{September 4, 2012}   Refresh

Well, here I sit (well, lay actually) in my friends home in Washington. After a looooong 35 hr drive from Oklahoma to Washington, I have arrived and semi-settled at my new duty station. Tomorrow will begin my week long in-processing whereas afterwards, I will be put into my new unit and my new life officially started. It’s weird to think that I live here now. I love moving. Change and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate change, but I so love it at the same time. Especially now. The last couple of years of my life have been a complete roller coaster, so I am beyond excited to start this new endeavor.

I love to use the old cliche of ‘starting a new chapter in my life.’ As an avid reader, nothing rings more true than a change in life truly being a new chapter in your book of life. Every time, I picture a literal book, and someone turning the page to begin a new chapter. In my head, I see the end of the previous chapter as the page is slowly being turned, and the title of the upcoming chapter. Sometimes, it doesn’t have a title. Sometimes, the title is best chosen as the chapter is written. I don’t know what the titles of my previous chapters would be, but I’d like to think of this one as “Refresh.”

When you visit a website and it doesn’t load, we have a tendency to just click the refresh button to make it work again. That’s my life. That’s this chapter. I want to refresh everything. New me. New life. New friends (well, mostly new…I have some very cherished friends that I plan on keeping around.) New relationships. Just…new. New everything. And I can’t wait. I am elated. It’s time. Like a snake ready to shed it’s old skin, I’m ready to shed my past life. My past life where I have loved, lost, been hurt, been happy…and learned. Maybe not learned a lot…but still learned. 🙂 I know what I want to do, somewhat. I know I want to take care of ME before I can take care of anyone else. I need to realize that I come first, and that has never really sunk in with me. It’s always been about everyone else. Everyone’s needs and wants above my own. For the last 12 yrs of my life, it’s been everyone above me. But the aftermath of the last two years made me realize that I can’t keep giving pieces of me to everyone else. Not too soon in the future, there won’t be much of me left to give. There’s nothing like a 35 hr drive, alone, to force you to really think about life and what you want out of it. I had to face life, face my reality…face myself. It’s not pretty. I don’t like what I see. But there’s a small glimmer of hope, a tiny voice that is crying out, begging to be heard. A small voice that has been buried beneath all the crap I’ve been dealt from 2 ex husbands, and some other exes, that wants me to wake up. To take notice that it hasn’t been completely drowned out. It’s wanting to be uncovered so it can yell at me that I’m not lost! I may have been chipped away, but I still have a strong foundation that is mostly intact. And if I don’t listen now, if I don’t uncover that voice, all might just be lost. So in that drive, I slowly but surely started moving pieces of the trash that drowned the voice. It’s not fully uncovered yet…it scares me to do so. But, it’s getting there. I want to uncover it. I want to hear what it has to say. “Curiouser and curiouser.” I want to be a strong willed girl who can stand on her own two feet. Who knows who she is and isn’t afraid of what others think. Who meets a man that values who she is and gives to her as much as she gives to him. I want to be loved for me! Not for who he wants me to be. And I’ve begun digging deep to find out who that girl really truly is. It amazes me when people compliment me and tell me such nice things about myself, but I’m not to the point that I truly believe it yet. The one thing I know to be true, is my kindness. My loving, kind, giving heart. And above all else, that’s what I want people to notice. So the fact that they do, is the highest praise I could ever receive. That’s who I want to be. Everything else I’m striving for is secondary. But it’s time for that secondary to move up a bit so that I can be happy with myself too.

So here I am, trying to be motivated. Motivated to change myself for the better. Be stronger, be wiser, be lovelier, be fit, be strong…be me. Be the Caryn I know I can be. I’m going to start working out and eating better. I want to be healthy. That’s my newest goal. I’m going to start going to the gym, doing cardio and strength training. On top of that, I want to find a dance studio and start taking ballet lessons. I can’t wait. It’s kind of frustrating because I don’t know where anything is around here, but I’ll get in the groove. I’ve got my cousin(s) here whom I know will help me in any way possible. Which is comforting. I don’t have to go it alone, even though I don’t doubt that I could. 🙂

