There was a time


There were times in my life where I wanted to die. Funny thing was that these times didn’t come to me when I was deployed to foreign countries where stray mortars could have landed near me at any moment. No, they came when I was in the safety of my own country, surrounded by people I love……

 

To read more, please go to the post I wrote for the Seeker’s Dungeon.

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I turned off comments for this post as it was written especially for Sreejit Poole’s blog. Please visit his always inspiring blog. It is filled with countless thought provoking pieces.

 

 

 

 

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Memories of Ponies, Superpowers


When I was a girl, I wanted a pony, thought I was a writer and believed I had telekinesis. As an adult, my reality is really not that far off my childhood fantasies.

I don’t own a pony exactly, but I do have a short stocky horse that I call my pretty little pony. Honestly, as I child I thought a pony was really just a baby horse. It made perfect sense to me then. Apparently, that is not the correct technical meaning though. Huh. Good to know. Regardless, I will still call my old, 14-hand, sorrel quarter horse mare, my pony.

Since I didn’t own a horse back then, I would use my dreams of ponies to inspire some of my writing. I would write stories and poems about horses. My story horses were majestic beasts. They had a connection to their owner, who was always someone who resembled myself or someone I wanted to be. These horses were smart, helping their owner accomplish noble deeds. They carried themselves with such grace. Some, even flew. I wrote about other things of course, but horses were my go-to animal. I connected with horses…and I feel like I still do.

In one stories, my flying horse helped a brilliant, confident girl who had telekinesis. She would move things around for the good of other people. Sure she would make mind movements for the sake of laughter or ease. She was a kid after all. However, she never used this power to hurt people.

I think about this young girl with super powers and I realize, I am still her basically. No, I don’t really have telekinesis. (So there is no need to notify the government for them to come test me and try to harvest my powers. In reality, they are already using my skills for that matter anyway since I am a government employee and Army Reserve Soldier.) I do have the ability move things without physical force though. I can move things with my example, my words, my silence. It is not necessarily the form of telekinesis that I dreamt of, but I suppose it draws less concern among the public (and less medical probing). Over the years, I found that I have the ability to affect people. It has taken me years to realize this unfortunately. For years, I thought I was powerless, a victim at times. Other people did things to me. Other people manipulated me. Other people controlled the situation. This has not always been the case though. Of course, I cannot control the careless hurtful words of others. Nor can I demand they treat me with respect and love. But, I can control myself and my reactions. And through my own reactions, behaviors, words…or even silence, I can affect them. With my actions, I can escalate anger or love. I can inspire confusion or understanding. I can cause tears or laughter.

Overall, I can either accept how I am treated by others, or shut it down and walk away. I have the power to set expectations on how I want to be treated. If I carry myself with pride and confidence, people tend to treat me with more respect, more esteem. If I am down on myself and insecure, people seem to doubt me and walk on my opinions and feelings.

Of course carrying myself nobly is not always easy. Like most folks in the world, I doubt myself. Do I know enough about this topic to speak on it intelligently? Have I gained too much weight? Do these people even want to hear what I have to say? Did I do that task well enough to present? It is hard not to doubt ourselves, and there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness. This line tends to move each day too. Some days I can find it and walk it. Other days, not so much.

What I am discovering though, is that that little girl long ago was not afraid of who she was. She stood tall with her pony at her side. She wrote down her stories. And she moved things in the world to help others. That girl is still me. She may be older and bit less elegant, and her horse is shorter and a bit more frumpy. Nonetheless, she still rides with happiness and joy in her heart. She still writes her thoughts, her feelings, her stories. And, she still tries to move things in the world without force and the goal of making it better. After years of struggle, I thought that little girl was gone. She didn’t disappear. No, she is still there. She just got a little lost.

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For the Daily Post ~ Great Pretender.

Because my pretend life showed me who I wanted to be. 🙂

Also fits the Daily Post ~Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star.

 

I am a Soldier and I am not Sorry


I used to date a guy who said I talked about the military too much. “The Army is just a job. It’s not your life,” he said. My first reaction was to be offended, but I apologized instead because that’s what I do.

After some time though, I realized I am upset and embarrassed with myself for apologizing back then because – I am not sorry, at all. Let me explain.

First of all, you should know that I am not some super Soldier. There are much more impressive, hard-core heros out there. I don’t know every regulation, so you won’t hear me quoting them. I probably don’t have my dress uniform aligned to the exact micromillimeter and degree of those regulations either. I can’t repel from a helicopter to descend onto the front lines. And, I have fortunately never had to kill anything but a target nor earn a purple heart. On the other hand, I do love my country. I wear my uniform with pride and try to honor it with my actions, even when I am not wearing it. My heart tugs at the National Anthem as I remember those who fought and died for it. I have deployed to three different countries where I felt like I did make a difference, however small. So overall, I think I am a typical average Soldier. I am not elite, but I am certainly not the bottom of the barrel either.

My first experience with the Army was when I was 18. I married my high school sweetheart who joined the Army. As a young couple, we moved to Germany, his first duty station. After that, we spent the next two decades moving around the bases in the United States. About half way through those 22 years, I became a Soldier myself when I joined the Army Reserve. So, I can say I have a unique perspective. I know what it is like to be the spouse sitting home worried about their deployed Soldier. I also know what it is like to be the one overseas serving. I have felt the pain on both sides of that fence.

As Reservist, I can have a civilian job too. For most of my life, I worked in several different jobs since I had to follow my active duty Soldier spouse around. I did everything from being a tired waitress to a stressed out retail manager to a blissfully happy photographer. Upon redeploying from my last deployment though, I was offered a government civilian job with the Army. As much as I adored my full time photography gig, I could not refuse the stability and pay that the federal government job offered (especially since I was now divorced and on my own). So, now that means I have two Army jobs. I just get to wear girly clothes at one of them. Either way though, every day is mostly consumed with Army stuff.

After that complaint, I did dutifully try to not speak about Army stuff as much. It was nearly impossible though. I would start sentences and then stop realizing it was Army related. Eventually, I just felt like I had nothing to say. How do you not talk about something that has been such a huge part of your life? I couldn’t, and that was just one of the reasons for the failure of that relationship.

That experience taught me a lesson though. I learned to love me for who I am. I am a Soldier and I can’t change it – nor do I want too. The Army has not been just a job. It has been part of my past, my roots. It has taught me values, appreciation, patience, courtesy, empathy, history, honor, courage, and respect. I have traveled the world in the uniform. I have made friends for life. Trying to remove that “job” would be like removing water from my body. They cannot be separated without killing me. The Army has been part of my past. It stays a part of my daily activities. And, I imagine, it will be a part of my future for awhile more.

I guess the bottom line is, I can no longer try to transform myself into what others want me to be. I have to be me and be proud of it. Like most people, I am a work in progress as I alway try to grow and improve. I want to be a better person and make a difference in the world. I just can’t do that if I have to hid a part of who I am. Therefore, part of me is a Soldier, and I am not sorry.

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This was inspired by the Writing Challenge ~ Digging for Roots.