I was sitting in the car waiting for my friends, and I threw up in a theater popcorn bag, and then I sat there and inhaled the smell of the bag cause I love popcorn smell. But that night sucked, cause I felt so alone, and I felt like the pain intensified with my intoxication levels.

I'm very glad to say, I'm learning some great new strategies on how to deal with my problems. The other day, instead of freaking out about things that are bothering me, I went and talked to the chaplain on base. Also, last night I emotionally and verbally vomited on my shipmates for about 4 hours. And they, amazing people that they are, listened and really helped me think logically about the situation. I feel a lot better for being honest.

On to better subjects. Hang on, I'm going to go get some crackers and pee. Be right back...

I've changed a lot since I left for boot camp. It's kind of awesome, nothing negative. I just didn't know I had the potential to change so much. I'm not just talking about physically, although that's one of the cooler changes. Yesterday I went shopping for jeans, because mine are falling off of me. I told the saleslady, "I was a size 29 when I left, and I think I went down, maybe to a 28." She looked at me and suggested I try a 26. I laughed a little and decided to humor her. And they fit!!! They fit well! I freaked out in the dressing room. It was super.

(Three days later)

I'm back... I was having a pretty fun day when I started this post. But, it actually doesn't sound too bad, so rather than delete it, I'll add on...

I was talking about the 'other-than-physical' changes since boot camp. One is that I've been able to step back and see the much bigger picture. Not that I always sit there and stare at the bigger picture, but I'm more aware of it now. Since I share a barracks with a hundred people who are all very different than me, and we are all being completely indoctrinated with military values, I've learned that some of the best people for my life are the ones I would never have 'cliqued' with, I guess, in the civilian world.

When I thought of the Navy, I was scared of the fact that no one I knew was going with me. It seemed like a really huge step, and I didn't even have the comfort of knowing I could go home if it didn't work out. I had seen my roommate's courage fail her, and I fought the same fear. I'm really glad now that I made that choice, though. Because my circle of friends is growing so fast. In 2 months, I worked with over 80 of the sharpest sailors in the Navy. And made fast friends with a lot of them. After all, we did survive some pretty rough waters for 9 weeks, side by side. And now I have the honor of working here on base with some pretty awesome people.

My class consists of 16 students. Six of us are fresh out of Navy bootcamp. Eight are soldiers straight out of boot camp, and the other two are fleet returnees-coming back from a ship for more schooling. So far we have a lot of fun. We got our first piece of classified information yesterday, and I'm really excited to learn a whole lot more. The soldiers are really fun. I've got a sparring date with a few of them... wish me luck!!

I'm going to write more soon, as well as post pictures next time. Byeee...

Friday, June 17, 2011

And Now, From the Humor Department:

So, Sailors are pretty funny creatures. We have our moments, definitely. Even those of us who are intelligence. Yup. These scenarios made me crack up. Maybe they will make you smile too. Like this: :) <------ (smile)

Scene: Building that we are cleaning
(Moments before, Sailor Myers and I walk into the building, to inhale a giant lungful of pine-sol, brass cleaner, and bleach)
Me: Wow, it stinks pretty strong in here.
Myers: Yeah-woah, my head feels light and dizzy.
Me: I'm going to throw up?
Myers: Why are we laughing so hard?
Me: I think we're high.
(yelling) Hey, join the Navy! You can get high as a kite and get paid to do it!! Hooyah U.S. Navy!!

We then turn a corner and run into Petty Officer and Chief, both staring us down with raised eyebrows.
Myers and I, collectively: I did NOT just say that.

Scene: Getting ready for the weekend
Petty Officer, known as FC1: So, if you're not phase 2 yet, you know you can't leave base. There are plenty of things to do on base. There's the bowling alley, for instance. The theater.
Sailor Morris: The pool is open now.
FC1: There's a lovely place called the gym.
Morris: There's also the pool.
FC1: The pool is open too. You can all hang out there. Obviously there isn't room for you all to be in there at once. You'll have to take turns. Five, or six of you at once.
Morris: That's... what she said.
Curtain closes on sailors, suffocating on their own laughter.

