When I deployed in Afghanistan back in 2011 for my only “combat” (Arty guy in a major fob) deployment in my so far five year stint in the army, being nineteen years old and having friends who were 26+ I was expose to adult problems they faced back in the States. One of the most prevalent issues in military culture being marriage itself, its often a cluster fuck involving many children, almost always a horrible divorce, and former spouses winning the eighteen year lottery. So naturally, I was always a bit curious in what the older heads opinions were on at life. One day while working with my Battery Commander I had asked if him being away got easier with his wife the more deployments he had.
To paraphrase what he told me, which he said it doesn’t. I furthered inquired into his reasoning behind his answer and the way he explained it to me made sense. Any sort of relationship you have with a person whether being significant other, friend, or family is entirely based on things you experienced together. You never stop growing as a human being, you are constantly being shaped by your environment until the day you meet your end. So when you do come home it’s like you’re meeting a completely new individual.
Another analogy to this I believe that was said by Duncan Trussell during a podcast of the “Joe Rogan’s Experience.” (which is pretty good btw) Imagine that there’s two different sailing boats each with an azimuth that’s one degree off from the other. You could leave from the same port but over time you’ll end up in two completely different locations. Which I find also very true if you are slightly off on your azimuth during land navigation, which I found out the hard way during the STAR course in selection.
With each passing year I’ve been finding that more true than not, I’m sure this is a subject pretty much most twenty four year olds now experience. After school, who do you hang with? It eventually starts to boil down to those around you, who are most convenient to interact with. I think it’s a concept we need to embrace more, it forces change.
The more years that had come and gone the more I found this to be true, like I said before this encompasses everyone you ever know. Occasionally when I drop a leave packet to head back to my hometown you seem to notice it by increments, it came to a point where I can’t even recognize some of my own family. As melodramatic as that seems I think social media has added an interesting dimensions to this phenomena. You’re updated daily on the ongoings on people who had maybe a small blimp in your life, and it gets exhausting to see it strangely. I almost feel it violates the natural way of the passage of things, there’s just some you have to let go at a certain point.
It’s definitely one of the reasons why I want to move to a different state when I do come to my end of service date, I’ve spent a long time gone I’ve survived so far so what’s the point to coming back to what you were familiar with? One of my goals in this life is to find a center or a balance in perspective, I want to soak in experiences of new and different people.
Just live an interesting life I guess. Whatever that maybe, I’m ready for it though.