Of course it doesn't help that I'm definitely the overly-sentimental type. I'm a total softie deep down and no matter how tough I appear/try to be, I'm really just a gushy mess. It isn't ever pretty when Swiss or my parents have to leave (which they did today after an awesome visit that totally makes me want to get back to Wisconsin), or when I leave my home/hometown. I just don't do goodbyes gracefully. And you know what else doesn't help? I'm a little bit weary.
Now, I'm not complaining per se. I've got it
good great. Healthy family, a husband who is none the worse for the wear after multiple deployments, we are financially sound, I get to go on two (2!) vacations in the next month, we have family and friends who love us... life is good and we are blessed. It's just that Holy Hannah- this retirement/leaving the Army thing is annoying frustrating hard scary intimidating difficult challenging. No, it doesn't help that we are leaving a secure, steady job and diving head-long into a terrible economy with ABYSMAL job markets. And no, it doesn't make things easier when deep down I really wish in my heart of hearts that we could find a way to make it back to the Midwest regardless of the consequences. And no, it doesn't help when neither Swiss nor I can come to grips with the situation as it really is rather than the situation as we are seeing it is and therefore panicking about.
Mostly, I think we are frustrated with the job options ahead of us. (Us and everyone else, right?) We were planning for so long to go the JROTC route for Swiss, then once that was settled, I would decide what road to head down on the quest for a new career. Then, after calling all of our Top 10 assignments, and the Second 10, finding only a handful of sub-prime openings... the picture starts to get muddy and deflating. There is the one in a shady town in a nice state. There is one in a nice town in a nice state (near lots of wine!) but ridiculously far from family. There is the one in the big city rife with crime. There is the one in the middle of nowhere with zero prospects for me and my career. Gone are the assignments that made perfect sense for our family. I don't know if it was bad timing, Karma or fate. But what we are left with looks more like the detritus at the end of Lollapalooza than anything. Oh okay- that's a bit of an overstatement, but after loosing out (or being mislead) on great cities like Denver and Omaha and sweet towns in Maine and Kentucky... we are feeling like somewhere we went wrong. Only we can't figure out how, where or why.
So now we are in recovery mode. Applying for jobs that neither of us really want in locations we think we want. Going to plans B through W trying to find something that will work, even though we both know it means jobs we would likely loathe. Trying to game plan a ridiculous scenario where a JROTC job will be opening up next year (we can apply in April) in a city we like and is close to home, so I find a job and we move there on the blind faith that Swiss can make buddies with the JROTC guys there and get that job in a year. Because that is a great plan, right?
In any event, I think Swiss and I both need to remember that since he is retiring, there will be money, even if somehow neither of us end up working immediately. There will be checks every month, and though I hate that he will likely be given a high disability percentage, that too will help grow our bank account even more. We aren't going to be living in a van down by the river (see the clip just for kicks).
We aren't going to be suffering and miserable. And worst case scenario, we wait it out and keep our fingers crossed for that JROTC job next year. (Do I love the idea of being 'homeless', mooching off our families- again- for 8 months? All I can say is UGH. But it certainly is better than the alternative? Right???)
But I guess the moral of the story is that things never really go how you think they will. Not to be pessimistic, because that isn't my nature. But optimism- when leaving the armed forces- won't serve you well. The big government jobs are a bitch to get even if you are qualified (and can take up to a year to finalize), the JROTC listings are 'updated' every 3 days but are really
In any event, I think I (and we) just want a solution to the Post-Army question that is haunting us. We want a job, and we want to have direction. We want to be close to home, but we understand (begrudgingly) that it might not be in the cards just yet. We want to get settled and stop playing the I Don't Know game. We want to get our foot in the door so that maybe one day we can get the job/location we really want. And we are mostly just ready to have a plan... that doesn't involve a van down by the river.