So, my goals have sort of been set. I am terrified of failure, so it’s really hard for me to set goals. Especially for something like getting fit or losing weight. I have no idea even what kind of goal is feasible, and as I said…I fear failure. Setting goals frightens me because there is a risk of not meeting it. And if I tell others my goals, they will know when I fail. It’s one thing to let myself down, I’ve done that so much, it’s almost second nature. Not that it doesn’t still scare or disappoint me, but the fear of failing or letting down others far outweighs anything I could ever do to myself. But I’m trying to work on it. So, my first goal that I am going to put out in public is that I am going to start drinking more water and go to the gym. I know that seems like a piddly little goal, but it’s a start. Baby steps. I’m not quite ready to put everything out in the open yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get there. One day. It’s all progress, be it forward or backward. Some progress is good progress. If I stumble, I just need to do what I have always done. Jump back up, look around, wonder how on earth I managed to do that, and keep on truckin’.  So that’s what I will do.

Wow, I really need to work on my rambling. Ha ha. But I just start writing and it’s like vomit of the fingers. It just keeps coming and won’t stop. So I will forcefully put the theoretical pen down and seal up this letter.

Thank you to whomever is out there reading this blog. I hope I don’t bore you with my mindless blabbering.

Cheer’s to you and knowing who you are deep down inside. Cheer’s to me for beginning the journey of self discovery so I, too, may be satisfied in life, in love and in me. 🙂


{August 25, 2012}   Alice in Wonderland

(I’m just gonna vent before I start this blog. I had a huge loooong post written, but I accidently clicked on something and it disappeared! Agh! And it was a great post! Ugh. Now I have to tap into my genius yet again. I’m pretty sure my internal writer is about tapped out for the day, so I know she’s crossing her arms and glaring at me right now. But here I go…)

Have you ever seen the movie Alice in Wonderland? Not the new Johnny Depp version, but the Disney cartoon from years ago? I saw it many, many times growing up, but until recently I never really watched it. A few months ago, I was sitting around thinking about what I wanted for my next tattoo. And for some reason, Alice in Wonderland popped into my head. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it. I just couldn’t shake this movie. I watched it again and really paid attention to the movie. I realized that this movie is not only relateable, but I AM Alice! What an epiphany! My life is just as crazy as hers. I sometimes feel as though I’ve tumbled down a rabbit hole into this abnormal abyss where nothing makes sense, but everything is a crazy fun world.

I am an observer. I love to people watch. And in my observations, even if my deductions are far off, it seems as if everyone around me has it all together. Everything is normal, everything is at a relatively normal level of perfection, everything is just right. And then there’s me. There’s a quote I read one time that says “Life is divine chaos.” And that is soo true to my life! (It’s a future tattoo, for sure!) But it’s so fitting for my life. And when I really look at the movie, Alice’s adventure is divine chaos as well. Everything seems a bit trippy and weird, but at the bottom of it all are some great lessons.

In the start off, Alice says to her cat, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” She wanted something more for her life. Something different that wasn’t everyone elses norm. I get the impression that she feels as though she doesn’t “fit” in this every day world of everyone else. And then here she sees a rabbit. A white rabbit in a jacket, hat and a pocket watch. She decides to make this choice to follow this white rabbit. What about this is a good idea? She even states at one point “Curiousity often leads to trouble.” Story of my life!! But that doesn’t stop me!

After dropping down into this seemingly never ending rabbit hole, she begins an adventure she never could have imagined. Crossing paths with characters that only dreams could be made of. She finds that to navigate herself through this wonderland, she must change herself to fit the situation. I often feel as though I must do the same. I don’t have triscuits to make myself grow or a potion to drink to shrink my size, but with any new situation, I am always changing some part of me. I have not developed to the ability to walk into a crowd and just proclaim “this is me! accept it or not, I don’t care.” Because the fact of the matter is, I DO care! I wish I didn’t, but there is not an ounce of me that doesn’t constantly want to please people and ensure that I make them happy. So with different situations, I present the best applicable me. And that’s what Alice had to do.

