I just returned from Buffalo Wild Wings a little bit ago. I suppose that's one good thing about being an adult...the ability to drop everything and go out with friends. Maybe not the most responsible thing but definitely the most fun. I left the restaurant, however, in a bit of a low mood and I'm not sure why. It was good to see my MFT friends. Since the summer began and we aren't with each other for 12 hours of classes per week, I feel like we hardly ever get the chance to catch up. We all have such busy schedules with our different clients, internships, and assistantships stretching us all over Greenville (and Snow Hill). Maybe I felt low because we had been talking about school. It's pretty much inevitable when we're together as that is the most obvious thing we all have in common but, sometimes, I just want to forget that I'm even in grad school. Then again, I suppose we all need some time to vent about things and who understands better than those who are in the same boat? We didn't stay too long but I enjoyed it. Another possible source of my low mood was that we talked a little bit about the deployment. It wasn't in detail but still, just thinking about it and verbalizing it made me blah. I wanted to call James after I left the restaurant but he has staff duty tonight and is, therefore, occupied. Fortunately, I had a good phone conversation with my mom and felt much more chipper afterward.
Today actually brought some exciting developments. Sam and I have decided to move in together for the next year and we think we found our apartment today. It has wood floors, a fireplace, a big balcony, a spacious kitchen and living room area, walk-in closets, and bedrooms that are nearly equal in size. What's even better is that I'll be paying less than I do at my current apartment for a nicer place. I'm very excited about living with Sam. I think we'll be able to help each other through the struggles that are to come in the next year. Also, with James leaving, it will be extremely helpful to come home to an apartment that isn't empty. Oh, and how good of a friend is Sam? She took off of work the day that James deploys (more on that later) so she can be with me. I don't know how I got so lucky when it comes to friends.
The other bit of exciting news is that I'm getting a kitten! Bryan's brother, Jeff, has a friend who found a kitten and is trying to get a home for her. Right now, Kristy has taken her in but can't keep her. I didn't think I'd be able to either (the pet fee at my current apartment is $350 - way too steep for me) but since I'm moving, it's perfect to get a pet! I need to figure out a name for her so suggestions are welcome. Hopefully, she will also help to alleviate my loneliness.
That was my day in a nutshell...now on to this past weekend...
It all began on Thursday. I arrived at my internship and actually had, what I felt to be, a very successful session with one of my clients. So, I was feeling pretty good...up until about 10am. I received a text message from James saying that he had found out when he would be deploying. He wanted to know if I'd like to hear it then or later. I thought about it. Either I learned of it then and it ruined my day or I worried about it for the next several hours and it ruined my day. It wasn't looking good. I asked to know then. As it turns out, he is in the advanced party and will be leaving July 27th, as opposed to early-mid August as we had expected. For the next 30 minutes, I just sat in my office, starring at the wall. Oh, and crying. It wasn't a proud moment for me but I didn't know what else to do. Eventually, Kasey came in (one of the counselors I work with, who also graduated from my MFT program) and the whole story came out. I was just waiting for someone to talk to. I felt a little better afterward but I still didn't think I would be useful at my internship so I left for a couple hours. It seemed too strange to just carry on with my daily activities given the recent news. For the rest of the day, I was in a bit of a daze and just grateful that I would be seeing James that night instead of having to wait for the next day.
The next day, I really just wanted to concentrate on having fun with James. We woke up very early (5am - ok, a little after...I didn't want to wake up) to get ready for his pro-ball tournament. Pro-ball is a cross between football and rugby and I'm pretty sure the Army created it. The major difference between pro-ball and those two sports is the lack of equipment - no helmets, no pads, no cup - just skin, bones, and blood (lots of blood, I came to find out). And let me tell you, they are SERIOUS about this game and they rarely play nice. I watched as a man was knocked unconscious. Others were walking around, covered in mud and blood. James was forced to bare his midrift as two of his shirts were completely ripped. Some of the other injuries we later learned of included a broken nose, broken collarbone, broken finger, and one guy is nondeployable because of this game! I asked James if he thought it was worth all of that and it didn't surprise me when he said it was, that it was fun. I have to admit that it was exciting to watch him play (he's good at it). However, every time they called for the medic, I got a little nervous, jumping up to make sure James was still on his feet. He managed to escape with some cuts and scrapes and at least two days of being very sore.
That night was the military ball. Actually, it was the SEND OFF ball. Hmm. I chose to have my hair professionally done for the night as I can never do much with it. I was a little scared about someone in Fayetteville doing my hair though, to be honest. Maybe it's wrong for me to feel that way but, I had basically closed my eyes and pointed at a place on the map. I didn't know what kind of sketchy sketch place I had to expect. I was lucky though and the woman I had did wonders with my hair. As a perk, she didn't try to make awkward conversation with me. I was almost too worn out from the tournament to be much of a conversational partner anyway.
The ball was certainly entertaining. As nice as it was to see James all dressed up, it also brought everything home for me. That feeling was intensified at the ball when the colonel spoke of the upcoming deployment and how much he appreciated the sacrifice families made watching their man go off to war. I was really glad when he just stopped talking. Overall though, I made it through the night (the ball, at least) without getting too emotional. Dinner was good and the comedian was much funnier than any of us expected. During his act, one man had to literally be thrown out because he was too drunk and couldn't keep his mouth shut. His poor wife (for more than one reason) was left in there by herself. I bet he slept on the couch that night.
It was after the ball that things got really interesting. When we got back to James's apartment, a lot was on my mind and I just couldn't hold it in anymore. I lost it. I just sat on the edge of his bed, still in my dress and shoes, and bawled into my knees. I don't think he quite knew what to do with me. I just felt ANGRY. I was angry about his leaving, about having to continue in this grad program knowing how insane I'm going to be and how I'm going to have to do it without his support, which I've gotten used to. He handled my outburst very well and even said some really wise things (though I think they just made me more angry at the time). He said that what happens to us has more to do with our attitudes than any external events. That's when I realized how bad my attitude has been (maybe his calling me out on it is what made me angry - but I needed to hear it). And so, to follow James's advice, I'm going to start being more conscious about my attitude and how it affects my day.
I think that outpouring of emotion was exactly what I needed and the rest of the weekend went well. We had dinner Saturday night at a Japanese restaurant and watched a scary movie (The Uninvited - I recommend it) and just relaxed on Sunday, watching another movie (Role Models - better than I expected). It's ALWAYS so hard to leave him but he was heading home that afternoon and I had work to do so I felt it best that I return to Greenville earlier than I might have liked.
So, there it is, friends. It's funny how things tend to turn out so differently than how we planned.