Coming into Dallas to live here for the first time we came across a rainbow in the darkening sky.  The glee quickly inflated like a bad economy.  Walking into the house, I immediately saw Kennedy and literally screamed with joy. Despite my father’s insistent breakdowns of why this was a bad idea and the long wait, I had finally made it.  I was so busy seeing all the people it actually had to be pointed out the banner across the top of the sliding back doors saying, “Welcome home, Brittany,” and the fruit bowl made out of a watermelon shell.  Being a Sunday night we quickly caught up and went our separate ways to bed. School was going to come earlier than anybody wanted it to the next day.  Still, as I laid in bed I realized how much I had already learned about this crazy new life I had just entered.  First off, I ate three mini cupcakes only to be told that there are enough for three cupcakes per person, and that was it.  This threw me for a loop.  In Canyon, we didn’t divy up the food in relation to supply and population.  We were sensible and knew two other people had to eat, but we mostly just ate what we wanted.  If you didn’t get in the kitchen fast enough to get that cookie, that’s your own fault.  I realized very quickly that in order for my stomach to get along with everyone else’s, I was going to have to change that mindset.  Another thing I learned from my first night here, I was going to have to be adaptable very quickly.  While I love my family, they have their own habits and traditions, their own culture.  I could not come in and just expect to change all around what I’m used to.  Of course, that was the last thing I expected them to do, but I guess I didn’t really think about how much I was going to have to change about my habits to fit in as one of eight.  First of all, in the middle of the table is a small turning tray where most of the food is set during dinner times.  With eight other people around you, you have to get what’s in front of you and wait for the rest to come around.  It wasn’t like in Canyon where, when we all sat down together you could just grab what you wanted.  Thinking about it now it seems like such a simple idea, but when it is not what you are used to…  yeah.  And sharing a room with my sister certainly brought me to the realization that I wasn’t in Canyon anymore.  When we were younger, we shared a room during my visitation.  This is completely different though.  We haven’t slept in the same room in ages; we’ve both discovered how we like the lighting to be at night, whether or not we like the door open, and so on and so forth.  Kennedy likes there to be some sort of light on during the night; I enjoy complete darkness.  Kennedy keeps the door slightly cracked; I shut my door completely.  Kennedy doesn’t keep the doors on her closet due to nightmares; it drives me nuts when my closet is open.  Kennedy likes this; but I like that.  The first night here, I slept almost not at all.  There was too much light, too much noise, and a slightly messy, unorganized closet open for the whole world (ghostface included) to see.

 Even faced with these differences, I was more satisfied than I have been in a long time.  What are these differences anyway? If I am so caught up in myself that I cannot simply be grateful for my family taking in yet another person into their already large and complicated family, I am not cut out for the military.  A soldier places the mission first, places the country first, and never leaves a fallen comrade.  The lighting of a room should be the last thing I worry about.  I need to keep foremost in my mind, why I am here and where I want to be.  I would not say I am dissatisfied with where I am at all.  I certainly hope to be a major contributing force to this “three-ring circus” I now call home.  But in the back of my mind, always lingering, “You were too fat to be in the army.  You didn’t have the self-discipline to even be ready for boot camp. And on top of all that, you hurt the feelings of your family in Canyon.”  While these statements are true, I must not let them keep me from doing what I need to here.  I need to use them as my motivation.  Use them for Vengeance; vengeance on all the people who said the army isn’t for me; vengeance on myself for proving them right the first time.  Vengeance that can only be right.

 It was told to me today, “Everybody messes up badly.  I wish somebody had told me that… the important thing is to say, ‘Yes, I messed up.  This is why,’ and to fix it.”  I guess that’s really what I’m trying to say.  I am certainly at one of the lowest points in my life, questioning the meaning of myself, my life, the world itself.  I feel all these pulls, but have reached a point of apathy so I can feel ripping at the seams.  I worry about the small things to avoid confronting the big issues.  But in this new life, new city, new family, it’s time to get over the slump.  I messed up everyone.  I got apathetic and quit trying because it was easier that way, but a true soldier doesn’t go the easy way just because it was easy.  This country was founded on a bunch a guys who worked hard everyday to do what they believed was right, refusing to give in and never surrenduring.  Football teams never make it to the Super Bowl without a bunch of hard work, late nights, and full-on battle every day. NEVER backing down.  It’s time I get the lead out of my butt, take a lesson from my heroes and get going.

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