At one point, she is small and wanders through a flower bed. The flowers sing and begin talking to her, and about her. They discuss what kind of flower she is because she looks funny and has no fragrance. They throw out all sorts of possibilities, one even calls her a weed! Finally, one bud quietly questions, “Do you suppose she is a wildflower?” What?? A wildflower?? How appropriate! That’s me!!! I’m a wildflower! I may not be beautiful rose, a whimsical daisy or a gorgeous tulip, even though I’d like to be…but I’m a wildflower! One who grows on her own accord. Free and free spirited, floating about in life, ending up in random places. Some may think it doesn’t belong and really is nothing more than a weed, but how many times do we overlook these wildflowers? How many times do we not really see the beauty that they offer? They can enrich the bouquet more than I believe we ever give them credit for because we never truly stop to appreciate what they offer. That little bud really nailed it! A wildflower. What a revelation.

In another scene, Alice crosses paths with a caterpillar. A caterpillar who is weird, smokes a hooka pipe and isn’t all that friendly. The whole time she is speaking with him, he keeps asking her who she is. She answers in circles and states that she can’t really answer because she really doesn’t know. Again, so true to my life! I’m 32 years old (eek!) and I have NO clue who I am. How did this happen? Shouldn’t I know who I am? Heaven forbid I come across a caterpillar (or human, I suppose, if we have to be normal here) that repeatedly asks me who I am. How would I answer? Stammering and stuttering for sure. How can I quite explain it to you, when I don’t know myself? In her conversation with the caterpillar, he asks her to explain who she is. She states “I can’t put it any more clearly, sir, because it isn’t clear to me.” Who I am is murky enough to me, I can’t possibly make others understand if I, myself, don’t understand.

In her travels, Alice runs into a cat. A *Cheshire* cat, he is sure to point out. He speaks in riddles (as does everyone in the movie, it seems, which at first is frustrating, but slowly begins to speak to the ridiculousness and amazingness of all the things around) and boggles her mind, but he really is quite clever.  There is another conversation between Alice and the Cheshire cat that is pretty appropriate for my life. This is when Alice first meets the Cheshire cat and she is lost, asking him to help her find her way. She asks for help and he says it depends on where she is wanting to go. She tells him it really doesn’t matter, and he simply states “then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” Ahhh, someone who understands!! I don’t know where I am going! So why does it matter how I get there? Missteps, trials and errors, the falls, the journey…it is all taking me wherever I am going to end up. And isn’t that part of the fun? Not knowing how we get there? But as the King states, “Begin at the beginning, and go on until you get to the end; then stop.” Ha! Straight and to the point. Love it. But as I sit and look at my life, I liken it to a big huge puzzle. Each piece has it’s place, and I’ve come to realize that I’m not sure I want my puzzle to ever be fully put together. I like seeing it come together. I like picturing it all laid out, each piece telling a story and leading to a great novel. Maybe the day that I am no longer here, that will be the final piece of my puzzle. But secretly, I still hope there is at least one piece missing. Just to keep everyone guessing, and to show that no story is ever fully told and complete.

There are SO many great quotes throughout the entire movie. I wish I could just type the whole movie here! If you  have never seen it, or it’s been awhile, I challenge you to sit down and really watch it. It seems crazy and whimsical, but there really are a lot of deep meanings to what is being said if you really pay attention. She comes across so many crazy situations and people in this story, but it isn’t all that far fetched. There are many different characters we meet along our path of living. Each character with their own story. Just because they aren’t like us or don’t have the same story, doesn’t mean they are all that different. One character in the movie (the Mad Hatter, I believe) claims “We’re all mad here!” And that’s true in life. Everyone’s a bit mad.

Anyway, after plaguing me for months, I’m finally putting my epiphany into words. I’m alice in wonderland. That’s my life. I fall down rabbit holes which clearly aren’t the best decisions to make, I meet crazy people along my journey, and things just seem to get curiouser and curiouser. I’m merely a wildflower in this great big flower bed of life. I float along and end up in random places. All I can do is hope that those around will not chop me down, but will see me for the beauty that I offer. They will take me in and add me to their bouquet to enhance the beauty of the world around them.

