On Being Posted.

*Okay – give me a little break. In my previously posted blog entitled “Cleavage Sweat” I opened with the statement that it had been almost a year since I wrote. Turns it to be so not true. I wrote this one three months ago and just unearthed it from my “Drafts”. So the first part of this one should actually be before “C.S.” Just keep that in mind while reading. I finished this one today as indicated by the purple font. That stuff is new.*

I found something amazing…the time to write this blog! Ha. Kind of funny. But also completely true.

First, a quick update since it’s been a while (given that all of my blogs begin with a comment on how long it’s been since I wrote I should probably just rectify that by writing more, eh?) We had a baby! Jelly Bean is now 6 months old! He’s a pretty chill little dude and we are so grateful to have him be the fourth (and final!) member of our family. Monkey adores Jelly Bean and the way they look at each other – OH! My heart.  We are now adjusted to being a family with two kids, two dogs, two cats and a fish.

Our other big news is that we are posted! If you’re one of my 12 regular readers and don’t know me or any military families personally that means that my husband has a new job in a different city. We’re off to Best City, Ontario! That brings me to the reason for this blog post.

 

When we were posted here to Smalltown, Alberta four years ago it felt as though the floor had dropped out from beneath us. At the time we were living just 5 hours from my family and felt really comfortable in our small community. Lots of friends, decent social life….we were established. We were shocked to be posted to Smalltown. Of all the places we could have been posted (based on our preferences and the military’s agenda), Smalltown was never mentioned. In fact, it was the joke posting. Hubby would say, “We might get posted to X….we might get posted to Y” and the running joke was always, “At least it’s not Smalltown!” So when it was reality and no longer a joke that we were coming here….well…let’s just say it did not go well. I cried. A lot. We tried to get out of it. We tried to play the, “But we have a five month old baby and no  family out there!” card. It didn’t make any difference so a few months later out we came. The first few months here were so, so lonely. We knew one family and they were so, so kind. But I’m a very social person and that wasn’t enough. I remember coming home from a big organized park date and feeling like the new kid at recess. No one intended to be mean or excluding, I’m sure, but they had their cliques and friends and probably just didn’t really notice little Monkey and I, smiling only at each other, me talking to him but he too young to respond, both of us slightly apart from everyone else.

Slowly but surely that changed. I met a few Mama friends and began to feel happier here. I was still chomping at the bit to get out and would have left in an instant if offered the chance. I started teaching and things were alright.

Last year we were supposed to be posted and at the last minute we weren’t. Something about budget and blah, blah, blah. I was pregnant and all I heard was, “Hey lady – you’re never leaving here. You will be stuck here forever and no one cares about you.”

But in the past year things have changed dramatically. I now have some really, really close friends. I recently became friends with a Mama who is totally in my Mommy Tribe (you know, the people you only meet once in a blue moon, and when you do things just CLICK). Between her and a few other close friends I feel really, really good being in Smalltown. I walk into the local coffee place and the owner knows my name (cue “Cheers” theme song now). So when we got our long awaited posting message my initial sense of euphoria was also met with a surprising feeling of extreme sadness. I wanted to cling to my friends and my Tribe and the coffee shop owner and beg them, “Come with me! Come with me!”. In fact, with the exclusion of the coffee shop owner I did actually ask them to come with me. Strangely, none of them could make the commitment to randomly moving their entire family across the country for me. I’m still holding out that stranger things have happened, though.

I feel a sense of sadness that I did not anticipate. A year ago, big stores and a huge city were so enticing and exciting. Now I find myself overwhelmed with choices. Two grocery stores is plenty, isn’t it? No guesswork. Who actually needs something to do  on weekends? Isn’t  mowing/shoveling and pacing around the house enough excitement for one small family? I know this is just my reaction to change. Change is usually a good thing and I know there are so many amazing things up the road for us. If my friends would just come with me I could have it alllllll! (Friends: hello! Selfish,  much? I mean, honestly. I thought we had something good, here.).

Thank goodness for Facebook and long blog posts and text messaging. We can stay in touch and *almost* feel like we’ve just been on a really long holiday. But know this, friends of mine:
I have often head many civilian friends comment that they don’t like to make friends with military spouses/families because just when you form a really strong bond with someone (I’m talking eating chocolate and getting drunk on half a glass of wine while watching Pitch Perfect in your living room on a Sunday afternoon and being able to just totally be yourself) they up and leave you. And it’s hard to be left behind. But you know what, dear, dear friends? It’s also really, really hard to go. It may look like we waltz away, whisked off my a huge moving van and then seamlessly plopped down into a new town where we instantly forget about you and make new, adorable friends. But first of all, there is no waltzing or whisking. Secondly, we make new friends because we have to. Because we miss you. Because there is a hole in our iCals and our hearts where “Date with YOU” used to read. And we are lonely. So the hole must be filled. We rush out to meet new friends so we don’t hurt so much without seeing you every week.  So we can feel distracted and let time do its thing so our absence from you doesn’t sting quite so much.

So please don’t think you are forgotten. You are thought of often and missed ever so much.

In fact,  now that I’m writing this, I am missing you even more.

Tearfully,
Mel

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