Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today was an odd day for me. I started out feeling a little uneasy. I had the drive in to work to give myself enough time to create this huge conspiracy theory and by the time I parked and got to my desk I had pretty much decided I had let life pass me by and I was a loser. It was difficult today watching the female Marines. I suddenly longed to be one of them again.

Back in uniform. Hair neatly slicked back. Minimal makeup. Carrying my water bottle and joking with the male Marines about the morning's run. I sat at my desk feeling like a has been.

I felt stupid in my Docker pants and silk blouse. I wanted to put my hair up in the french braid I wore for twenty years. I wanted to lose my comfy shoes and slide my feet into a pair of combat boots.

The melancholy of it all was almost palpable to me. I was angry at myself for having retired before going to Iraq. I was mad because I hadn't been part of "that". I have no claim to it. The glory, the hell, the comraderie, the battlefield lonliness. I missed out on that.

Everywhere I went I saw young Marines and old Marines walking in a way I had not been able to walk - like one that had been to War. I longed for that stature.

Suddenly it didn't seem worth it. My six years of retirement seemed like a complete waste of time compared to what I could have gained. Sure, I probably would have lost something or someone. Maybe even I could have been lost in War, but that didn't take away the longing I felt.

Maybe this was the real reason I always told myself I would never return to the base and work. Maybe I knew deep down how much I would miss it. I tried to give myself props. I followed an old Oprah idea where you write down things you are thankful for. "Family" "Health" "Job" "Horses" "Harley" None of this seemed to bring me much comfort. I kept focusing on the bad and the lack of. I couldn't bring myself to be happy about the life I was living. This continued on my drive home. Sitting in minor traffic I was able to ask myself outloud, "How did I get to this point in my life?" "What turns did I take that brought me HERE?"

I need to do a 180* turn around. I need to remember it was not my fate in life to serve in Iraq. I need to put it in perspective that my time in Corps was over and I had to let it go.

SONG OF THE BLOG:"Goodnight Saigon" by Billy Joel

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