Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goodbyes and Hellos

I had fully intended to write my next post about friendship. It seemed only fitting that I address the three cornerstones of my blogs, right?!?! Well, sometimes life  good and unexpected ways!

I had started my morning writing about friendship. Later that afternoon, family drama ensued and by the time all was said and done, my happy, friendship-y vibe had fizzled. I was upset and stressed, so I headed off to Zumba to sweat out the stress hormones. Sadly, after an hour of dancing around and shaking my booty to lots of ridiculously fast-paced Latin music (and looking like a spastic robot in the process...thank goodness there are no mirrors in that room for me to witness my own humiliation), I was still a grumpy, stress-y mess, albeit a much sweatier one.

On a side note, if you have never heard of Zumba, you should totally check it out: It is the most intense non-exercise-like exercise I have ever done. I love it! But I digress.....(I’ll usually digress once or twice per blog entry...sorry)

So back to my original story...

As I am walking out of the gym, a cloud of grumpiness hanging over my head, there is a lady walking in front of me who had also attended the Zumba class. She made a comment about wanting an end to the nasty, rainy weather we’ve been getting lately. I concurred. We both laughed, and the conversation ensued something like this:

Me: I know! I am sooooo ready for the summer!

Her: The summer?!?! Shoot girl, I’ll just take some sun!

Me: Yeah, good point! I’ll take that, too!

Her: But let me tell ya , I think when the summer comes it’s gonna be a scorcher! I don’t mind it being 75 or 80 some days, but not every day!

Me: (sigh) Ugh! I know! When I lived in Florida it was hotter, but at least we had AC! Even when it’s cooler it’s a lot more miserable here without it!

Her: Get outta here girl! You from Florida? I’ll be from there soon.

Me: Oh yeah? Whereabouts in Florida?

Her: Just south of a place called Riverview.

Me: No kidding!!! That’s where we moved from! We still have a house there!

(insert mutual giggles)

Her: We just bought a house there!

Me: What subdivision?

Her:, huh...oh shoot, I don’t remember what it’s called. It starts with an H. But it’s in South Fork.

(insert moment of stunned silence on my part)

Me: (in high-pitched, squealy voice) Reeeeaaaaaalllllllyyyyyy?!?!?!?!?!?! That’s where WE have a house!!!!!!!!

(insert more girly giggles as we both ponder how small the world really is)

So we spent the next seven minutes or so discussing that area, the local schools, traffic, the mall, our families, our husbands, her kids, my lack thereof, and our general life stories.

Me: Well, I guess we’d better go before we get soaked (it had been raining the entire time we had this conversation standing outside by my car)

(we both say goodbye and turn away. She turns back around)

Her: Ohhhhhhhhhh come here girl! I love you girl! Come here and give me a big hug!!! Can’t wait to see ya next time!

(insert hug and more giggles)

And in the space of a 10 minute conversation and random twist of fate, that is how a friendship was formed.  =)

This isn’t the first time I have had a random encounter. I’ve been amazed at how many people I’ve run into again, years after I assumed we had said our final goodbyes. There was the time, my sophomore year of high school, that I ended up sitting behind a girl in Spanish class in Satellite Beach, Florida that I’d last seen three years before when we were in middle school together in Virginia. There was the time in Tampa, four years after I graduated high school, that Jared and I walked into a Coldstone Creamery and ran into an old friend from my senior year. Now, five years after that encounter, she lives in the village next to mine here in Germany. The funny thing is that she isn’t even military! Her boyfriend is German. What are the odds?!?! Another time, shortly after moving here to Germany, I walked into the commissary and saw a guy that I was sure I had attended 9th grade with when I lived in Germany the first time...a decade before! Jared, at that point sick of hearing me say “Hmmm....I think I know that person...I think I went to school with that person!” sighed in exasperation and said “Yeah, I know. You say that about everyone. If you are so sure, go talk to him!” You’d think, after all the weird coincidences, he would know better than to challenge me on that score! :) So, feeling like an idiot (after all, we’d both aged after 10+ years), I walked up to the guy and asked if he was Mike so and so from 9th grade. Sure enough, he was! Not only that, but he knew of two other people from our class that were also stationed at this same base in Germany. The hubby hasn’t questioned me since!

