Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Objects in mirror are not what they appear

Holy cow, what a summer. And what a glorious life I'm living. Yes, I'm going to brag just a little. It's healthy to be happy, dammit!

We've all made it to Okinawa after a July from hell where I nearly die from a diseased gallbladder and abscesses, where the Major flies back on emergency leave to literally save my life by helping me stabilize enough to get out of ICU, and then help me hobble around with a stomach stent in my chest to drain out the infection. (Bleargh). After we survive August with a horrendous flight from Seattle to Okinawa in a cramped and screaming-baby-filled airplane for 18 cruel hours. Though the boys liked Seattle and we spent some amazing time with friends Ken and Kelly and Heather! (Thanks for the hospitality, lovelies!) I showed the boys all my favorite places and they still talk about it.

We are here and loving it! The boys are able to talk to their family back in Oklahoma almost every day and I'm glad of it. (Thank you, Facetime and Vonage!) They are doing well here though there are adjustments. The oldest is in a more challenging school and though a middle schooler, is taking two high school level classes. He puts a lot of stress on himself, unfortunately, and is too much like his mama in being the perfectionist. Being with friends is helping him though. SOOO much better than last year when he struggled to fit in and couldn't make friends.

The youngest has taken to the place like he's never lived anywhere else. It's amazing to me. He's grown two inches and gained at least five pounds on his skinny frame. He's now reading books like the Harry Potter series and I can barely get him inside until it's dark outside. A group of boys his age keeps him busy.

The house is nearly unpacked after three weeks. I can't believe how well it's coming along! I'm so OCD about it and want it done two weeks ago but it's not realistic. I'll be lucky to get pictures up in three weeks and I'm almost okay with that.

I just want it to feel like home. For me, for the Major, for the boys. And we've almost succeeded.

For me, I'm keeping a positive attitude. There are those who criticize, who've called me selfish, mean and can't understand "why I would take the boys away from their family and friends." Sorry, but it's an opportunity for them to grow outside that small-town mentality. To see the world and the people in it. To have their eyes opened but still have roots. Because they deserve to see the beauty of the world and LIVE it, not just visit it.

I'm keeping it positive for myself as well. There are too many horror stories of spouses who never leave base in their egocentricity. Who mock and demean everything different about their host country, simply because it isn't like home. Isn't like America. Isn't like their rose-colored vision of small town USA. I've found amazing people here.
This is an actual sunset I saw on Sunday at Araha Beach, Okinawa. ©
Seen the most gorgeous sunsets I could imagine. Learned to drive on the opposite (NOT the wrong-) side of the street in a tiny car down streets I can't pronounce much less read the letters to which make up their names. I've felt a sense of accomplishment, of growth, of expansion into a greater self. And I was scared shitless the whole time. No, really. I got a stomach-ache later that day from venturing out into unknown traffic, buying produce in a store where no one spoke English using strange currency, and still managed to make it home.

Only once have I broken down, sobbing, missing my friends and family more than I could bare. Watching my nieces and nephew grow from so far away is hard. I can't just go to my mom or my best friends and have a hug because I need it. And I'm not good enough friends with folks here to do that. I've been so busy setting up house and running around with the family, I've lost more weight. I don't recognize myself as the chubby bunny anymore and it's weird. I have a bit of homesickness but it isn't something to dwell on. It's natural and I get melancholy sometimes. (Meg knows what I mean.) I have the most amazing friends and I just remember that I'm adding to that bunch. The spouses group here is so fun and I'm learning the lingo. The Air Force Ball, which I FINALLY get to go to!, is this Saturday. And I'm going to have a grand time with my love. I'm keeping this face because the mask is off.

I'm happy and nothing can break me down.