Transition is hard.
I feel like I have been in mourning since early December.
Part of me loves this post. It's beautiful. This town is beyond lovely; the people are incredibly kind. C actually got to take Logan to play golf the other day. He was actually home before the sun set - and that's normal here - to not work all hours of the day and night. To have dinner with your family.
I haven't seen a single military vehicle. Not one. I haven't heard artillery in the distance or taps played through the night sky. No cannon has woken me up (unwelcomed) at 0600. I'm not sure which way to face when the flag is lowered at retreat because I'm not sure where it flies. I can't hear it played by my house.
I see different uniforms every single day from different countries, hear the accents, see other nations' flags waving on houses. There is a "kangaroo crossing" sign at the crosswalk in front of an Aussie's house that makes me smirk when I drive by.
There aren't any multi-cam uniforms around this post - no one coming or going. I don't see welcome home banners along the post gates. People here don't fear the doorbell. There are no red flags marking ranges in use. The "hospital" doesn't have a near set rotation of births based on deployment cycles.
I have never lived in this world before.
When those planes hit the towers over a decade ago, C already owned his sets of BDU's. He had already sworn a vow. He'd been to boot camp and been through the training and prepared for war during a time of peace.
When he was commissioned and swore his new oath, our world was a very different place.
My entire military journey here has been during a time of war.
You would think there would be a comfort in that - a deep breath at least. You would think that.
Transition is hard.
Days from now, weeks from now, months from now, I have friends whose loved ones will be boarding planes to continue this fight. We will be in two entirely different parts of this journey - both incredibly real - existing at the exact same time. Them living in the world still torn by war, us beginning the steps of a military at peace.
I do not know how to put into words how that tugs at the deepest parts of my heart.
I feel hopeful while at the very same time guilt-filled. I do not know how to wrap my mind around a military not at war. I do not know how to not worry about the path that lies ahead.
I am fearful of what will happen as this transition begins. Fearful of what will be left for these heroes when the military adjusts for a nation at rest. Fearful of how a generation of war-time soldiers will find their place in a country that hasn't known the same thing.
For my generation of military spouses - this is all we have known. This is all we have lived.
I haven't been able to write because I haven't been able to process.
That isn't true. I have understood. I knew what this post would be. I knew it. I knew when we left Carson that we would - most likely - be stepping away from everything we have ever lived. I knew that.
I haven't been able to write because I just didn't know where to find the purpose in it.
For more and more of us, our lives will change. Not today, not tomorrow ... maybe not even this year. Our futures will no longer be twelve-months-on, twelve-months-(maybe)-off. Some of us will begin the steps to exit this journey - to step back after giving more than most. The Army will be changing, shifting, shrinking. Our expectations will adjust, the way we think and feel and hope will change as the world around us does.
It's going to be hard and scary and confusing. We will take the steps towards a time of peace while so much of who we are still lives during a time of war.
We are still at war.
Someday soldiers will have time to breathe, time to hold their children, time to mourn.
I don't know how to focus my mind on the path ahead of us while my heart stays with those still fighting the battle behind. For a time, perhaps I must be torn. Living in a time of war mindful of a future at peace.
I don't know when it will be less strange to me that there aren't helicopters flying right over my house. I don't know when I won't miss hearing the "sounds of freedom" echoing through the mountains. I don't know when it won't be strange to not see a signal flare light up the sky in the dead of night.
I don't know when that will ever not be my "normal".
But I am ready to learn with you.