Scenario: Who cares? It's funny anywhere.
Sailor Bennett: How many Sailors does it take to rob a bank?
(everyone stares inquisitively, except those who just stare dumbly)
Bennett: Three. One to rob the bank, and two road guards.
Morris: Yeah? Want to hear a funny joke? Women's rights.

(scenario ends here.)

Up for General Consensus

So... Do you want to see more pictures, or more posts? I'm chill about either, I just don't know what's more enjoyed. I personally love reading people's posts on their blogs, but pictures make the blog more personable and I love that too. Thoughts?

Also, I just ate two amazing cheeses, ritz crackers, green olives, and roasted chicken for lunch. And now I'm extremely satisfied.

Pulling On A Hundred Heart Strings

At first it was the thought of something new
A challenge, like a breath on the mountaintop.
I longed to dance around it, always just out of reach
But always close enough to feel the thrill
But then you caught me.

And now you're pulling
On a hundred heart strings
Leaving me breathless
How did you expect that to turn out?
Of course we both knew.

That we'd end up dancing with danger
But safe in each other's arms
And all the emotions that toy with our brains
Could become our enemies
Or could usher in this thing that is us.

I guess the magic of it all is not knowing
Not really needing to know.
Whether a fling or forever
A hundred heart strings are tied
I don't mind if they stay secured always.

Father's Day... With a Wry Twist

This is going to be an interesting little thank you note. I got the idea the other night while talking to my friend, who also was my recruiter in Norfolk. Thanks for the inspiration, Petty Officer.

Fathers. I've had a few. From the man who unwittingly inherited the title to the guy who bought it, and a few who earned it. This is a shout out to my fathers.

James R.
I guess it's easy to become a dad. It's definitely not a slight responsibility to have suddenly thrust upon you, as I've observed. The hard thing about you, Dad, is that I really don't have much to go by. The women of my family are a bit confusing as to your intentions. I've heard that you're a really great man who treated my mother right, and she didn't know how to take that. Believable. Then there's the story that you were a sweet talker without a plan, a romancer of many. Knowing my family, I guess that's believable too. I've heard that you're tall, lean, and built out of whipcord. I've heard you had intense blue eyes and a personality that stole hearts. I've been told many times that I'm a lot like you.

Since all I have to go by is rumor, I'm going to take the unassuming stance and thank you for what I know you gave me. Pretty sure I'd be nothing without you. It would be kind of hard to make me without your gene pool and hereditary makeup. I rather am thankful for being alive. Also, I wish I could know a little more about you someday.

Warren B.
If the road to Heaven were paved with good intentions, you'd probably be way ahead of anyone else I've known. That's why it's so hard to look at you with anger. Because I know that you actually, painstakingly tried your hardest to make me love you. You worked with an incredible handicap, communication barriers, and a heart full of pain to touch my little life. And I acknowledge that. I'm sorry for not focusing on that more. Little kids aren't able to see the big picture. I know you messed up, but I understand why now. I feel your frustration and I wish I could make it better for you. You should know that I'm thankful for several things that seem most insignificant. Like your devotion to the woman who gave you children. Your constant attention to detail. I guess I'm most thankful for your very sensitive heart.

If I could get past all the hurt and pain you caused, I would tell you this to your face. You deserved a better end than what you got, and I'm sorry for my part. Also sorry for being unable to give you my heart. But you have my sympathy and affections.

Joe M.
Charlie B.
Neil H.
Michael W.S.
Guy P.
This goes out to the individuals who acted as life preservers throughout my early years. Because as insignificant as it may have seemed at the time, each of you were a father in my eyes. You gave me a place with your children, and that was a precious gift. You showed me what a father's love should feel like. You gave me so much more than physical comforts. You showed me the power of a hug from dad, a few words spoken with emotion and truth, and an acceptance of the messed up kid that I was. I love you with daughter's love in return, and I live my life in a way that I hope would make you proud.

Jim H.
It's been a long and slow process, but I think I've finally found a closure in my crazy mixed up life in the father department. You came into my life at a time when I'd finally given up on the dream of family. Your son became my hero because he knew how to embrace life and people from all backgrounds and lifestyles. Now I see where it comes from. This family is incredibly accepting and steadfast. You've given me a whole new start on the idea of being part of a close family. It's an honor to be part of your family, and I thank you for the chance.

