Usually I won’t post political things. I will not take a stand, or post my opinions publicly. Generally speaking, when people do, I scroll right past it. I don’t care what you think. And if you post one thing, chances are you’ve posted a hundred different things. It just gets old, is all I’m saying. I do social media for a totally different reason. But that’s a different topic altogether.
Today, I’m breaking my vow of silence. I’m calling bullshit on the whole government shutdown. It’s finally struck a nerve that is extremely close to home.
Four Soldiers and one Marine died this weekend in Afghanistan. A report from the Seattle PI:
— Four soldiers died Oct. 6, in Zhari District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device; killed were: 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif., assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo., assigned to the 5th Military Police Battalion, Vicenza, Italy; and Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore., assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.
—Lance Cpl. Jeremiah M. Collins, Jr., 19, of Milwaukee, Wis., died Oct. 5 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan; assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
When a Soldier dies in combat, their remains are brought to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Also when a Soldier dies in combat, their family is awarded $100,000 within 36 hours of the death. These funds are processed immediately for many reasons, two of the most important being funeral arrangements and for the homecoming. The family is able to use this money to fly to Dover for the final homecoming of the deceased; to respect their loved one as they make their final journey home, and to watch them escorted off of the plane in a casket draped with the American Flag. It is a very important, very practiced, very sacred tradition that we have in the Army. It is a ceremony you hope to never participate in, and one that occurs entirely too often.
Due to the government shutdown, the families have been denied the financial benefits, pending further approval of bills and what not. They will have to finance the plane tickets with their own money (assuming they have enough), all while confronting this tremendous loss. I feel nothing but sorrow for them, and I’m fighting back tears just writing the words.
Quite frankly, I’m disgusted. Congress is supposed to talk about it tomorrow (Wednesday) and have the President sign the bill if it is approved. While they sit in their comfortable, air conditioned rooms and bicker like school children, people are giving their lives to keep this damn country free, and their families are not being assisted in getting to Dover.
1LT Jennifer Moreno, 25. Stationed at Madigan Army Medical Center. She was sitting where I am right now, just a few years ago. AMEDD BOLC Class 1-11. In my exact position, going through the same training, and looking forward to a bright career. Now she’s in a casket, draped in the Stars and Stripes, with her family mourning at home. And they have no idea if they’ll be there for her when she finally makes it back.
Like I said. It hits close to home. I feel or every one of those Soldiers, the Marine, and their family and friends.
So here’s where I break that vow of silence on politics, and here’s where I get angry. I don’t care what decisions you come to up on Capitol Hill. I don’t care what it takes. I don’t care if you give up your paychecks, and I don’t care if you don’t. I care about America, which is why I would keep showing up even if I wasn’t getting paid. I care about this Country and everything it stands for. I care about my rights, the rights of my friends and family, the rights of the People. Those Inalienable Rights. But listen, Congress? Fuck you. Figure your shit out, and give these Soldiers the final rest they deserve.
I actually keep forgetting. Truly. I’m so bored that my mind goes numb and I casually forget basically everything I’m supposed to be doing.
The past two weeks were full of gym time!! I did legs and arms rotating, and started the workouts with a warmup jog, either a fast paced one mile (usually around 7:30) or a 10 minute jog. I also added some interval training in this week.
My biggest accomplishment? I ran our section, and I did it in under 40 minutes. 4 miles in just under 38 minutes, which is farther/faster than I’ve gone in a while. Yippee! I just ordered a new pair of running shoes, and plan on doing two more 4 miles to break them in. There’s a PT test looming on the horizon, and I’m certainly not prepared for it quite yet. Time to kick it in gear!
Confessions is a public art project that invites people to anonymously share their confessions and see the confessions of the people around them in the heart of the Las Vegas strip.
As with every other aspect of my life, I have some commitment issues. My commitment to post about my workouts is obviously among them.
So three weeks ago I didn’t do much. With moving and driving and blah blah blah. I could give you a million excuses. But I’ll refrain.
The past two weeks have been better thought. I’ve run nearly every day. All kinds of running. Intervals, long runs, fast miles, and slow warm up jogs. And this week I even got back to the weights. I’ve missed the way my limbs were sore for days after a good work out. That feeling somehow grounds me. It gives me something to focus on throughout the day, other than what’s happening around me. It prevents me from getting absorbed into the thick of things.
My grandparents were here this week, so I didn’t spend too much time out and about. This week, it’s game time.
After a while you learn
The subtle difference between
Holding a hand and chaining a soul
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
That kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead
With the grace of a woman
Not the grief of a child
And you learn
To build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is
Too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way
Of falling down in mid flight
After a while you learn
That even the sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
And decorate your own soul
Instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers
And you learn
That you really can endure
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and you learn
With every good bye you learn.
When paired with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” Soul Train—the revered dance show that started in the 70s—has never felt more relevant. Now if only I could learn to dance like this.
Forget learning to Texas two step. I’m bringing this back! Specifically the moves that the girl in the orange bell bottoms whips out.
This is wonderful.
Somehow, when it’s sang like this, “To my home girls here with the big butt, shaking it like we at a strip club” sounds a lot more poetic.
