Monday, November 23, 2009

My transition

The past week I have been reflecting on our move to Guam and how the transition is going. I know I have talked a lot about our move but I hope you understand how this move has rocked my world and therefore is the topic I am often consumed with and wish to discuss. I feel like so much as happened within this short period that has forever changed my life; my mom says I should write a book about my recent experiences because a large portion of them have been quite entertaining/ odd/ educational. When Jarrett and I got married and I made the 4 hour move to northern California, I soon became consumed with overwhelming sadness. It would be fair to say that I was probably experiencing a mild/ moderate depression. For the first three months at Travis I did not work, go to school, have a solid home church, or friends. My days were spent at home alone where I spent most of my time in front of the tv or sleeping. Those first 3 months culminated into probably the hardest time in my life thus far. The weeks leading up to our move to Guam, I became consumed with the fear that I would again experience what I had in those first 3 months at Travis. From the moment I walked off the plane in Guam, I became obsessed with getting busy, involved in things, finding a job, and friends. I think about it now and that probably wasn't the healthiest thing to do but for me I was in survival mode and nothing could stop me. Now that we are getting settled in, I am reflecting on how the Lord has truly blessed us with an easy transition. Maybe it's the fact that it's not the first time moving away from family, or that I have found a good job and have gotten involved in various activities. Or maybe it's the fact that i am just more mature. Whatever it may be, I feel blessed. I have experienced homesickness but that can only be expected. I have felt overwhelmed and sad at times but I believe that is only healthy and natural.

I feel proud of myself for putting myself out there and being bold. I found a job off base and have made friends with many locals which is something that a lot of military don't do here. I choose not to stick to the base because I have been so blessed by the culture and people here in Guam. It has been tough because of cultural differences but rewarding none the less. I have met senators, radio personalities, and other local figures due to my job and I don't believe that would have happened unless I had put myself out there.

But along with the wonderful things we have experienced, there has been a fair share of discouraging events. I have met people that didn't have my best interest in mind which has been a very hard lesson to learn, especially this week when I was faced with a painful and heartbreaking situation. We are also learning how to celebrate the holidays away from family and how to create our own traditions. This is fun but at the same time a sad thing to learn how to do especially if you are stubborn like me. And we are learning how to accept or at least respect cultural differences that we don't agree with or believe are "right."

Many times in the past few months my heart has felt heavy and I have prayed so many prayers asking the Lord to carry me through this trying period in my life. But also in the past few months I feel I have matured and grown in ways that would not have been possible if it wasn't for this move. I know without a doubt that I will look back on this time and smile no matter how many tears were shed. I'm thankful that I can see that now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home or something like it

How does one make a house into a home? This is the question that I have asked myself countless times over the past few months, but even more so in the past couple weeks. I think it takes at least a year for a house to finally feel like home. A year to work all the kinks out, figure out where everything should go, etc. But I'm impatient. Home and how it feels when you walk into it is so important to me because I am a homebody. My favorite nights are the ones spent at home curled up on the couch with a good book and my husband by my side. I love to be at home. Maybe I'm just really homesick but this house just doesn't feel like home one bit. It feels like a shell still that needs some major TLC. I find myself complaining lately about everything that has to do with this house. The walls are too white, the tile is too white and gets dirty so easily, the house is too big, we don't have enough money for furniture, our furniture is too small, and so on. Never thought I'd find myself complaining about a house being too big but the grass is always greener on the other side isn't it. We moved from a tiny 900 square foot townhouse into a large 1600+ square foot single family home and our furniture just doesn't fill it. So many things that frustrate me that I'm struggling to find the motivation to try and make this house into a home; I don't know where to even begin. At the same time, I'm disgusted with myself that I even have these frustrations because so many people do not have the luxuries that Jarrett and I do. So many do not have a large roof to cover their heads at night. So many people on this island alone would do anything to live in a house like we do. I am so extremely thankful for the blessings that we have and the fact that I have my wonderful husband whose very being fills the space between these walls. I'm just trying to be honest here and open about my frustrations. So anyone have any inexpensive, easy suggestions about how you make a house into a home? And here are some pictures of our living room so far. It's pretty much the only room that we have really put some time and money into thus far.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Life Life Life

Life is a roller coaster. Boy is it ever. I can't believe we have been in Guam for almost 3 months. It doesn't feel like that long but at the same time it does. We are homesick. Plain and simple. We often lay in bed, unable to fall asleep, just talking about home and the things we miss. It's not that we aren't taking advantage of Guam or that we are just living for what's to come in the future instead of living for today. It's just that the longer we are here, we are learning things that we miss and wish were here, and things about Guam that don't make us so happy. But we are making do. We have each other and because of that, we could live almost anywhere and still be happy.

I know a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my new job. Well I guess just because you like a place doesn't mean you are going to like working there. It's been challenging. So I am currently in limbo as far as the job situation goes. I'm just praying that the Lord would lead me to make the right decisions regarding my job situation. Other was my birthday on Monday. The day was pretty relaxing. I could kiss the person who invented manicures and pedicures. But there was also a first for me. I was pulled over for speeding...on my birthday! 54 in a 35...yikes. The thing about driving here in Guam is the speed limit is 35 almost everywhere but people drive 50+. Not that that makes it ok, but it's normal here. Well apparently about once a quarter, the Guam PD sets up speed traps. Well I got caught in one. They pulled everyone over into this empty field and I was there along with about 15 other cars. A lot of military and other spouses. Well the cop saw it was my birthday so he couldn't give me a ticket and also because I like USC football, which happened to be his favorite team. I got very lucky because I do feel I was very deserving of the ticket. I gave myself a slap on the wrist. Ironic thing was that just the day before i was bragging to my father in law on skype about how I had never been pulled over and I was making fun of Jarrett for all the tickets he has gotten. Well I think the Lord was trying to humble me.

Other exciting news is that I was accepted to Penn State! I am so excited to finally finish my degree and through a good school to beat. I'm going to give my diploma a big fat kiss when it is placed into my hands! It's a perfect situation since I will be moving home next summer for quite some time while Jarrett is deployed. I may even be able to finish while i am home so that I can travel to Pennsylvania and walk in the ceremony.

Well that's the update. Now I'm off to go get ready for a military appreciation cocktail party at Louis Vuitton. It's hard to find reasons to get all dressed up these days. No proms or dances to get dolled up for. So I am excited to put on a cute cocktail dress, do my hair, and slip on some heals. Happy Friday!! (Almost Friday for those of you in the states)