At last, it's a real Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Boot Camp Lessons

This was a letter I wrote a few days before graduation from boot camp. I never got to send it, but since I described some powerful lessons learned, I decided to post it here. Enjoy...

Dear Aaron,

This is probably going to get to you at a time when it is no longer relevant in any way. But, I kind of want to write it anyway, because this is a big moment and I think I might remember it forever.

It's almost 3 am. I just got off night security watch. I am sitting tonight because I an on a light/limited duty status due to a stomach bug. I'm in my Navy working coveralls. Division 925 has worn these once before, at fire fighting. But this is our official Battle Stations dress. My boots are freshly waxed with several coats for protection against whatever awaits me tonight. I'm wearing my recruit ball cap for the last day. In 17 hours, I will be reporting to the USS Trayor for Battle Stations and I will start the final test I must pass in order to graduate boot camp on Friday.

It's amazing to think, it's finally here. Seems like a few weeks ago that I was in my Navy sweats, wandering around with a group of dazed recruits, with no idea what was going on at all, or why people were getting yelled at. Suddenly, here I am. No longer a civilian, but a trained, disciplined, confident person who is setting out on a very big adventure.

In three hours, we'll be waking up, just like any other day.In fact, tomorrow we have almost nothing to do, except to review basic things we've learned. At 1700, we begin packing for the overnight ordeal. By 2030, we will be climbing aboard the Trayor at long last. We finish at 9 am the next morning, tired, hungry and elated. That afternoon I'll get to call you for the first time in 4 weeks. I hope I can remember all I need to say. We stay up all day Tuesday, the final stretch in the Battle Stations process.

In reality, this ride has had major ups and downs. Missing you was the hardest thing. Giving up music was almost as bad. The emotional wringer you get put through every time a shipmate gets set back in training. Frustration when you do the right thing, but someone else doesn't, and you are held at fault for it. The exhaustion you feel after a night of standing watch. the pain of waiting another day at boot camp, wishing you were home instead. All of these things tempt you to give up trying, every day.

As hard as it is to admit this, the bad experiences all play into the good that has happened here. Fear is a decent motivator sometimes. Pushing yourself to the limit shows you how much further your limit extends than you thought it did. When you move past your pain, you begin to realize you've actually grown stronger.

That's really what gets you through in this place. Several times I would try to motivate myself with thoughts of things I wanted. At the pool, I told myself I was doing it because I wanted the Hoyts to be proud of me. On the track, I wrote down 12 things that included my rage at my family, my need to get out of here, and my love for you, and planned to think of one per lap. But when the moment of truth came, every attempt I made to motivate myself vanished. I would lose all direction and cower at the horrible, impossible task I saw before me. And at that point, something I didn't know I had in me would emerge and shove me headfirst into that impossible thing, and seconds later, I would find myself on the winning side, in shock and disbelief.

I've had that moment several times since I came here. The two biggest ones were during the 9 foot jump at the pool and during my final PFA. At the end of those two events, I felt like I could graduate that day, because to me, I had just conquered the biggest mountains I had encountered in my life. Tonight I look forward to facing that mountain again. Now, i know that I can do nearly or seemingly impossible things, and that is very confidence-inspiring.

I can't wait to see you and hug you tight in a few days!! And after this, we get to spend the rest of our lives together. I love you and miss you. Goodnight!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Physical Training

Never knew physical workouts could be torture sessions
As you finish a short sprint, your hands hit the asphalt
And we lift and lower our bodies in the muggy morning

Pulling strength from an inner source we never had before
Searching for that last spurt of energy
Our hearts pound against the walls of our ribs,
Screaming back at our lungs to let us relax.

Somehow, I finish first, and collapse to the gritty surface
Sucking in air as I wait for you
And then we are up, on our feet and bracing ourselves
Lunging forward into another high-speed run

This, we knew, was the Navy life
But now, in it's raw reality, we wonder if we should regret
But as the sun dominates the morning sky
We head to the showers, ready to dominate another day.