Woo Hooo!!!! The good news in our neck of the woods is that Swiss got final approval to be a JROTC instructor. This means we (and by we, I mean he) now get to call up the schools with openings and schedule interviews. Once an offer is extended, we pick is, schedule our PCS, find a place to live there and get on with getting out of the Army. Hopefully this process will also include a month or so of free time before work starts so we can spend some time with the families. Exciting, no?
Well, yes, exciting. But also nerve-wracking and bringing out my OCD tendencies in a big way. I mean, there is an Excel spreadsheet involved (which will in no way, shape, or form surprise those who know me best) for crying out loud! I think the issue lies in the simple fact that any of the options open to us are unknowns. Some are straight up enigmas to us, places we've never been or never considered living. Others are known only through the eyes of a tourist- which we all know involve rose-colored glasses. It is an interesting challenge finally having say over where you live, but still ending up having to choose a place that you frankly don't know much about. It is starting to feel like a business-as-usual Army move if you know what I mean.
Whats worse? Swiss and I have come up with a tier system of sorts for the locations we have to choose from. There was the tier one list. It only had 5 locations on it. And the two that were closest to home and family are gone. This has taught me a valuable lesson: Don't put your favorites at the top of your list because they will be gone! So now? The top of my favorite list is Bethel, Alaska. I'm hoping this hoodwinking of karma/fate works! In any event, there are still some good contenders in the top tier and if all goes as we hope, one of those will come through for us.
The challenge for me, right this minute, is that all of the other locations in the top tier are quite far from home. We are currently over 1,000 miles from home now, and it sort of sucks. All the things I got used to being only 250 miles away are gone. No weekends hanging out with Beth. No jaunts home just for kicks. No holidays with the family or meet-ups at concerts or sporting events. I worry about what that will be like for years on end. What will it be like to miss out on my best friend having her first baby? What will it feel like to miss out on most family get-togethers? How will it feel to miss out on what everyone else is doing?
I am certainly game to move far, far away. I am excited about carving out a home for us, free from some of the drama and expectations that come with being proximate to (some) family. There is an element of excitement in the adventure and unknown. New cultures, new foods, new lifestyles. But it is a challenge to find that balance of what is best for us and what is best for family. I am certainly not a believer that you make the decisions in your married life based on the others in your extended family. Especially when some show no signs of being willing to do the same for you. But where is that balance?
In any event, this decision will likely be taken out of our hands. We are dependent upon an offer and should there be only a few, that will make life and decisions easier for us. And for now, until something closer to home opens us, we are destined to move far, far away from everything we call home. Good thing the Army has already prepared us for this!