With all that babbling, I’ll leave you with one last quote from the movie. I feel like this often in my life, so I take it day by day and just hope that one day I’ll figure it all out. Well, actually, I’m not sure I want to figure it all out. It’s kind of fun just going along and not knowing! “I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”


{August 21, 2012}   Back again

Well, it’s been a long while since my last post. A looooong while. I love to write, but when I find when I go to blog, I completely freeze and have no idea what to say. But, again, with some coaxing from family, I’ve decided to try again.

In my last post, I talked about getting ready to deploy. And here I sit, over a year later, a veteran of war. Granted, it was an easy deployment, but it’s still a little surreal to think that I have actually been deployed to a war zone. Never in a million years did I think that would ever happen. As I said, it was an easy deployment, for the most part. Nothing notable happened in the region we were in, thankfully. On a personal side, it was the hardest year of my life. Not ready to really write it all down so I have to physically see it, but for those that know, they are aware of what I am referring to. Crazy year. Full of ups and major downs, of which I hope to never have to repeat. But I’m thankful for the things that I have gone through. I have learned many lessons about myself. Who I am, what I can survive….hindsight is a crazy thing.

It’s now time to close the chapter that has been my life for the last 2 years in Germany. I made some amazing friends, had a ton of fun and learned A LOT about myself. Gained a lot through relationships, and fell madly in love. Experienced an immense amount of loss and pain, but that’s all apart of life, right? Decisions were made, chances taken. All on a hope and a prayer. And with one exception, there isn’t one thing I would change about the last two years. It was amazing, though heartbreaking at times. But that’s ok. I’m still reeling from some of the risidual heartbreak, and probably always will. But I know that I can survive anything that life has to throw my way. Despite wrong decisions or happy circumstances, ever situation makes me stronger and eventually I will get to a point where someone will come along and not break my heart any longer.

Now that I am leaving (well, have left) Germany, my next duty station will be in Washington. I am so excited to get there and start my new journey in life. I don’t know why, but I am feeling very optimistic about going there. Normally, I hate change. Despise it. But after recent heartbreak and being let down yet again, I am so ready. Just done with the past and ready to move forward. I am elated. I know there are good things in store for me along this crazy winding road. And since I know myself, I know there will be no off ramps or slowing down. I am full force hauling ass to where it leads me. Don’t know the destination, but I know wherever it ends up I will look back and see that I was in control of the ride. I did the things I did in the pursuit of happiness no mater the recourse or consequence.

In spite of it all, the love, the loss, the happiness, the heartache, I love my life. It’s really not that bad. So here’s to starting over, yet again. New duty station, new outlook, new blog…maybe a new me.

{January 6, 2011}   Thoughts on a quiet night

It’s 2:30am here in Germany. For some reason, I cannot sleep. My Nana used to always tell me that when you can’t sleep it’s because your stomach is empty and your mind is full. Every time I have a sleepless night, I always realize it’s because my mind will not stop racing. And tonight is no different. I can’t even put into words what is on my mind because I have so many thoughts at once, that it won’t settle down. I turn the lights off and lay my head on the pillow…and the thoughts zoom by at a million miles a minute. One here, one there…random, not making sense, no rhyme or reason. But I did realize that it is in these quiet, lonely minutes in the early morning that I stop and think about life. I went back and read my parents recent posts on facebook. They are so sad about my leaving and worried about my upcoming deployment. It seems that everything I do in life makes them worry. I hate leaving them, but I know that what I’m doing is a great thing for me. Does that make me selfish? I don’t like being selfish. I don’t want to sound conceited or anything, but I really think I am one of the most self LESS people that I know. I will do anything I possibly can to help others. But at some point in life, one has to do something for themselves, right? My adult life has been wrapped up in so many other people. I’ve been hurt so many times because I am so willing to give myself to others. Now is my time. Because before I can willingly give myself to someone else, I have to be a stronger person within. I have to figure out ME before I can expect someone else to, no? How can someone love me, when I don’t even love me? I barely even LIKE me, let only love me. And the mask I use can only stay in place so long before someone close to me catches on and sees the complete lack of self confidence that resides within me. My parents are so strong and amazing. They have been through so much and are still standing strong. It amazes me.