In an attempt to calm myself down, I’m going to try and finish one of my (number of) drafts that I have stored up.
And by drafts, I mean I only had like..one line written. So hang in there with me, let’s see where this goes.
When I was younger, my mom used to take my brothers and I to the public library. Not very often, but enough that I still remember it. Now that I look back, I think she did it for her own sanity more than for our happiness. I’ll have to remember that for the future…we weren’t allowed to fight in the library (NO TALKING!), but we didn’t want to anyway. There were sections for all of us, and we’d become so engrossed in our search for the perfect book that we didn’t even care what the other bothersome siblings were up to.
In the beginning, we had punch cards. It was a friendly summer competition that they would host, and you received points for however many punch cards you filled up. Then the games would end, and we would keep going back for more. Eventually the librarian even gave us our own library cards! There was something about that card. Something about the way I could walk in and feel right at home. I’d tuck my card away in a pocket for safe keeping and curl up in a chair for hours, surrounded by some of my favorite books. If mom got off work before I finished by books, I’d march my little book bag right up to the counter with my card, and I’d take them home with me. When I look back, there’s such a childlike innocence, such a romance about the memories. As there usually is with memories like that… the days before we had to be mature adults with responsibilities.
I just applied (and was approved!!) for my first credit card. I closed an Ohio bank account and opened a checking and savings with a larger bank. All the cards came in the mail, and mom gave them to me on the day that I took the Oath and became a 2LT. Those cards remind me of my library card, without the innocence. These kinds of cards make me fearful and remind me that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and I have real things to worry about now. It’s strange, growing up. It’s something that we all have to do, but that not many of us actually want to when we realize of what it consists. The good part of this story is that I’m beyond excited for the future. The unknown usually scares me, but this should be a good story.
Until I figure it all out, I’ll just live in the happy, warm memories of the library card days.
I didn’t post last week. There was nothing to post about.
I shouldn’t post this week. Again, same story.
Finals, moving out, and binge drinking has gotten the best of me. Two weeks off, and back in action the second I get home. Hopefully this time next week I’ll have something real to share.
Colourised black and white photo of an American soldier at an allied base in 1942
This is amazing
I wrote the title as Week 6… Then had to go back, and realized that this was only Week 5. What a sad realization.
That was about as sad as my workouts this week. Didn’t get to the gym much…at all. But we did go on a 30 minute run every morning but Friday and Saturday, for a total of almost 8 miles. Like I said, it was a rough week all around.
This morning I got up and went on a 3.5 mile run. This next week is going to be another rough one. Two analytical papers and a book review due at various times. The goal is to get a 30 minute run in 4 out of the 5 days. I have a PT test next Monday, so pushups every day, and one fast paced 2 mile sometimes this week.
All I can do is sigh. But here we go!
I like to stay motivated by working out to awesome music! Sometimes I get bored of my own collection so I like to spice it up with different Pandora Stations…and who knew there are so many options to choose from!
80’s Cardio- Madonna, Michael Jackson
For those of you always wondering where on earth those good Pandora workout jams are…
I’m falling in love with the idea of love.
I’ve been so resistant to it for years…To relationships, to extreme happiness, to vulnerability, to heartbreak. I shut it all out, and decided to live a type of life where I didn’t have to deal with any of it. I played, I had fun, I made what some people might see as mistakes. But me personally? I won’t ever regret a single thing that has led me to this point.
Some of my judgement calls have been made in less than good judgement. Some of the guys I’ve entertained the idea of have been less than desirable. There have been gentlemen and assholes, boys and men. I’ve been a princess, diva, child, woman, I’ve been kind, caring, and ruthless..so many different versions of me, just trying to figure out who I really am.
To these [men], and to myself, I’ve been both honest and dishonest. I’ve told the truth and I’ve told lies. I’ve said “I like you”, and I’ve sent them away without second thoughts. I’ve relished the attention, I’ve soaked up the affection, and from most, I’ve run away. When enough was enough, I chose to let myself down easy by being unfair to them and hightailing it in the opposite direction. Some, I clung to as if my life depended on it, only to be rejected myself. I’ve met happiness and heartache. I’ve loved, and I’ve lost.
As I leave college, I realize that the dynamics are changing. I’m leaving a place where nearly all of the population is comparable to me in age, lifestyle, and interests. But I’m also rediscovering that inner child in myself. That younger, innocent girl who believe wholeheartedly in love and everything for which it stood. I’m finding the preteen girl who has never experienced heartbreak, who will invest anything and everything she has to give in a worthy relationship. Instead of this guarded person I’ve been for the last four years, the one interested more in instant gratification, I’m slowly regressing back into the one I was when I was in a long-term, committed relationship, when I could still hear wedding bells and see children in my future. For a long time, that wasn’t in the cards…or at least in the “near future” cards. But as my social media and friendships slowly transition from college parties to baby showers and one night stands to wedding parties…it’s impossible not to catch the fever. As old sparks are reignited and stagnant friendships renewed, I’m becoming excited once again to see what the future of my personal life holds.
"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." - Joseph Addison