I could go on and on...Jared and I ran into a mutual friend from Air Force ROTC, again at the commissary. We ran into another acquaintance from ROTC at one of the three gyms here. One of my best friends from MacDill AFB and her husband moved here to Ramstein six months after we moved did. A year later, more friends from MacDill arrived. Now two more are on their way within the next few months.

So this is why...despite the ups and downs; the nights alone; the worry when my husband is gone; the attending weddings, baptisms, graduations and many, many other “couple” events alone; the packing up of my life into boxes every three years; and the multitude of goodbyes...I love the military. For every goodbye, there is also a hello. It will be found in the most random of places...the gym, the parking lot, in line at the BX, heck, even sometimes in line at the bathroom...but it is all these hellos that make the goodbyes okay. Because sometimes, when we least expect it, there will be an “until we meet again.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friendship, Wine and Laughter

Friendship, wine and laughter....three things that can get us through the ups and downs of life. They can make the hard times bearable and the good times even better! A few weeks ago I started debating whether to jump on the bandwagon with this whole blogging thing. While I enjoy reading my friends blogs, I didn’t really think my life was that exciting....certainly not blogworthy! :) I don’t really have a focus, goal or hobby to write about. My friend, Michelle, keeps us posted on her adorable kids. My ridiculously creative and talented friend, Jaime, always has amazing craft projects to write about, as well as her super-cute son. My other friends, Marisa and Nicole, are amazing cooks, and share their fantastic recipes with the blogosphere. I don’t really have any of those. I don’t cook that much (or that well for that matter!) and I’m not particularly crafty. I don’t have kids (though sometimes my husband may qualify....sorry honey, love you!). I do have four cats, although I don’t really foresee creating an entire blog about them. Actually, those of you that know me might argue that I probably could. Yes, I am the crazy married cat lady at age 26. But I digress....

So I struggled with what to write about and whether I should even write or not. I used to love to write, but somewhere along the line of growing into an “adult,” I lost many of my creative hobbies. There was always something else to, then marriage, then a master's, then moving, then working, and of course the ever-present housework. I think I kind of lost the things I enjoy, the things that used to make me “me” along the way.

Yesterday, I decided to take a step towards joining the blogging bandwagon. I created an Blogspot account. Then I tried to come up with a blog name...

C’est La Vie


Counting Sheep


That’s Life


Just Another Military Spouse


C’est La Guerre


Seriously?  (could you tell I was just a wee bit frustrated at this point?!?!)

Yes, even that was taken!

On and on it went! I must have gone through a good 20-30 blog names and everything was TAKEN!!! Argggghhhhh!!!! So in my classiest, most eloquent manner, I said “Screw this” and logged off of Blogspot, deciding that fate did not want me on the blogosphere.

Then today there was a little “family drama” and I got fired up enough to do something about it. Thus the “SMSD” blog was created (and subsequently deleted) as an outlet for me to vent. However, writing the little venting session about my family drama reminded me of how much I use to love to write and of how therapeutic it can be.

It made me kind of sad, though. I wanted a happier blog, not one entirely devoted to getting certain family members to make smarter decisions. While I was in the midst of typing up my first posting for the SMSD blog, I got a message from one of my closest, most amazing friends. I just said goodbye to her and her husband yesterday. They are getting ready to move back to the States, and it was a very hard goodbye. They are in Italy at the moment, taking one last European vacation before heading to Boston. Her message said something to the effect of “I miss you, I’m consuming mass quantities of wine, and I wish you were here to consume them with me. Thank you for the last two years of friendship” Reading that, especially when I was so wrapped up in the negativity of my family drama, made me laugh. And that is when the lightbulb went on. She encapsulated three important survival tools to life in one short comment: friendship, wine and laughter!

So now I had my blog name (amazingly enough it was AVAILABLE), but what to write, what to write? I certainly don’t have anything exciting and dramatic to add to the existing body of blog literature. But sometimes the most mundane things in life are the ones that we can relate to the best. So that’s what I am going to write about....the mundane things in life. These are the things that shape us and our families, sometimes without us realizing it. Although, I have to admit...I may work the cats in there every once in a while..... ;-)

So as I write this, I’m raising a this new blog (we’ll see if I ever actually update it), to life, to finding myself along the way, to change, to the mundane.....and most importantly, to friendship, wine and laughter!