When I left to come back to Germany, I found a note my mom had slipped into my purse. That note was the nicest thing I think I have ever been given. To be told her thoughts about me and how proud she is of me touched the deepest part of my heart and soul. I have always thought that I was a huge disappointment to my parents because of decisions that I have made. I still feel that way at times. But I realize now that they are not disappointed in ME, but in the decisions I have made. Those decisions are not ME…they are choices. Dislike the sin, not the sinner, right? That’s comforting to me. Thank you, momma, for telling me those thoughts. They run through my mind constantly and I have read and reread that note repeatedly. It means so much to me…each and every point you made. But two that really stand out, is that you think I’m nice and that I see the world through different eyes. I kind of chuckle that those are my favorite points, but it really kind of is. If there is anything that I want people to remember about me, it’s that I was nice and kind. I find life to be so much easier for myself with the mindset of niceness. And you are so right, I DO see life through totally different eyes. If I didn’t look so much like you, I would really wonder if I am part of this family. Ha ha. I don’t know how I became like I did, but I thank you guys for encouraging me to be how I am, and just letting me make my own way in life. You never tried to stand in my way or discourage me for trying things out on my own. You stood by my side, even if you didn’t agree, and cheered me on. You will never know how much that means to me. I know I will always have you in my corner, and it’s so comforting to keep in mind as I go through life.  And Daddy, my sweet dear Dad. The post you made on fb about thinking all your children had managed to dodge the military bullet, and now here I am. About to go to war. Your last line haunts me. “I can’t breathe right now.” Plays over and over in my head. I want to apologize, but I don’t know what I would be sorry about. I don’t want to hurt you or cause you pain. I would ask you not to worry, but I know that isn’t realistic. I’m your baby girl…your princess. I know the realities that face me, and I know you worry about it all the time. But if for no reason other than coming home to see you guys, I promise you I will be safe. I know I can’t predict the future, but I will do everything in my power to ensure that I come home again.

On another note, I talked to an old friend today. She said to me that during our short time together, she learned a lot from me. It’s amazing to me to hear that. I always want to impact someone, and to hear that I actually have, in some form or fashion, not only warms my heart, but it means so much to me. I’m glad I have managed to touch at least one person. As morbid as it may sound, I sometimes wonder, if I die…who would even come to my funeral and would anyone really have anything to say about me? Have I touched anyone, made a difference in their lives, made an impact that I’m not aware of? I love when I talk to someone, give them my thoughts or advice, and they come back and tell me that they thought about what I said. It makes me say ‘wow, i made somewhat of a difference.’ Maybe not life altering or anything, but what I said mattered enough that they gave it a second thought. I hope there are people at my funeral that want to stand up and say nice things about me. I hope I make a big enough difference or impact on enough people that they want to share the type of person that I was to them and to the world. I want to be that person that people miss when I’m not around…or will really miss when I’m gone.

Lots of other thoughts have been running through my mind these last few hours that I have been awake, but that is just a few of them that I wanted to share. It’s random and kind of all over the place, but that’s how the mind works usually, isn’t it? Life is just crazy at times. I sit back and just look at everything, shake my head and laugh.

Ok, enough rambling. I was hoping that writing out even a portion of my thoughts would help get them out of my head enough so that I could get to sleep, but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen. Oh well. Such is life I suppose. Dreams about impacting others will just have to wait for another night. 🙂

Good night/morning, world.

{January 2, 2011}   A new beginning

Well, at the coaxing of my parents, I have decided to begin writing a new blog.  Many moons ago, I had another one, but due to changes in my life and circumstances, I thought it best to start over with a brand new blog. It’s a brand new life, a brand new me, and subsequently a new blog.

Anyway, they thought it would be a fun/good idea for me to stat a blog and write about my life in the Army.  Little do they know, it’s really a very boring life…but I’ll write about it anyway. I think it’s more so I can communicate and give them insight to my life while deployed…but they are also gonna get my life up until deployment as well. If I remember to actually write something. lol.

So this is me. This is my life in writing. Be it complicated, funny, complex, sad…whatever the case may be, this is me. Take it or leave it,  just respect the heart that is in the writing as I share parts of me to you.


et cetera